Nothing short of cute little guitar-thrashing ditties, the fourteen tracks that make up Me and the Bees’ new album, Menos Mal, certainly move us from the grim rawness of Winter to a lazy summer’s afternoon. With clear influences such as Belle & Sebastian and The Shins, as well as Beck and the darker Pixies, Me and the Bees have culminated an album that will uplift your spirits with their sharp rupture of beaming, lo-fi pop songs.
Originally a duo, the band, named after a track by The Softies, first gained media attention back in 2008 when they uploaded two videos onto MySpace. Nueva Vulcano’s Artur Estrada convinced them to play a showcase, which lead to a signing to La Castanya. Me and the Bees went on to release debut album Fuerza Bien and sophomore Mundo Fatal to much critical acclaim. Raised on a musical diet of charming 60’s girl-pop and seminal 90’s indie rock greats, they can now knock up great melodies fused with talented song-writing themselves. Their new album, Menos Mal (En: Goodness), is due 7th April 2017 on La Castanya. Esther Margarit (bass, vocals), Verónica Alonso (drums, vocals) and Carlos Leoz (guitar, vocals), enlisted regular collaborator Guille Caballero (Els Surfing Sirles, Joan Colomo) to join them on keys. It was recorded in 2015 at Cal Pau Recordings Studio and is long anticipated.
Overflowing with twee sanguinity, their songs, which often depict the simple observations of the mundane everyday, have an infectious quality; the jaunty guitar riffs and summer vibe fuel your soul. If You has a delicate, naïve tenderness whilst the initial track, Spinnin’, is a prime example of their twee sound, with somewhat nasal vocals evocative of the summer. Inés Martínez de Albornoz (Las Perras del Infireno, La Célula Durmiente) lends a hand with backing vocals for this track. Tracks like Feel Good and The Only One are beautifully guitar-led tracks that revert you back to your care-free twenties when responsibilities were lessened. Los Junquera takes me back further to when a band called Sonic Youth were doing the circuits. However, it is not lacking the upbeat Vitamin D-induced vibe. Clearly influenced by the bands of that era, Pixies’ sounding Pink, has a riff that is immediately reminiscent of Where Is My Mind, the track that concludes David Fincher’s film, Fight Club. It’s a great track, however, which this album is no shortage of. It just appears that there are frequently head nods to those that influence and many obvious references.
Menos Mal is released today by La Castanya.