April 22, 2024
Bees Deluxe – Hallucinate | Album Review – Blues Blast Magazine


Bees Deluxe – Hallucinate

Slapping Cat Records


12 tracks

Hailing from Boston, Bees Deluxe have toured up and down the East Coast to present the sounds from their imagination. Recorded in a studio “hidden in the forests of Massachusetts,” the band took a year to produce a dozen new songs in response to demands from their listeners. Mixing Chicago blues and a heavy dose of psychedelic rock, the album is certainly eclectic and different.

The Bees Deluxe liken their music to a genre called acid blues, a bluesy version of acid rock. The All Music Guide writes, “Acid Rock was the heaviest, loudest variation of psychedelic rock. Drawing from the overblown blues improvisations of Cream and Jimi Hendrix, acid rock bands relied on distorted guitars, trippy lyrics, and long jams. Acid rock didn’t last too long — it evolved and imploded within the life span of psychedelia — and the bands that didn’t break up became heavy metal bands.” That pretty much sums up the sound and feel of this album.

The band is Carol Band on keys, vocals and harp, Allyn Door on bass and vocals, Joe Egan on keys and manuscripts, James Gildea in bass and vocals, Paul Giovine on drums and percussion, Adam Sandowski on bass, and Conrad Warre on guitar, bass, vocals, trumpet, kaossilator, strings and keys. A couple of other musicians are noted where they appear.

“Sharkskin Suit” starts us off. It’s a little bouncy and has a 1970’s vibe to it. Jared Egan adds his guitar to the mix which gives the song depth. “When Is Yesterday” is a trippy, slow cut with somber vocals and guitar work. We get a little distorted harp thrown in late in the piece. “Another Close Shave” follows, a thoughtful cut that makes me feel like I’m perhaps listening to Dire Straights on hallucinogenic drugs.

“Scared” takes us on a journey that evokes a mix of Pink Floyd and LSD. Band takes us on a journey of depression and fear as he sings and Warre plays some ethereal, trippy guitar. Up next is “Queen Midas” which takes us with acoustic guitar added to the mix. Warre also adds some cool cupped trumpet along with nice electric guitar and a cool organ line, too. “How To Play 96 Tears” follows with some elegant piano in this cool instrumental number. Replacing the Farfisa with a piano and taking us in new directions, it’s a slick cut.

“Nitro” is next and features Poogie Bell on drums. More breathy vocals and a jazzy approach with horns and guitar setting a nice tone in this explosive tune. “Call Me Frank” is next, a dreamy guitar piece that gets a harp added that finally introduces the vocals. The harp returns for some extended, dreamy sounding stuff. “Men & Women” is next, more dissonant stuff that ambles along to a slow to mid-tempo groove and ethereal guitar.

“Gary Burton’s ex-Guitar Player Stole My High School Girl” follows, a heady instrumental fronted by acoustic guitar and an overall heady feeling. “Houdini” changes things up with breathy vocals and a nice electric guitar lead. The album concludes with “What’s Wrong With Me?” This one’s a song that the vocals search for what is wrong with the vocalist. Striving to find himself after likening to being hit by a falling tree, we get another heady cut with interesting guitar lead and soloing.

This album is not something to sit down to listen and chill with. The album presents wild, imaginative themes and images that take the listener on a sometimes disturbing and always interesting journey. Heavy and heady rock with blues overtones and full of psychedelia, the album permeates with strong feelings of sadness and fear. It’s interesting for sure, and if you are looking for something all original and quite different then this may be for you. It’s well crafted and full of distorted images and music that give the listener a ride through the band’s nightmares.

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