Beehive & the Barracudas | Plastic Soul with The White Apes | Swami

I’ve just gotten trashed with a bunch of San Diego punk rock all-stars.

“His next sentence is gonna be ‘Not really,'” you say to yourself. Well, yes, not really. But Beehive & the Barracudas sounds a great deal like a bunch of fairly talented musicians tanked in a garage with an 8-track. The band’s member roster reads like the San Diego listings from the Burgeoning Hipster’s Guide to Namedropping, and that’s just the musicians whose pseudonyms I can decipher. The core trio seems to be Gar Wood (Fishwife, Tanner, touring bassist for Hot Snakes), Kerry Davis (The Red Aunts, The Screws), and Dirty Millsap (Rocket from the Crypt’s semi-official dancing boy), but there’s an ever-shifting cast of backing members, including ND from Rocket and Jason Kourkonis from Delta 72/Hot Snakes.

And – I swear that I’m done after this one – it’s on John “Speedo” Reis’ label.

Further adding to the sneaking-forties-in-mom’s-backyard vibe is the sheer rawness of the recording. The music transcends mere lo-fi, displaying a sloppiness that belies the actual tightness of the songwriting. The musicians swap lead vocals at will – sometimes even in the middle of a song – and guitar leads or organ breaks have a tendency to leap out of the woodwork. Most of the tracks even begin with a brief burst of the musicians jabbering before launching into the song proper.

This isn’t for all ears; the music is far too jerky and garagey for fans of Tanner or Rocket’s punker sides, but Wood’s genius for odd chord progressions may render Plastic Soul inaccessible to straight garage rock fans. But for fans of simple rock with an abrasive edge, Beehive & the Barracudas provides an evening’s worth of revelries in an LP-length package.

Not to mention a century’s worth of cred.