The Sun Behind the Dustbin

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Back in the mid-'80s, the folks at SST Records -- previously California's premier bastion of loud, fast, hardcore punk -- apparently discovered Black Sabbath and weed, possibly not in that order. So as the Minutemen came to a shocking and final end, and Hüsker Dü launched themselves into a misguided attempt at major-label success, SST transformed seemingly overnight into a label focused primarily on a weird, perpetually stoned blend of sludgy old-school metal and jazz-rock fusion. Most of the bands SST released in the latter half of the '80s are all but forgotten now, even though the more recent wave of stoner rock bands have taken a more accessible version of that sound towards the rock mainstream. But if Beehoover had been around in 1986, it is all but certain that Greg Ginn would have signed them to a multi-album deal pretty much immediately. Beehoover is a two-man operation consisting of bassist and singer Ingmar Petersen and drummer Claus-Peter Hamisch, who are also the rhythm section in the rather more normal doom metal act Voodooshock. Their first full-length album, following the 2005 EP A Mirror Is a Window's End, is an often deeply odd blend of stoner rock, doom metal, slap-bass funk, and Krautrock-style jazzy improvisations. After the relatively straightforward stoner metal of opening track and first single "Yellow Mile," Petersen and Hamisch seem admirably unwilling to stick with any given style or even rhythm for more than a couple minutes at a time, even on songs that stretch into the nine- to eleven-minutes range. This gives The Sun Behind the Dustbin a whiplash-inducing effect. It's an encouragingly experimental listen, but not necessarily an easy one.

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