Release Date: Aug 2, 2011
Record label: Hometapes
Genre(s): Pop/Rock, Alternative/Indie Rock, Alternative Pop/Rock
There’s not a whole lot about Collections of Colonies of Bees out there on the Interwebs. While the band does have a MySpace page, it hasn’t – as of this writing in mid-June of 2011 – been updated in awhile. The band has also eschewed posting a video of a clip from their latest offering Giving on YouTube, preferring to go the route of posting to the lesser known Vimeo.com.
Milwaukee's Collections of Colonies of Bees has been called a side project to Pele, the post-rock band that guitarist Chris Rosenau and drummer Jon Mueller founded in 1997. But those roles look pretty shaky now that Pele is defunct and CCB is still going strong. Founded almost concurrently with Pele, the project began as an outlet to explore folk and bluegrass in a post-rock context, and while its purview quickly expanded, those origins are still vestigial in new album GIVING.
Given Collections of Colonies of Bees' further boost of attention via the Volcano Choir collaboration project with Bon Iver's Justin Vernon, it makes sense that their 2011 release serves almost as an EP sampler as much as a full release; the four songs' instrumental surge is all about big arrangements and epic punch, but with a friendlier feeling than the Godspeed/Mogwai wing. The tracks share a relative brightness and openness that's appealing, not to mention a sense of changing things as they go instead of focusing monolithically -- "Vorm," perhaps the strongest number on balance, embraces this feeling of an exultant jam session the most. Hearing the guitars slip and change before refocusing on something new gives the music a lively, tactile feeling, accentuated by a quick, sudden ending.