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Despite being produced in a basement studio, The Bees’ third release, Octopus, is anything but dark and dreary.

Rating: 6 / 10

Meg Duffy, 28 Mar 2007

Despite being produced in a basement studio, The Bees’ third release, Octopus, is anything but dark and dreary. Recording in the Steamroom on their native Isle of Wight, the band poured a variety of genres into the mixer and pushed “liquify”.

Known for their eclectic style, the band’s offbeat choice of venue is not surprising. They cut their first album, Sunshine Hit Me, in a garden shed. In contrast, the follow-up, Free The Bees, was assembled at Abbey Road. Regardless of location, The Bees’ style impressed critics, earning the band a Mercury nomination for their debut. For their third effort, The Bees take their sound underground.

Although combining an assortment of sounds may seem risky, they’ve managed to produce a solid album, fusing jazz, soul, ‘60s rock ‘n’ roll and playful lyrics into a tight 10 tracks. They effortlessly mix and match genres, blending the rich country twang of the lead guitar with breezy harmonies on ‘Love In The Harbour’, and giving ‘Listening Man’ a '70s soul feel. The final track, ‘End Of The Street’, features a bluesy sound peppered with rubber ducky squeaks.

Each track embodies the carefree feeling of summer, from the breezy warmth of ‘(This Is For The) Better Days’ to the cool nights on the veranda with friends soundtracking ‘Left Foot Stepdown’. So position your speakers in the windows, and plant yourself on the porch with a glass of iced tea. Granted, you’ll have to wear two jumpers and the tea may freeze over, but enjoy the vibe that The Bees have so delicately crafted.
Rating: 6 / 10

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