Imagine gulping down what looks like a glass of apple juice only to discover it's whiskey. Expecting sweet and smooth, you get harsh and biting, with a kick. It's a little like listening to this excellent sophomore effort from the London-based, American-led band Voice of the Beehive.
The music is as inviting as honey, thanks to the sweet harmonizing of sister songwriters Tracey and Melissa Belland. They sound a smidge like the second coming of Jackie DeShannon, thanks in part to the catchy pop rock they sing. Every one of the record's 10 tunes sounds dreamy and Top 40 friendly—until you listen to what the Bellands are actually saying.
Lyricist Tracey has a very unsentimental take on love. Consider "I'm Shooting Cupid," addressed to the little guy with the bow and arrow, where the sisters complain that "You've gone and made me want someone I can never have/ And don't think I don't hear you laughing."
The world the Bellands sing about is a chilly one where men are users and women either put up with it or go home alone. Think of Voice of the Beehive as a kind of Go-Gos with postfeminist lyrics. (London)