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
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.