The Bobby Lees - Bellevue

06 Nov 2022 - Thorsten

Noise-Rock, Soul, Hardcore Punk | Ipecac Recordings | Release date: 07 Oct 2022 | Favorite song: Monkey Mind

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Raising kids can be a challenge, right? Especially difficult for us music nerds is that moment when our music is not automatically the stuff they want to listen to. At the moment one of the fave acts of my daughter is called Little Mix and this week’s fave track is called ”No” - don’t ask about my opinion about it. But today was a wonderful day because I set a melody into her head and she can’t get it out again - ”Monkey Mind” by The Bobby Lees. Wonderful!

And whatever happened during the most important phases of singer and guitarist Sam Quartin, musically her upbringing must have been first class with parents that might have instilled a thirst for (Hardcore) Punk, Rriot Girl rock, some Noise and Soul. “Soul?!”. Yes, Soul! I am not joking about that. Just listen to her performance on ”Strange Days” and you will understand my exclamation mark! The way her voice is dancing around the piano-and-bass-melody is something out of every Northern Soul-fan’s wet dream, because it is precise and on point and never over the top the way some Soul divas tend to do it (yeah, I am looking at you Mariah!) And the beginning of ”Little Table” has that enchanting shuffle beat with her voice slowly pulling your ears closer before she then pulls on your hair and takes control of how you will experience the outbursts of 60s psych-keys, swiftly swirling guitars and much more.

But how can it be punk at the same time, you ask? Well, not in the same song, but when you listen to the beginning of ”Dig Your Hips” and do not hear parallels to some Violent Femmes’ ”Blister in the Sun” you might be pronounced clinically dead. And how much more punk can it get than basically stealing a bass line from Grieg’s ”In The Hall of the Mountain King”? Well, listen to the line of ”In Low”!

Basically, Bellevue is one of these surprise records with all killer, no filler. Only with the problem, that this is not the band’s first record, so one cannot be surprised unless only having taken notice of their magical, explosive concoction with this record. The quartet from Woodstock (YES THE Woodstock – the real place not Bethlehem, where the festival took place!) has already release two full-lengths and a single before signing to Ipecac which might have been the best place for them to release their music, as they have been quite rowdy, noisy and off-the-cuffs this year with Dead Cross’ II and Bunuel’s Killers Like Us, just to name a few.

When Sam creates these swirling riffs that sound straight outta American Hardcore and then scream-sings like a female version of Jello Biafra being crossed with Boss Hog’s Cristina Martinez one can understand why this band will soon become the darling of every Noise-Rock fan because she just simply knows what how to put the right note onto every single twist these thirteen quick hitters will take in just a little over half an hour! (Talk about a quick record!) One can hear the urgency in her voice which is maybe also a result of her former insecurities not knowing where to fit in. Luckily she found this band, this music and her instrument. She’s a perfect fit!

Oh, you were still wondering, why I like the fact that my daughter’s earworm is ”Monkey Mind”? Simply put – it will be very, very high on my SOTY list and also because it’s a perfect, nearly vaudevillian performance playing with every genre from Latin Pop (vocals) to Prog (breaks) and last but not least, because there could be much worse role models than a self-empowered Sam Quartin! And now everybody: </i>”Monkey mind! / It’s just my mon…key mind! / Monkey Mind! / It’s just my mon…key mind!”</i>