She Keeps Bees - Dig On
- Jul 26, 2011
She Keeps Bees. Immediate thoughts? Rubbish name, probably going to sound much too quirky and likely to be on the eye-gouging side of boring. However, the result is surprisingly acceptable. Nobody thought a band called Arctic Monkeys were going to be any good so maybe we should all remember that the usually reliable method of judging a book by its cover can sometimes let you down.
At times ‘Dig On’ meanders into the territory of dullness, but as a blues-rock album this can of course be put down to cool broody-moroseness. Much of the album recalls The Kills or even slow-tempo Raconteurs which, generally, is a good thing and certainly provides much to build on for future releases.
Jessica Larrabee (hence the name) and drummer Andy LaPlant are certainly being rewarded for persistence. After their meeting in 2005 the pair set about recording their own album, ‘Minisink Hotel’, and even released it themselves. They have since produced another, ‘Nests’, while their third album will be released on the indie label Names Records and administered through Domino.
However, taking heed of She Keeps Bees’ advice and digging a little deeper reveals that since 2005 the band have stuck to the same blues-rock which they have been serving up for six years. The White Stripes have shown that, while it’s good to have roots, it is also necessary to branch out a little and ‘Dig On’ fails to offer any signs of progress.
Despite this, the sparse yet atmospheric creation that Larrabee has developed with LaPlant is a worthwhile listen and you will find that the 12 tracks delivered in 32 minutes are gone before you know it.
‘Found You Out’ rumbles along like a long-lost White Stripes B-side while ‘Blind To The Cup’ is a rare move towards something more relaxed and poppy on the album. There is certainly a lesson contained within on how to use space in music - sometimes not playing your instrument can be far more effective than filling every second with sound.
But, unfortunately, when you start looking for musical lessons in an album you know it has probably fallen down. In the end ‘Dig On’ is far too samey and lacking in the excitement that only certain bands possess, She Keeps Bees may just have to dig a little deeper before they hit gold.