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  No Kill No Beep Beep  
  Q And Not U  
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Q And Not U are a quirky contemporary band from Washington, DC. Which is odd because their sound reminds me of a number of wierdo early 80's post-punk bands. Sound comparisons can be made with The Jean-Paul Sartre Experience, Richard Hell and The Voidoids, Magazine, etc.

This is a good thing in my book.

On the whole, it's an interesting album. The music moves along at an insistent pace from the drumming and bass, while guitars whine and screech. There are hand-claps used as percussion. Vocals are generally buried in the mix, and are there, but not generally noticable.

Well, there are some exceptions to that. On Hoorary For Humans the vocals grab my attention, and i hate it. The line that annoys me is: "Tired of waking up / With a new haircut / So it's no scissors in bed / No scissors in bed". It occurs in the middle of the song, and for some reason that inane line wanders around in my head for days. It drives me crazy. CRAZY! For my own sake, i can't listen to that track.

Then the next track, Kiss Distinctly American, starts off as a nice dirge of mellow chiming guitars and brushed cymbals before exploding slowly in a wall of guitar sound. But the first line is "Lights out for Catholic computers". What does that mean? Is the song encouraging the destruction of the power grid at The Vatican? Because the words occur at low tide in the guitar wash they are imbued with extra meaning. Because the music is unusally quiet, the lyrics seem poignant.

They also sound forced. As if the band really wanted to be poetic, so they created lyrics full of the juxtaposition of strange images in the wordplay. In general the lyrics are kinda dorky. Like someone trying to write in the style of Pete Shelley, and not quite succeeding.

And that, i suppose is my whole criticism of this album. The lyrics, when you pay attention to them, sound forced and ridiculous. When i saw Q And Not U in concert, i couldn't hear the vocals at all through the guitar noise. So i didn't notice them at all, instead focusing on the music.

And the music is great. Several tracks really move along nicely. We Heart Our Hive starts with a high hat beat and staccato guitar riffs. (When i hear it, i always think that it is Lovecats by The Cure.) The More I Get The More I Want sounds like some lost Voidoids classic, complete with "Richard Hell as junkie" song title.

Those songs area great because the lyrics are lost in the general mix of the song. And that's the real secret to this band: music great, lyrics bad.

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