When the world ends with the fiery explosion of the sun and lava
fire-working out of all the earth’s crevices, most of humanity will be
freaking the fuck out and dousing themselves with their own urine. Ruby
Jean and the Thoughtful Bees fans, however, will just be like “meh.”
Ruby Jean shows are ground-poundingly ecstatic. Rebekah Higgs,
the first horsewoman of the apocalypse, throws herself both
figuratively and literally into the seething, sweating, dancing masses
before her. The bruises she incurs while crowd surfing, moshing and
hurling herself unto the audience are unfelt until she wakes up calm
and hung-over in Rebekah Higgs’ bed, remembering little of Ruby Jean
until she sees a Youtube video of herself doing seven costume changes
and pouring a bottle of champagne into a guy’s mouth from the stage.
Though a force of blonde and loud, Higgs alone is not a plague of
killer bees. Providing the flaming guitar licks from hell is the gold
spandex clad, red sequin-sporting stallion of doom known as Jason
Vautour. Alternate tunings and ear bending pedals turn this guy’s
guitar into a bass when necessary and turn his hooks into the type that
lodge into your face and rip your cheek clean off.
The hooded master, the song-crafter in black leather is Colin
Crowell. This guy hangs back on stage, keeping the machine tight,
basking in the insane blips, beats and bass that he composes and
records back at his bat cave. It is these that inspire Vautour’s guitar
and Higgs’ warped voice-as-instrument layerings.
Holding it all together with a grin is the devilishly handsome Mike
Belyea. His beatings alter the magnetic electro mess that is the
Thoughtful Bees. With impeccable timing and monstrous force he fills
the room with the most primal of all noises: the rib cage rattling of
real live drums.
The audacity of their live presence won the Bees some damned
impressive shows and festivals before they even released their 2009
eponymous album. They’ve opened for Dragonette, Kid Koala,
Thunderheist, and they recently tore the UK a new one on a trip there
to play The Great Escape in Brighton.
The album, which Crowell meticulously recorded, mixed and
mastered over nine months, has received rave international reviews and
a hell of a lot of “fuck yeahs” from listeners. The first one thousand
CDs come in limited edition, entirely hand crafted and silk screened
cases, by artists Chris Foster and Laura Dawe.
"Dance-y to a thoroughly sweaty and satisfying extent, RJATTB is the
thing that Gloria Estefan was warning you about when she sang the
"rhythm is gonna get you," and the Maritimes' high-energy answer to the
dance-rock movement that seems to be sweeping the nation. Pulsating,
nasty, punky, groovy — RJATTB is all of these things and more, a
confident, smirking monster of a good time that seems destined to take
the country by storm."
- Dave Jaffer, Montreal Hour
"One of the up-and-coming electro bands to watch for in ’09 has to
be Halifax’s Ruby Jean & The Thoughtful Bees. Ruby Jean (actually
Rebekah Higgs) is a divine disco mistress at the mic — her swooning
vocals dip between bouncing, dancey-dance sweetness and distant,
ambient purrs. The beats are hard, fast, and bleepy, and you can
certainly hear MSTRKRFT and Daft Punk all over the hooks on "Danse
Danse Resolution" (the standout on the album) and "Trustfund." The
quirky synths and dark, deep guitar are irresistibly danceable.
Dorky as it may be, I like to test out an album's danceability by
throwing it on while housecleaning, and these tracks will have you
literally crawling on the kitchen counter to get to that pesky dust
above the cabinets — that’s how catchy the beats are. “Girls You Love”
had me scraping behind the fridge, for God’s sake. Should these Bees
decide to swing westward in the new year, you’d be an idiot to miss
- Fawnda Mithrush, See Magazine
I'm a sucker for dirty electro, and this shit is good. A Halifax
super-group featuring Rebekah Higgs, Colin Crowell, Jason Vautour and
Sean MacGillivray, Ruby Jean & the Thoughtful Bees is exactly the
kind of stuff I would like to listen to on a Saturday night with
someone’s tongue in my ear. I’m also a sucker for great packaging, and
the hand-screened art ... featuring a suitcase, instruments and
portraits of the band members all in stunning gold on black throughout,
is totally awesome"
- Bryan Saunders, Vue Weekly