Saturday, November 8, 2008

This Kind of Punishment - A Beard of Bees (1984)

'A Beard of Bees,' an album recorded in various bedrooms, lounges, and halls, belies its four-track origins more fully than its predecessor, the Jefferies brothers' hauntingly stark self-titled debut. Self-released in 1984 on vinyl, reissued on cassette in 1990 by the Xpressway imprint, and finally re-released on CD by the Ajax label in 1993, 'A Beard of Bees' is, in this listener's highly subjective opinion, the finest encapsulation of the quietly transcendent, somber majesty of This Kind of Punishment. A feast of minimalist instrumentation punctuated by the piercing tones of Peter Jefferies' piano, it is an album that enlarges on the artistic scope of its predecessor whilst retaining that album's contained, claustrophobic paranoia; This Kind of Punishment is the sense of desolate beauty that accompanies the passing of a storm. "Trepidation," "Turning to Stone," Chris Matthews' "The Sleepwalker," and "An Open Denial" are all pieces of an exquisitely fractured puzzle; the Jefferies brothers' existential meditations, delivered in Peter Jefferies' subdued, austere vocals, never trade pathos in for sentimentality. It is a cathartic, powerful listening experience and truly a record ahead of its time; this is Graeme and Peter Jefferies' unquestioned masterpiece. - Ariel

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4 comments:

J. said...

Oh boy, at least in my personal NZ-Top 5. Beautiful chamber music. Thanks. Jay

ybf said...

many blessings to you for this blog is filling my life with joy, inching open my soul more more more!

Anonymous said...

Great LP.

Wicky said...

Any chance of getting a re-up?