Philadelphia’s The Spirit of the Beehive delight in defiance. At the start of their career, they flirted with the ghost of shoegaze, smearing sharp hooks with a pharmacist’s galley of uppers and downers. But on 2017’s evermore daring Pleasure Suck, they went wild and weird, adding noise sprees and musique concrète collages to songs about the coexisting ambivalence and anxiety of our modern age. Like a post-millennium answer to the psychedelic successes of the Elephant 6 collective, which produced the likes of Neutral Milk Hotel and Olivia Tremor Control, The Spirit of the Beehive seems to stress-test its songs, caking on the noise or breaking them to bits so as to show that the structures are sound, the writing enviable. “Underneath their obfuscation are tight melodies and hooks; they just take a little while to become apparent,” Stereogum has rightly raved. “Once they’re under your skin, though, it’s hard to get them out.”
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