Me Like Bees Find Drama, Groove With 'Songs From the Realm' (EP stream) (premiere)

Me Like Bees' comic book soundtrack gets gritty and dirty right before the summertime.

Joplin, Missouri's Me Like Bees issues its new EP, Songs From the Realm, on 30 March. Rather than a standalone record, the group offers the collection as a soundtrack to a post-apocalyptic high-fantasy comic book authored by Seth Peck (Marvel) and Jeremy Haun (DC Comics) with distribution from Image Comics (The Walking Dead). The record tells the tale of people finding themselves in an increasingly hostile new world while struggling with their pasts and daily horrors of this new life.

What the record proves, as much as anything, is that high concepts can still make you want to shake your ass. Witness the Jack White-style slab of sleaze, "Long Gone", wherein drama and sharp wits do battle with the untamable, insistent gluteus max. It's a battle as fraught with tension and intrigue as any spaghetti western, enough, anyway, that you can dust off your boots by the final notes, smell the cacti and hear the rattlers moving around your feet.

"Ruinous Days" is a slice of emotive psychedelia that imagines a meeting between John Vanderslice and the Beach Boys in the heat of Death Valley back in 1969. In the end, the EP is proof positive that you don't need six sides of vinyl and a 100-piece orchestra to do grand scale rock properly. All you need is a little bit of vision, a whole lot of heart and the wherewithal to take a risk on something beyond the status quo. (And, hey, you don't need to join a doomsday cult to understand these tunes better; all you've got to do is tune your dial to the closing swing of "If I Go". Fair enough.)

Vocalist Luke Sheafer says of the collaboration, "It was a great time because we really had to sonically build the world that the characters would exist and live in. It's been a unique experience, and we've all really enjoyed getting to know these characters and writing their soundtrack."

Songs From the Realm may be ordered here.

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