BEEX: The Early Years 1979-82: LP

Top-tier slept-on shit from Richmond, Va., in the era when punk was a poetic art student thing. Beex played dark and catchy clean-guitar punk with a singer named Christine Gibson whose ominous croon splits the difference between Patti Smith and Exene Cervenka. This record’s got a gatefold cover and a recording session from ’79 on one side and ’82 on the flip—eight songs total, including “Butch” which is on Bloodstains Across Virginia and has been stuck in my head for weeks. By ’82, the band had added guitarist Tom Applegate from another OG Richmond punk band called L’Amour (who also have a tasty reissue on Beach Impediment), and he brought some of his old band’s speedy rock’n’roll bounce along with him. I wish more people got to hear Beex, because they would love them. Now I’m fighting off the urge to say that this band would be as well-loved as the Dead Boys or X if they were from a bigger city because that’s a snub to Richmond, which has been a punk mecca for decades. And there’s something very Richmond about the nihilism in these songs about suicide cults, vicious dogs, and absentee dads. It feels more like Oregon Hill than the Lower East Side, anyway. Get this record and find out where it started. –Chris Terry (Beach Impediment, beachimpedimentrecords.bigcartel.com)