Album review: Spirit of the beehive – entertainment, death

The return of SPIRIT OF THE BEEHIVE with Entertainment, Death is their fourth album in this current form. That is to say, with members coming and going, it starts to become arbitrary to use that name. What are we describing when we use that name? If we replace all the parts of a ship one by one, is it still the same ship?

But this forever-changing, never-staying-still atmosphere that surrounded the writing of this latest product has been turned into their greatest asset. 

It’s an album that fights itself, as fresh ideas beat others down for attention on a minute-by-minute basis. One instant you’ll be listening to some dream-pop so deluded of itself that it turns into noise rock, convulsing into some post-punk and then back into shoe-gaze. It never gives you time to rest.

Entertainment, Death is a constant downward spiral of sounds that opens a window to this incarnation of the band. Rivka Ravede, Zack Schwartz and Corey Wichlin’s untempered thoughts are on full display and they’re not holding back.

I struggle to think of another way that ‘Entertainment’, its opening track, could begin any bolder. Drum kits, guitars, keyboards sound as if they’ve been lobbed down a set of stairs then had the recording of that fed back through an amp, three times over. Then the instruments are tossed down the stairs again, just for good measure. You envy the carelessness of the three.

The album is much like a patient blessed with days of lucidity, as sudden bouts of frenzy happen throughout the project, which are attenuated by calm – if a little uneasy – moments that make the experience overall worthwhile.

All these sorts of music are thrown together so liberally, that when the song ‘There’s Nothing You Can’t Do’ comes, you believe it. It crescendos into louder and louder genres without losing its essence, and before you know it you’re submitting to a screaming match between the vocals and guitars. 

It’s this unpredictability that makes Entertainment, Death so compelling. It’s a challenging first listen, but does so well to reward you for your effort on your second and third goes that I can’t recommend it enough – if you have the patience.

Entertainment, Death is out April 9th – you can find them on Spotify here and Bandcamp here.

Article by Byron Gamble

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