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Struggle in the Hive

Struggle in the Hive

(Future Appleseed)

The tandem of Nigel Jeffrey and B Patric has created some decent tunes on this self-titled release. Easily comparable to early Pink Floyd tracks like “Fearless” and “Fat Old Sun”, Struggle in the Hive don’t struggle at all with the gentle, fluid and fine “Garden” that you can easily get lost in. Same goes for “The Sad Observers”, but “Garden” ends too damn quickly. “Letter Written Home” is equally warm and inviting. Most of the baker’s dozen here are just under or barely over two minutes, but the group makes the most of each second. Poignant at times, Struggle in the Hive keep things simple often, resulting in powerful sonic pictures such as “Words Can Be Tricky” which mentions the word “minimalism” as if you haven’t figured that out yet. On other occasions, the songs come off quite clunky, especially “Angela” which is a plodding Ben Folds-like sort of track. Of the four longer numbers, the heady lullaby “Summer Nights” and the hushed hues of “Twin Fin” are standouts. “The Plain Train” is not, far from it despite continuing that ‘60s folk pop style. Faring far better is the mid to up-tempo roots-y “Lesser Gentlemen”.

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Originally from Cape Breton, MacNeil is currently writing for the Toronto Sun as well as other publications, including All Music Guide, Billboard.com, NME.com, Country Standard Time, Skope Magazine, Chart Magazine, Glide, Ft. Myers Magazine and Celtic Heritage. A graduate of the University of King's College, MacNeil currently resides in Toronto. He has interviewed hundreds of acts ranging from Metallica and AC/DC to Daniel Lanois and Smokey Robinson. MacNeil (modestly referred to as King J to friends), a diehard Philadelphia Flyers fan, has seen the Rolling Stones in a club setting, thereby knowing he will rest in peace at some point down the road. Oh, and he writes for PopMatters.com.


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