Drawn From Bees – The May King and his Paper Crown Review
A young king struggles to retain his crown as he chases the woman he loves and faces the loss of his innocence. It sounds like the work of a high fantasy author, but in fact, it is the plot that runs through The May King and his Paper Crown, the second album from Brisbaneband Drawn From Bees. It’s an unusual theme for a rock concept album, but Brawn From Bees aren’t one to stick to the norm. Despite the thought of a fantasy-themed concept album putting thoughts of an overblown orchestral soundtrack in many listeners’ minds, The May King and his Paper Crown is a solid art rock album that is consistent in its quality. This, in part, is due to the powerful rhythms of drummer Matt Wedmaier driving many of the songs, in particular album opener Eliza and lead single The Ballad of Running Bear. Other highlights are Whistling Bone, with its slow, looming bass line, and No Love, which sees the band put on their best Radiohead impression with electronic beats complimenting the powerful drums and droning vocals from Dan James. While the high-concept narrative does little to enhance the album, The May King and his Paper Crown is a tight, well-crafted record with enough variety to keep the listener engaged.