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Sick Bees

The Marina Album [EP]

(Up; US: 10 May 2005; UK: Available as import)

Sick Bees are all of the following: twisted, sweet, clever, spicy, tangible, melodic, symphonic, tasty, and good. Belonging in the esoteric category that conjoins Daniel Johnston, the Raincoats, and Skip Spence (then throw in the Kathleen Hanna not of Le Tigre nor Bikini Kill, but of the “Bull in the Heather” Sonic Youth video—all cute and evil), Sick Bees wipe the punk rock floor clean with a shine of joyful sarcasm and broken glass edges. Their music makes one see apparitions that aren’t there and hear noises from outer space.


The Marina Album (in actuality an EP) is the equivalent of that hyper-literate spazz who has a one-liner for everything, walking away before you realize your head is spinning. These 13 songs steamroll by in less than 17 minutes. The band—Starla (guitar, vocals) and Julio (drums)—considers these 13 songs part of a suite, if you will. The parts are disparate but there’s really no way to separate the tunes so one song with 13 sections begins to make sense. This record exists in a world of its own. It’s the sound of cutting class, or flipping off your boss behind her back, or taking a sweet kitten from off the street and having it pee all over your couch.


But, if one had to talk about tracks, one would start with the standout. “Paint My Apartment” is an instructional lament. Toilets are leaking, things are going awry, the music swells, and screaming ensues. It ends with no resolution at all. Just like life. “Yer Cat Loves Me” begins with a sound clip that seems taken from a bad dance. It ends in a repetitious order: “Give me your pussy!” Obvious? Well, sure. Why bother with subtlety, fool? “D = M/V” is all science rock (new genre, pay attention)—the Gossip beats up Modest Mouse in one round. Yes, you need this.


Seventeen minutes, you ask? Why spend your money? Well, Sick Bees are the kind of band one develops a crush on. You’ll carry the CD in your backpack or briefcase; you’ll want to spoon with it in the wintertime; you’ll hope it will read Marianne Moore poems aloud to you. Your children will steal it from you. It will inspire them to run away from home or start setting the dinner table without being asked. You know… something extreme.


Sick Bees are not for everyone. But, everyone who is for Sick Bees belongs together. There is a cosmic thread uniting all present and future fans (there is no past with Sick Bees). Unite!

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By Andrew Johnson
31 Dec 1994
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