Italian garage-rock trio Bee Bee Sea have released their new album ‘Day Ripper’ via Wild Honey Records. To celebrate, the band have shared the video for the album’s title track. Directed by Elia, the video is like a Spaghetti Western rave, filmed in the countryside during a hot Italian summer.
A record with greater edge and tension than its two predecessors, and one fuelled by frustration – “ripper” is very much the right word. Written around the tail end of 2018 and early 2019, it was created the way all their music is; through jamming, playing around with pedals, and just following the riffs and sounds in their heads. “It’s quite strange the way stuff comes up in your mind,” says Wilson of their process. “It always starts from nothing, when you’re not thinking about music. If you think: ‘Oh, I want to write a song now’, most of the time it’s crap.”
That’s certainly not how you’d describe the ten tracks that form ‘Day Ripper’. From the catchy chug of first single Be Bop Palooza, to the filthy garage punk of Drags Me Down and Telephone, it’s a record that throws you around the room before pinning you up against the wall and screaming in your face. Songs move along like a whirling dervish, all galloping drums and frantic power chords, occasionally hanging on the brink of collapse. Yet such chaos is exactly what makes ‘Day Ripper’ so compelling, and so much fun. Clearly indebted to pop punk as much as classic rock, shortness is a key quality here – only two songs make it past the four-minute mark – the band preferring sharp blasts that punch you in the gut and frazzle your brain (Horst Klubb takes just a little over 90 seconds to make its point). So too is a strong sense of melody and ear-worm choruses; these songs were built for late-night singalongs. And the lyrics are just as powerful as the band’s musical blitzkrieg. “I’m so jaded”, sings Wilson at the start of Gonna Get Me; “Raised inside a maze just like mice” he laments on Daily Jobs. These are anthems of the disenchanted and the forgotten, locked in a dreary cycle of unfulfilling work and impossible dreams. “This is the story of our lives,” says Wilson. “Years of just working and playing in this band. Since leaving university I’ve been working with my father – he has a hosiery factory – and being stuck for so long in a situation I didn’t like gave me the inspiration to do something else. That was music.”
Dream big then. Do what you love. And, above all, fuck everything else. If there’s a message to ‘Day Ripper,’ that’s it. “There’s no big market for this type of music here,” says Wilson. “There are only a few rock & roll bands in Italy. But we want to show that even if you come from a place where nobody cares about music, and there are no other bands playing or shows to see, you can still make good music. The passion that music gives, the drive to do something good – everyone can have it.”
For ten long years Bee Bee Sea have been playing music out of pure love for the art. And here they are, with their best record yet, not just surviving, but thriving – an inspiration to us all. “Nobody gives a shit about what we do, but we’re still doing it, and we’re still playing everywhere”, says Wilson. “I hope ‘Day Ripper’ might inspire those who want to play music, but they’re not in the right place. We’re a rock & roll band, and we always will be.”
Small town ennui. Feeling stuck. Being broke. All of these inform the music of Bee Bee Sea – Wilson Wilson on guitar and vocals, Giacomo Parisio on bass, and Andrea Onofrio on drums – who hail from the small northern Italian town of Castel Goffredo. “When there’s no good shit around you better form a band” runs their motto – and so they did. Sixties classics like the Beatles, The Who, and The Stones formed the bulk of their repertoire as a covers band, and they played in any bar that would have them. “We were into bands,” explains Wilson, “and over time we became more rock, and started to get into punk.” They have since released two albums: the self-titled debut in 2015 and ‘Sonic Boomerang’ in 2017.
Bee Bee Sea have been consistently touring in Europe, the UK and the US, supporting the likes of Thee Oh Sees, Black Lips and IDLES. They also garnered attention for their raucous live set at 2018’s Pickathon Music Festival.