Published June 1996, The Aquarian Weekly

Voice Of The Beehive

Scary kissing

"The whole thing happened rather fast," recalls Voice Of The Beehive singer Missy Belland of her group's rocket ship-like rise to stardom in the wake of 1988's Let It Bee and 1991's Honey Lingers.

"It was difficult to take it all in. One minute we were being touted as 'the next big thing,' " she added in a recent press release promoting the group's long-awaited third release, Sex & Misery (Discovery/Warner Brothers Records), "and the next we were having hit records and sell-out tours. While all this was going on, we (Belland and vocalist/sister/primary songwriter Tracey Bryn) were thinking, 'Damn, this is better than waitressing!' It took us completely by surprise."

Once described as, " astronauts' wives on acid modeling this year's Bavarian transvestite chic" - the London-based buzz created by the transplanted California natives was immediate and the group's singles, "Just A City," "Walk The Earth," "Don't Call Me Baby," "I Say Nothing," "Monsters & Angels" and "I Think I Love You," seemed to indicate the beginning of a long, fruitful, chart-topping career.

"Just as everything seemed to be going right for us, it all started to fall apart," said Tracey of the break up of her band (which included former Madness members Daniel Woodgate and Mark Bedford) following a tour that featured live sex, Russ Meyer videos, free condoms and "acres of bare flesh."

"Our relationships collapsed, several close friends died and a six-year team-up with the band ended as the members started splintering off. It was awful," she added. "We almost packed it in. We certainly weren't in a fit state to make another record."

"The last four years have been no picnic," Tracey said of the time spent writing songs (including "Blue In Paradise," with XTC's Andy Partridge), relocating to America, searching for a new label and preparing for the reemergence of Voice Of The Beehive.

"We've seen the dark side - and the new album is more insightful as a result," remarked Missy. "The bad experiences of the last four years came out in the songwriting."

Named for Tracey's response to, "So, what's the album about?" queries; Sex & Misery was released in April and the Peter (Annie Lennox, Sophie B. Hawkins) Vatesse-produced disc has already made an impact on the charts thanks to the shimmering, Madonna-esque dance pop of "Scary Kisses" - just one of the many potential chart-toppers that grace Tracey Bryn's and Missy Belland's uncompromising third effort.

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