Beesus – The Rise Of Beesus


The Rise of Beesus starts with an ominous swelling distorted guitar sound accompanied by some eerie chants. They get chased away by the heavy riff and drums kick in to start the song proper and introduce the vocals that imbue a new sense of urgency. The chorus has some pleasing White Album-esque harmonies and a pleasingly effective guitar fill. The last quarter of the song has serves as a big outro with some groovy soloing and the vocals gaining even more urgency, bordering on madness.

It flows into 6ft Under Box with a short drum break, continuing the urgency in rhythm and vocals. It is clear Beesus is not taking us on a journey of complacency, the fuzzy guitars shred any kind of comfort and keep you moving towards the intended destination. Did not feel edged on by a song like this since maybe The Police’s disturbing Mother. The album manages to be very engaging and conveying their intended atmosphere so far.

Stonerslam starts with a groove like a 70s Blaxploitation flick’s theme, rolling into fuzzy heavy riffing. The vocal urgency is unfalteringly present, channeling Arthur Brown and the music keeps edging on.

Waltzer continues in much of the same vein, followed by Kusa slowing down into a Doors-like desert rock vibe, giving the listener a short lull. The dreamy vocals gradually get the familiar descent into desperation, helped by counter harmonies and swelling of the music’s intensity. A key track of the album.

Zenza picks up the pace again, and on the face of it is much more cheerful, with an alt.rock intro and vocal delivery, until halfway it sludges into a slow groove and covers the listener with a heavy blanket of Doom.

Sonic Doom/Stoner Youth continues the themes in a straightforward Stoner track, and not for the first time the tone and intensity is changes totally halfway. Especially if you listen to the whole album in sequence in one sitting these shifts and interludes help to keep the attention and to add layers to the soundscape that the band is trying to build.

A power finish paves the way for the frantic stylings of Mata La Verguenza. This song’s halfway shift brings a very pleasing chorus and a killer solo, it feels like this could have been easily a song on its own.

Beesus In Dope turns up the Doom knobs to 11 again, with a short Psych intermezzo, droning towards a cacophonic climax. …And servers as a coda, with a chaotic riff-driven conclusion to the saga.

My overall impression: Beesus’ play on song structures, solid musicianship and novel approach of fuzzing and psyching up 90s alt.rock vibes makes this a very interesting debut indeed. I thoroughly enjoyed this album and will certainly play it many more times to experience this trip.

My Rating: 85/100

You can follow Beesus here (they are touring right now) and get the album here.

Wishbone Ash live in Leiden January 8th 2016

  • Wishbone Ash Live in Leiden 2016

This was a band I was really looking forward to seeing live, I had managed to miss seeing them on several occasions over the years but this time I got lucky. Wishbone Ash was originally formed in 1969, are renowned for their twin guitar sound and their massive influence on bands like Iron Maiden. The current incarnation revolves around founding member Andy Powell.
Gebr. Nobel in Leiden is a pretty new venue, designed for the maximum convenience of the public making it a very pleasant, if a tad sterile, place to go for a concert.

The band was playing the big hall and that filled up early and nicely in anticipation of the start of the concert. There’s a lot of levels in the hall itself allowing a great view for everyone yet also allowing for a sense of intimacy. There was no supporting band so Wishbone Ash entered the stage promptly half an hour after doors open.

They opened the show with a song from 2007 and one from 2014, showcasing the strength of the newer tunes in front of a receptive audience. After this warm-up Andy quipped that they only recently found out the European shows were billed as Argus shows, so they had to quickly re-master the songs. With a beaming smile he led the band into Time Was, and the start of the Argus portion of the show.

Playing Argus in front of an audience like this must feel like a warm bath for the band, the songs are strong and loved and have a lot of room for individual expression. The pleasure in playing the songs did visibly shine from Andy and certainly bass player Bob Skeat as well. The crowd was an fascinating mix of people being lively in dancing and singing along and some that were just motionlessly staring, enraptured by the tunes pouring into the room.

Sometime World has this start of wistfulness rolling into up-tempo frenzy that works very well live, and it was played flawlessly. The King Will Come has always been one of my favourites and the power of the songs was conveyed very well here. I must say at this point that the acoustics of Gebr. Nobel are really impressive, no matter where you are the sound is excellent, but especially at the front where the sound can be lacking, and people be at the mercy of the band’s monitors, the sound was still very layered and clear.

Warrior was introduced with ‘we have been playing this song for 46 years now’ which solicited a wry smile from Andy and cheers from the crowd. I have always felt ambivalent to this song, felt I should have liked it more than I did, and seeing it live for the first time made it click in a way that the recorded versions (even of live shows) did not, and I got a new appreciation for that song.

Throw Down the Sword is not as large a rock classic as it should be, for me it’s near to the perfect classic rock song and having the boys play it with passion was a treat.

Having finished the Argus album the band wasted no time going to much more contemporary themes, linking Heavy Weather to the changing climate and its gruesome effects. With a quick dip into the original Live Dates’ bluesy Baby What Do You want Me To Do it was back to 2014’s Way Down South, still showcasing that trademark double guitar sound that defines the band.

Soulful 80’s song Open Road was the final song of the regular set. The band came back after a 2-minute break to “play just one more song folks, we’re old” as Andy put it.
Crowd favourite early 70’s track Jailbait was the encore, finishing the show as it started, hard rocking and full of energy.

The band proved very accessible after the show as well, spending ample time mingling with the public in a very relaxed way. This is truly a band that can serve as an example to many in their work ethic, musical ability and respect for their public. A great show from a legendary band.



The Power
Deep Blues
Time Was
Sometime World
Blowing Free
The King Will Come (youtube audience recording)
Leaf and Stream
Throw Down the Sword
Heavy Weather
Baby What You Want Me To Do
Way Down South
Open Road
Jailbait (encore)