Beex / L’Amour split LP

Two bands with a shared member and shared sensibilities. BEEX plays slightly rocked-up, boilerplate blues. Thankfully we’re spared lengthy guitar solos. L’AMOUR delivers more of the same with a RAMONES-y, MÖTORHEAD-y tilt. The sound on this LP is pro enough, though I suspect poorer quality would’ve been suitable, too. The soundtrack to a perfectly crappy bar.

Beex The Early Years: 1979–1982 LP

As its title implies, this LP is a collection of ten early tracks from foundational Richmond punks BEEX, who formed in ’77 and have existed in various states of activity since then, even after original vocalist Christine Gibson passed away in 2007 following a fight with cancer. The group’s first two singles are already established KBD/Bloodstains classics (US division) and they’re presented in full here, along with some previously unreleased and equally killer studio material from those recording sessions, which is honestly the real sell. Gibson’s voice was BEEX’s secret weapon, a slightly raspy melodic snarl that gave some much-needed color to the band’s otherwise fairly straightforward late ’70s approach—”(My Heart Goes) Beat Beat” wanders along the tougher outer edges of power pop (think the SHIVVERS if they’d carried switchblades in their back pockets), the fiery “He Obliterates Me” sounds like a more rock’n’roll, CBGB-spawned version of the AVENGERS, and her increasingly desperate wails in “Guyana” push it beyond dozens of the era’s similarly inspired punk responses to the Jonestown massacre. A worthy history lesson, so study up. 

Beex Butch / Empty House 7″

Good second pop-punk effort from BEEX. “Butch” is a snazzy uptempo song featuring female lead vocals, one heavy guitar, one folk-rock guitar, and a nice overall drive. The flip is a more conventional rocker. The guitar interaction is what catches your ear; the gross cover catches your eye.