Music News

Beehive and the Barracudas

Throwing an equal ratio of temper tantrums to doomsday confetti, this rotating eight-piece from San Diego -- featuring members of Red Aunts, Hot Snakes, the Screws, the PeeChees and Rocket From the Crypt -- mistreats vintage gear in the name of fun and toxicity, fox-core gyrations and simple, unadorned garage rock (what the band terms "plastic soul abuse"). Frenetic opener "Black Dove" charges out of the gates with dirty guitars and twittering synths ablaze, setting the table for the band's uniquely primitive and swamp-infested sound -- one that the accompanying liner notes describe as "an interpretation of the US in demise."

However, the thirteen cuts spend more time wallowing in romantic self-loathing than sticking it to the system. Lyrically committed to random acts of violence ("Whip Out My Pistol") and apocalyptic dry-humping ("Up in Flames"), the outfit saves its most puerile political insight for "Scat Noir Thriller": "Christians, Muslims and Jews/Somebody give me a clue/Sluts, hustlers and cops/That keep rippin' you off/(It's a) 21st Century crusade/There ain't no way out/Blood money and crime/Fashion plates and lies/They're ruining this place/And twisting tightly our love/Into a scat noir thriller!"

Boasting a playful boy/girl trashy aesthetic that recalls the Cramps or any other cynical crew of horndogs from the '80s-era New York scene, the 'cudas turn jarring chord progressions, sloppy drumming, detached backing vocals and grooving organs into a fresh recipe for pogo power. It's simple, stupid, direct and raw -- but all the more entertaining because of it.