Tuesday, January 8, 2013

The Bees "Voices Green and Purple" b/w "Trip To New Orleans"

[GUEST REVIEW BY GENTLEMAN JOHN BATTLES] (UT Records) The definitive Garage Punk/Psych classic. Hilarious and horrifying at the same time, the original single is on the Top 10 most rare (and covetous) Garage 45  list. It's turned up several times, most notably on "Pebbles 3: The Acid Gallery"  and The Nuggets Box Set, but this is the first-ever, authorized reissue of a record that barely got out of the starting gate at the time, but has done so much damage, ever since. The actual identity of The Bees was only discovered fairly recently. The group centered around Robbie Wood, lead singer, bassist and even lap steel guitarist (making him, along with now-labelmates, The Misunderstood's Glen Campbell, one of an elite few). His story is told in the new Ugly Things. Of course, guitarist Gary Briggs is the first thing you hear, emitting an edgy opening line that builds up into an eddy of crunching, fractured rhythm guitar, with drummer Al Singer adding to and becoming part of that very same chaos, comparable to "The Cruel Sea" by The Ventures, that is, if The Cramps had ever chosen to use it as a model for a song.  Robbie Wood's vocals, to me, always sounded like a transmission from The Batcave, like Burt Ward doing a descriptive narrative that goes horribly awry, like Batgirl had just kissed him, not knowing her lipstick contained traces of LSD. "Well, those voices finally died out on me. It's the last of that UFO stuff...It KILLS me!!!"  Wood maintains that he was merely trying to replicate the horrors of a bad trip, when he had never experimented with hallucinogens, himself. That's the beauty part of it, he REALLY puts himself into the song, and the situation it  portrays "Voices Green and Purple, THEY'LL GET YOU, SOMEHOW!!!!!!! NO!!! NO!!!! PLEEEEAASE!!!!!!" OK, if you're already a fan of the song, you know all that, But, this UT exclusive was personally remastered by Wood himself, for maximum listening pleasure, and pressed on heavy vinyl, and...as sure as my name ISN’T Boris Karloff, this is going to be A THRILLER!!!  "WAAAAAAAUUUUUGGGHHHHHH!!!!! NO! THEY'RE ON THE WALLS!! ON THE CEILING!!!!” Also, for the first time that I know of, this release contains the flip to "Voices,” called "Trip To New Orleans," which reads like a pretty solid Texas Blues shuffle number, with jangly guitar, plenty of tuff vocal bravado and cool harmonica, but with no Psych overtones. You won't miss 'em, if you just good music. The insane original cover artwork, which looks like a Punk flyer from the late 70's to early 80's, is worth the price of admission, alone. The story behind THAT is all revealed in the Ugly Things interview...Words fail me. I'm spent. 


  1. Just heard it on WFMU. Great stuff!

  2. Very nice. Always liek the station and the record show when I'm in NYC..Thanks for the comment.