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Music Reviews

Screaming Females - Castle Talk
»Screaming Females
Castle Talk
Don Giovanni
Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross - The Social Network [Original Soundtrack]
»Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross
The Social Network [Original Soundtrack]
The Null Corporation
Deerhunter - Halcyon Digest
Halcyon Digest
No Age - Everything in Between
»No Age
Everything in Between
Sub Pop
Robyn - Body Talk Pt. 1/ Body Talk Pt. 2
Body Talk Pt. 1/ Body Talk Pt. 2
The Walkmen - Lisbon
»The Walkmen
Fat Possum
Sick Bees
The Marina Album
Up Records

Rating: 6/10 ?

May 20, 2005
Brace yourself!

Sick Bees aren't for the faint-hearted. The Marina Album takes a prominent love of the Au Pairs and pours it into an album best described as the Thermals in a freakish funhouse. Even if the prospect of bracing, propulsive and altogether weird punkish musings delights you, you'd still better buckle up. They're more insurgent than you'd think; the only requirement they have, of themselves and of their listeners, is to embrace the madness.

Keep in mind these are the kids who banged on pots incessantly to their mothers' dismay. They never grew out of that phase, reveling in offbeat noises of trash can lids, wacky clarinets and something called "the fun machine." It's clear they'll bang on any surface in the wings, keeping the energy level consistently high. It's hyperactive, yes, but if Mom's not there to tell you not to, then why not? In this case it works to Sick Bees' favor, giving each of their songs a unique noise and energy that could only come from fidgety freedom. It's fun to be unsupervised!

That said, The Marina Album does not go down easy; it is a barbed confection designed to lacerate the roof of your mouth and tear your throat as it travels to a resting place in your stomach. The trick is, once there, it's somehow satisfying even though you still taste blood. There's enough liveliness and borderline twee sensibility that makes the effort amicable, even if it clearly can't sit still and doesn't want to conform.

From the raw-throated demands of "Paint My Apartment" to the chimney sweep-inspired chorus of "Rat Traps" to the bizarre electric samba of "Chikikwa," The Marina Album speeds by as one grandly improvised blur. It's hard to get your head around the album - most likely because it was never intended to be understood - but from Martian bops to drugged-up bunny hops, it takes you places you've never been before and could never begin to recreate.

Reviewed by Sarah Peters
A former music editor and staff writer for LAS, Sarah Peters recently disappeared. Perhaps one day she will surface again, who knows.

See other reviews by Sarah Peters



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