Sunshine Hit Me, A Band of Bees’ 2002 debut, was an anomaly, dropped towards the beginning of a long stretch of same-y, derivative British indie rock. Guitar bands like Supergrass and the Libertines would give way to Razorlight and Franz Ferdinand, while the Bees avoided that whole trajectory; instead, they were a lighter-sounding duo that favored vintage keyboards, tropicália, and a little tasteful funk. Unfortunately, that album’s release got flubbed due to some legal crap having to do with there already being an American band named the Bees, so the record didn’t get much exposure. On 2004’s Free the Bees, which did get a proper major label push, two members became six, and suddenly the Bees better fit the mold of their fellow NME cover boys, dropping any subtlety in favor of cleaner, punchier rock songs. Octopus continues the trend: there are still some psychedelic touches here and there, even a little Spanish singing, but long gone is that first record’s looser spirit that set it apart from the crop.