Persophone’s Bees – Notes from the Underworld

By on Monday, 26th June 2006 at 11:27 am

To be honest with you, when I read that Persophone’s Bees were a gypsy-rock outfit, I was dreading having to review the album. Still scarred by listening to Gogol Bordello’s “Start Wearing Purple”, I was scared to say the least at the prospect of sitting through 45 minutes of Gypsy rock – some shrink somewhere would be making great business out of me! However, I pressed play, ready for the assault my eardrums were going to get – and it never came. Track one came and went, and my ears were still awaiting the aural assault that they were expecting: however, it never came, not once through the 11 tracks.

Front woman Angelina Moysov says that she was influenced by her mother who loved Russian Folk and Gypsy music, her brother’s collection of British and American music and the underground Russian punk and New Wave. All of these genres rear their heads up throughout “Notes from the Underworld” in varying amounts, but it seems to be the melting pot of all genres of music – an amazing effect.

White Stripes style drumming opens up the album on “Way to Your Heart”, before things descend into a polka-style almost humorous refrain asking “Show me the way to your heart”, with the piano providing a moment of lightness over heavy guitars.

“City of Love” utilises lively guitars and drums to give a very upbeat feel to the track, and Moysov’s Eastern European tones can’t help but flow over you and command you to go to “The City of Love with me”. Light, airy and approachable, the track comprises all the feelings of a day out at a British beach: cheesy, yet somehow enjoyable and priceless at any age.

“Nice Day” again is an upbeat song declaring that “I don’t care what they say/on a nice day” combining pop sounds of 1990’s girl bands with Eastern European sounds. Next track, “Muzika Dyla Fil’ma” appears to be Russian, and sounds one of the most traditional tracks on the album, but still adds a contemporary feel with the electric guitars and drums.

“Walk To The Moon” is a nice dreamy number, relaxing, with back-up sounding like a choir of angels perched on their own clouds, mellow and perfect for those days in the sun, or for drifting off to sleep.

Closer “Home” features a gentle harp-like sound with the gentle, vulnerable sounds of Moysov building an intricate, dream-like sound that builds up into a full electric epic, reminiscent of the some angsty Nirvana.

Overall, a strong debut: innovative, different and original. Angelina Moysov appears to have created a completely original band that will appeal to a wide variety of people.

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