May 21, 2024

Me and the Bees – Menos Mal is a summery sweet garage indie sixties throw-back and I love it

LA CASTANYA RECORDS            7th April, 2007

Reasons to love this record are many:

It sounds like it was recorded in a garage in the sixties.

It has a rinky-tink organ.

It carries the slacker gene.

It is true to the indie spirit and never gets above itself

It has a slack of nice little pop tunes.

It packs fifteen songs into half an hour and none of them outstay their welcome.

Fusing a love for sixties girl bands with a passion for nineties indie and sieving the result through a cultural mesh, this Spanish band have a charming set. It is perfectly rough round the edges and is as polished a piece of nearly-outsider art that you could ask for. I hear flavours of The Undertones, The Lemonheads, Teenage Fanclub, Jesus & Mary Chain and The Monkees, as well as, of course, Nuggets.

The album title is nicely understated – roughly translating as “at least” as in “at least it’s not raining”. It captures the spirit of this bag of songs, delivered with no fuss but played with heart. Three albums into their ten-year (so far) career, this is a band grounded in attitude and punching way above the image they’d have you believe. Please don’t be put off by the nationality – songs are in English and delivered with a sing-song charm.

They have been sitting on this for over a year, which is a real shame – something as primal as this should be out there for pure hearts or sooty ones that need cleansing in simple pop. Blessedly simple; the band is a trio and nothing is overblown. A verse and chorus are sung, maybe another. A brief solo might appear or a middle eight and the restatement of the verse. Just enough.

I’m not sure there’s a stand-out track here – I pick a new couple of favourites each pass-through. You, dear listener, could drop in anywhere and you’ll fall in love. As Don Van Vliet sang: “If you’ve got ears, you gotta hear”.

About Author