August 25, 2004


The new Q and Not U is exactly what you want it to be , but gives it to you with a fierce dance-floor-clap backhand, really.

It's an album for the dancing people yet is not lowest common denominator, and does not ride the DFA line (Disco Express) out to Coney Island. It's been three summers since The Rapture felt like a heaven revelation, so technically, by looking at the calendar and the record store wall with the new Avenue D 12"s on it, examinging our coffin nails, we know - yes Punk disco is "played- out", but dance music is always good, and this is dance music , and this record has real beat and real politics - and unlike our buddies at radio4 and Le Tigre-land, QANU tries something new and delivering like UPS.

(Q and Not U is the white horse, and does the (white) pony. )

The beat drops right away on "Wonderful People" and then will not be sated, and I'm all "ya man, go all night, I'm down". When C. Richards sings in the Morris Day punksetto, then peels out into this girl from Deerhoof/Guy Piccotto shuddering and stuttering breathy high tone squeal, it's a totally bananas. Then they go on making like a two-chord Joe Jackson party band - singing about diamond mines and current administration, with someone making this Sea-world squirty animal harmony in the background - really 3-d on the party band tip. They are absolutely dedicated and realizing the party band fun, without the party band slop.

ALSO - IT'S A PUNK ALBUM WHERE THEY REALLY JUST PUT THE FOCUS ON SINGING. Can you believe it? I mean, it's a firstm unless you want to throw the first That Dog album in for good measure - but lets leave the early nineties out of this. So much SINGING!

Q and Not U used to sound like a band that was 43% mostly just a good ideas up the pike. You could hear intent and principal, but they did not have the party stomp down on record, just like, live they were trying to pass on the emo chiascuro, and would come on like Lungfish love songs doing Donna Summer, which was wonderful, but really like, the grueling side of music puberty - it was like 'well, yeah, they'll be really hot once they get those braces off their teeth"...

Now, we got the summertime 808-style pound-out made on a real woodblock on track eight (I'm not getting up to check). Harris Klahr has a voice like a police state - ominous and depressing. He's totally the woodwinds, Chris is the sweeping strings. Not to play faves, but Chris is my favorite. Harris Klahr sounds like the name of a table you buy at Ikea.

(Plus, on this album, you get "Book of Flags" again, re-recorded with a new breakdown and toms that sound like enourmous plastic buckets, which was last years hot dose single (is that Ian MacKaye we spy on backups?) - plus it's poemic and polemic. I like it best when Chris yells " I knocked your system up / I drank your system down / I'm showing symptoms / I fucked your system / Now, I'm pregnant with the whole damn town!" - for good measure, get the single, for party play.)

Posted by Jessica at August 25, 2004 07:12 PM | TrackBack