Beautiful, elegant, classic, and stylish are adjectives often associated with Italy. It is, after all, the birthplace of the Renaissance, which influenced much of modern-day philosophy, architecture, science, and the arts, as masters like Michelangelo, Da Vinci, and Galileo have forever been immortalized. Today, Italy will be linked with the word outrageous, the term psychedelic rock, and the name Bee Bee Sea.
O.K., the trio from the quaint town of Castel Goffredo – which resides between Milan and Venice – will not immediately have their portraits hung in the Uffizi Gallery, but they are doing their part to give their country a whole new identity. Specifically, their sophomore album, Sonic Boomerang, is redefining the Italian landscape with its fun and wacky songs. Even when the tunes are nonsensical or the lyrics are indecipherable, they leave you highly entertained. You will either be pounding a fist in the air, intensely banging your head, playing a vigorous air guitar, or dancing around to every track. Consequently, this crazy trip is one you won’t soon forget.
The album kicks off with two cataclysmic songs. Opener “Sonic Boomerang” is an intense, nerve-racking number that would fit perfectly alongside King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard’s most chaotic numbers. The groovy, hip-shaking “D.I. Why Why Why” is akin to the psychedelic zaniness of the Thee Oh Sees mixed with some good old-fashion, rollicking rhythms a la The Stooges. The guitar work and the hammering rhythms are fantastic.
However, no other song says outrageously weird and wonderful than “This Dog Is The King Of Losers”. The music and melody are contagious, and the energy is off the charts. The lyrics, though, will have you laughing because how often do you hear a band repeating, “Who is the doggy? Who is doggy?” Bee Bee Sea might be making fun of a politician, a woman who broke one of the band member’s hearts, or maybe ourselves for listening to this. If it is the latter, you should not have any regrets because this song is the perfect energizer to start the day. Equally bombastic is “No Fellas”, which echoes Ty Segall’s side project, Fuzz, with its frenetic pace and carnival-like atmosphere.
Not everything on the album is manic. The one-two combination of “I Shouted” and “I Shouted II” are surprisingly melodic affairs with a psych vibe. The former is a jangly, surf-rock tune, and it feels like a summer’s evening spent on a warm beach in the Mediterranean. On the latter, the band slow things down and channel their inner The Growlers to deliver one heck of a stoner-rock tune. This song sounds like the music of California.
Bee Bee Sea also demonstrate they can deliver a dirty psychedelic number a la The Black Lips with “Chum On The Drum”. The lyrics remain humorous, yet somehow “Chum” will be your new favorite word. Meanwhile, the band deliver their “dance track” with “Psycho Babe”. It’s not an EDM tune by any stretch of the imagination. Instead, they take classic ’50s and ’60s rock ‘n roll arrangements and turn up the reverb and the zaniness. It’s a song, as such, made as much for those who love seeing gigs in a dive bar as it is for the patrons of the classic dance halls. Even the lyrics have an old-school vibe, as the band chants, “Baby, you’re driving me crazy.”
These final words might be on the tip of your tongue when the album comes to the end because your head will be spinning in circles. It’s a great ride, however, and there’s only one thing to do in such cases – hit repeat. And who knows, Bee Bee Sea just might be revered like the Italian masters in a few years time. For now, we’ll call them – like we did a few weeks ago – Italy’s answer to King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard. They definitely have the talent to reach the same cult hero status as the great Aussie band.
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