A Band of Bees


If the Allman Brothers, the Specials and the Beatles sailed around the Caribbean to the Isle of Wight in the era of ’70s horns and R&B, this is what A Band of Bees’ 2007 Octopus would resemble. Infectious, groovy and delivering a tighter performance than 2004’s Free the Bees, the beauty of Octopus lies within the complexity of the vocals and multiple instruments used to create the unique sound. “Who Cares What the Question Is” opens the album, overflowing with Southern guitar stylings and a bouncing piano beat while the Specials’ influences shine through horns and dubs in “Left Foot Stepdown.” “Got to Let Go” sounds like a lost song from the Afro-Cuban All-Stars, and our boys change it up yet again, creating a slick Beatles sound-alike on “Hot One!” They may go by simply the Bees across the sea, but these sea-legged deck-swabbers have created an album with more influences than an Octopus has tentacles. 4 stars