National Beekeepers Society - Pawn Shop Etiquette Release Date: August 2008
Record Label: Unsigned
National Beekeepers Society is one of the few bands whose Myspace blog will get a few chuckles out of you, instead of the usual unreasonable expectations and false promises. An unsigned band who call Madison, Wisconsin home, they are already two full-lengths deep, having released their sophomore album Pawn Shop Etiquette just last year. The band very clearly has a sense of humor, but do they have the musical chops to keep an album afloat?
How Is It?
With an undeniable Pavement influence seeping through the better moments on Pawn Shop, the Beekeepers were able to make an album all-at-once socially commentative while still, for the most part, wholly entertaining. Though, when they aren't attempting to criticize the already over-criticized (celebrity vanity in "Look at Me" and suburia in "Suburbanite") you'll find yourself listenining more to what they have to say. It's not as if "Look at Me" and the latter are bad songs, it is just that such topics normally conflict with the artistic integrity of an album when the critique is much too blunt for its own good. I mean, do we really need more "scene" vitriol so naive and misdirected as that of "So Hard Core?" It's a good idea on paper to make fun of "tight pants", but when the song is one of the worst on the album -- no one is going to be listening. When a message isn't being shoved down your throat, the acoustic strums and guitar shimmers of "Fall of Rome" and guitar-piano hammers of "Given In" will taste all the sweeter.
Recommended If You Like: Pavement, Black Lips, bitching about tight pants Top Songs: "Lazy", "Given In", "Fall of Rome"