In keeping with the spirit of Christmas, have a gift. Hailing from Florida, the jolly guitar jams of stoner rock outfit Koncrete Kite are some of the merriest rock tunes you'll hear this or any season. Hell, just look at the title. The Joy of Bee Stings (despite finding the fun in something that usually hurts, i.e. bee stings) is also the Kite's third album, and its a keeper. Twangy stoner rock is mixed with an overall sense of "devil-may-care" fun and witting lyricism. To top it off, the vocals really stand out in a folksy kind of way, and the band's acidic, plodding riffs are surprisingly meaty.
Opener "Wish You" is pure stoner rock. Being a fan of the genre, this is like Nirvana for me. Sinking into a pattern of dirty rock treads, the song at one point shifts into soaring rock balladry that would make Soundgarden grin.
"DeNiro" begins with a folk strum or two laced with ominous rumbling; it's soon apparent what that rumbling actually is as the song blasts out driving rock riffs and a fitting, albeit hilarious tribute to good old Raging Bull himself, Robert DeNiro. The tongue-in-cheek sunny day stoner jam of "Employee of the Week" is twinkling pop rock that still exists in a haze of stoned garage mechanics, and follow-up track "Sunflower" sounds like a Southern jam band song.
Album highlight "Mojo" is pummeling stoner rock that could start a decent push mosh. The Skynyrd worship of the insanely catchy souther rocker that is "Horseshoe Hand Grenade" is pretty dead on. "The Mourning After" is a real twist; the typically chipper band throws a curveball with this mature, melancholic soft rocker. Oddly moving, and definitely stand-out, it is another fine song.
"Ecstatic Fanatic" starts out with some (believe it or not) vaguely Middle-Eastern tones before kicking ass with some good old Southern rawk! "Punch Bug Blue" is transparent, spacey rock that drifts upward in awesomely swirling eddies towards an unfeeling sun.
"Soul Junkie" is drenched in garage rock feedback, and this mid-tempo barnstormer will get stuck in your head for days. "Moody Two Shoes" is jamming folk rock with an undertone of harder, buzzing guitars. The closing track, "Hang Your Halo" is a lighter-lifting track of intricate fingerpicking and "aww-shucks" folk rock alternated with shuffling stoner headbanging. Bloody fantastic. Funny, sad, and downright rocking, Koncrete Kite have obviously grown a lot as artists in comparison with their two earlier albums (which for the record were pretty damn entertaining as well). Eclectic and diverse, The Joy of Bee Stings has something for every one; rock ballads, stoner stompers, folksy whimsy, and a country jamboree or two. So, the next time someone is being a jerk and tells you to fly a kite, laugh at them and go to your nearest rock supplier for this solid slice of music from Koncrete Kite. The joke's on them!
1. Wish You
3. Employee of the Week
6. Horseshoe Hand Grenade
7. The Mourning After
8. Ecstatic Fanatic
9. Punch Bug Blue
10. Soul Junkie
11. Moody Two Shoes
12. Hang Your Halo