Earth is a band that gets tagged with a lot of descriptions and genres that do not really apply to its current sound. I am constantly reading their music being described as “stoner rock” or “doom metal”, which do accurately describe the bands style from many years ago. In more recent times, the band’s sound has moved to a more ambient, old west styling, which is the case on the recent album, “The Bees Made Honey in the Lion’s Skull”.
This album does not quite fall into any sort of true ambient territory, as there are very solid and noticeable musical progressions. This almost seems more like movie soundtrack work than true ambient or background music. The bulk of it is filled with really dense and highly styled guitar washes that invoke a very serious “Wild West” atmosphere. I can’t really compare it to Ennio Moriccone’s western soundtracks as the music is very different. However, I think “The Bees Made Honey…” could be substituted and used as a soundtrack to many of the great Leone westerns. With Earth’s Bees Made Honey In The Lions Skull, instead of lush orchestrations, you have almost a rock sensibility that could be coming from a lone cowboy traveling alone in the desert. Although, this cowboy happens to be carrying around some impressive guitar amps. The sound is not epic in scope, but rather more introspective.
Personally, I look forward to taking a trip out west, and playing this while going through the desert. I would recommend this to anyone who enjoys the scarce few examples of “western ambient” like A Small, Good Thing or Steve Roach and Roger King’s “Dust to Dust”. It might also work for people who are really into western movie soundtracks of any type, particularly the recent soundtrack work by Nick Cave and Warren Ellis for movies like “The Proposition” or “The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford”.