Beehive & the Barracudas

In Dark Love

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What a weird album of dark and dirty, no wave skronk beamed in from some other dimension. Beehive & the Barracudas are truly unique -- something like Blonde Redhead playing blues with Erase Errata, or perhaps Enon writing soul songs after the apocalypse. In Dark Love could be spare and experimental rock from New York City, 1981, but it's not. The San Diego band has created an even more otherworldly mash of boy and girl vocals, shouts, stomps, grooving organs, and grinding guitars than the no wave originators -- whether with the sassy, stripped-down grit of "Black Dove" or the slinky rock of "Stuck on the Bus." It's sexed-out and in your face in a lusting-for-love way ("Everybody needs action," they proclaim on "Whip Out My Pistol") that makes the Yeah Yeah Yeahs sound conventional. And despite a healthy and rewarding dose of noise, off-kilter rhythms, and lo-fi insanity (take "Up in Flames"), the album is not so inaccessible that these tunes won't have listeners up and dancing some herky-jerky, futuristic moves. In Dark Love simply sounds great, with a garage-immediacy and devil-may-care songwriting style that creates one seriously atmospheric barrage of way-out rock.

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