Concrete Catalyst

Written by: PP on 01/03/2011 22:14:38

You could argue Beehoover to be anti-The White Stripes without overstepping anyone's boundaries. The White Stripes, as you all should know, were a guitar/drums duo, playing garage-flavored indie rock for the masses. Beehoover, on the contrary, are a duo consisting of just bass and drums, and their introverted, quirky musical approach rather falls into inaccessible experimentalist and avant-garde genres. Instead of a bouncy, distortion-driven dance-ready song like "Seven Nation Army", Beehover have droning stoner passages and distorted groove that would make Kyuss proud.

It's a very minimalistic approach to instrumentation but yet somehow Beehoover fill their soundscapes with thick layers of brooding bass, providing rich layers of desert/stoner rock flavor which is complemented by a very Serj Tankian-sounding vocalist. In fact, in my initial notes you would find a jotted line describing "Concrete Catalyst" as a "S.C.I.E.N.C.E"-era Incubus sleeping with System Of A Down's eastern influences in between a steady relationship with Kyuss, Fu Manchu and the likes, resulting in an experimental avant-garde cocktail. In places, the record sounds very primitive, referencing old school Black Sabbath-oriented doom, and elsewhere the soundscape is filled to its limits with just two instruments. It's intriguing to take note of how Beehoover make so much out of so little, utilizing the full range of different bass tones and distortion, not to even mention the rhythmic pulsations crafted through some innovative drum patterns that give the record much of its texture.

But despite giving a ton of credit for originality and unique approach to songwriting, somewhere along the road Beehover forgot that experimentalism doesn't necessarily equal a good song. A couple of early tracks impress you, but mostly because they sound like System Of A Down more than anything else. The rest is just a little too experimentative in nature to capture the audiences outside of the stoner niché. That doesn't necessarily make "Concrete Catalyst" a bad album as such, but it needs to do more to reach the higher ratings.

Download: Oceanriver
For the fans of: "S.C.I.E.N.C.E" by Incubus, System Of A Down, Clutch, Kyuss
Listen: Myspace

Release date 13.09.2010
Exile On Mainstream Records

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