In the fertile terrain of New Zealand’s 1980s post-punk scene, few figures loom as large as the Jefferies brothers. Graeme Jefferies and Peter Jefferies—the primary forces behind This Kind Of Punishment—wrote some of the best music to come out on Flying Nun, Xpressway or elsewhere. A dizzying mix of pastoral ballads and DIY experimentation, TKP’s songwriting was at once classic and acutely raw.
Among This Kind Of Punishment’s myriad recordings, A Beard Of Bees best outlines the collective vision of the Jefferies brothers. Their classic second album feels more meticulous than its predecessor, proffering a grey, near-Mancunian influence that serves as both touchstone and springboard for the proceedings. The unique maneuvering on “Trepidation” is a marvel: guitar sweetness shifting toward melancholic piano and ending with their combined shimmer. Conversely, the augmented VU-inspired noise of “East Meets West” positions itself as the album’s prime moment of severity, creepily building toward horror-show screams that inch to a buried, found-sound resolution.
Originally self-released in 1984, A Beard Of Bees has been out of print for almost 25 years.