Beesus – The Rise of Beesus (Goodfellas and New Sonic Records)

Genre: Stoner Rock

There’s a song on The Rise of Beesus called Sonic Doom/Stoner Youth, which pretty much sums up this band’s musical approach. Want more detail? Well you’ll find plenty of early Sub Pop influences, oodles of fuzz, Melvins-esque rumblings and slo-mo dirges that bring to mind an embryonic Nirvana.

So it should work, right? Unfortunately this Rome outfit don’t have the songwriting nous to pull it off, and Touis’ strained vocals, while not out of place, lack the character they need to lift songs like Kusa off the floor.

When Beesus pick up speed – 6ft Under Box for instance – they successfully capture the low-slung, desert vibe of Fu Manchu, and they have are some decent riffs up their sleeves too, with Stonerslam unleashing one heavy-ass beast of a guitar lick (albeit after a very peculiar intro).

However, many a song on the quartet’s debut peters out after a promising start, descending into a jam room haze rather than grabbing you by the scruff of the neck. And frankly, you don’t have to look very hard for a band who can play in this style better than Beesus. Disappointing.