The problem with being kooky is that it essentially means you’re irritating. The problem with Sick Bees is that they have moments of brilliance that are followed by absolute bollocks, because they lapse into kooky-ville all too often.
You get the feeling that there was no editing process for The Marina Album, no “Hey-Maybe-We-Shouldn’t-Use-This-Track-After-All” discussion, no effort to make these 13 songs/ outbursts consistent with one another – only an urge to experiment haphazardly and with total disregard for people’s ears. You make certain allowances – for example, although the lyrics are crap all the way through you guess this girl duo is doing it on purpose and that’s the way they wanted it. So you let it go.
But listening to (all 17 minutes!) of this is a frustrating exercise because you just know that Sick Bees would be pretty listenable if only they could focus for long enough. Example: opener “Le Beat O” is, frankly, absolute rubbish, sounding like a child playing with a synthesizer for the first time while a video gets mangled in the VCR in the background. But it goes straight into “Paint My Apartment,” which indulges in the kind of delightful guitar jangle and wistful-then-screamy vocal the Breeders were so fond of on Pod.
And when the jaunty “Parklife”-esque (see: Blur) opening bars of “Rat Traps” chimes in, you think everything’s going to be okay. But then – I’m not even kidding – they sample “Chim Chim Cher-ee” from Mary Poppins even though it requires changing the entire pace of the song to do so. Cor Blimey indeed.
The whole thing is all over the shop, and despite ending on a good note with the shimmy-worthy “God Will Stop Yer Party,” this is altogether a trying task, thrown together and yes, trying too hard to be kooky at the expense of the music.