Open Mind Saturated Brain

Open Mind Saturated Brain

ZEGEMA BEACH RECORDS

Wednesday, 27 May 2015

Q AND NOT U

BandQ AND NOT U
GenresPunk / Rock / Indie Rock / Math Rock / Garage Rock / Post-Hardcore / Alternative / Dance / Synth
Related artistsCorm, The Elusive, Georgie James, Paint Branch and Title Tracks.
CountryWashington, DC USA
Years Active1998-2005
Song: "Soft Pyramids"
Album: "Different Damage"
Year: 2000
Label(s): Self Released / Dischord Records / DeSoto Records
This post's artist is from the April 2015 Mix. This is track #1.
You can download: the May Mix#5 right here or get the new June 2015 Mix#6 here.
For fans ofRiddle Of Steel, Mock Orange, Bloc Party, Alarms & Controls, This Town Needs Guns, Life In Vacuum, Fugazi, American Football and The Mark Inside.

I've spent more than a decade searching for the next Q AND NOT U. I just looked at my empty "for fans of" section and shrugged. Well, I gotta put something. So, yeah. Q AND NOT U were an incredibly talented band from Washington, DC that released three records, two of which were extremely instrumental in my taste of dancey, math rock. I don't necessarily believe that "math rock" is the best term here, but I'm not really sure what else to call it. Their sound is undeniably Q AND NOT U and I find it impossible to confuse them with any other band. If you know of a band that sounds like these fellas please post them in the comments section and put my 10-year fiasco of a search to the grave.

The band's first album boasted two guitar players as opposed to the following two LPs which had one guitarist moving to fill in on the bass. 'No Kill No Beep Beep' is by far my favourite Q AND NOT U album. It gets just the right mixture of unpolished emo and dancey indie rock slathered over 11 tracks of music on the historical Dischord Records label. Released in 2000 it was progressive and nostalgic enough to stick on my playlist weekly for...hmmmm...the rest of my life. Tracks like the classic opener "A Line in the Sand" brings in a sassy, dance vibe a mere 15 seconds in with, "The first time, the second time let's stop this clock from starting. Why won't you ever stop?" The vocals are melodic but spewed forth with both passion and anger. This song also showcases the band's dual vocals with the Fugazi-esque warbling (I'm looking at you, Guy) as the song shifts to a different beat at 1:17 that is catchy as hell. Directly following is "And the Washington Monument (Blinks) Goodnight" that busts outta the gate with awkward, rhythmic and unconventional instrumental interplay that bask along with some sugary, sweet, melodic vocals. Definitely one of the band's best and has more of a chill, swaying vibe. "Fever Sleeves" is pretty good up until 0:44 when the song gets amazing and the guitars start taking a noisy stance using a quickly strummed, high pitched beeping. The chorus kicks in right before the 1:20-mathy-little-rock-jam and again afterwards. "Hooray for Humans" is another swell song that starts out much darker than most Q AND NOT U numbers but picks up the mood quickly and would have to go down as my all time favourite song by the band. The mood created in this track shifts and really pulls you around each turn. Lyrical and vocal standouts include the spelling of the word down with, "D - O - W - N and that's the way we get down!" which is directly followed by, "No scissors in bed. Tired of waking up with a new haircut every morning so there's no scissors in bed." Then the guitars get all crazy again, fuck this record is good. "Little Sparkee" is a cool little ditty that is the screamy song on the record. The secondary vocalist takes center stage here with some strange and jagged vocal patterns as well as voice but it really works to up the sass level. The screamy section runs amok from 1:01-1:20 and are layered over swooning vocals. "Y Plus White Girl" corrals more of those discordant, original and almost confusing guitar riffs that turn out working like charms. At 1:28 more screamy vocals swoop in to drop some aggressive moments before getting back to awkward, dance rock. "Nine Things Everybody Knows" is the last song that really catches my full attention for the full duration as it clocks in at 4:21 which is much longer than most of the tracks here. This is a poppier song that could have possibly broken them into the mainstream, but obviously that didn't happen because this band is just too damn good.

After releasing a demo for their next album 'Different Damage' the band ousted bassist Matt and dropped down to a single guitared 3-piece. In a way I regret this happened because although I love this record their first LP felt stronger, not only in thickness and guitar dueling, but also the energy and songwriting in general are more up my alley. That being said, this LP has some killer songs and the opener "Soft Pyramids" is a prime example of the quirky, indie rock that permeates the album. This song in particular is really soft but the constant drumming and amazing lyrical patterns are downright genius. It doesn't get catchier than the middle of the song when, "Select a color for your checklist. Color for your checklist. Nine, nine, nine. Please pick a color for your checklist. Nine, nine, nine. Nine, nine, nine. Kiss every comma in your checklist. Comma in your checklist. Nine, nine, nine. Nine, nine, nine!" is repeated to the point of aural orgasms. "So Many Animal Calls" is a pounding and writhing number that includes some more aggressive singing and lots of dancey bass parts. "Air Conditions" takes the opposite approach and slows things down to some very basic, almost jungle-like parts and nearly whispered vocals that all culminate with a bass riff at 2:49 that will make each of your butt cheeks wiggle - at least a little bit. "Black Plastic Bag" turns the listener inside-out again as this is the black sheep, the mutated offspring that removes a lot of melody and injects some chaos, tension and more screamy sass. Getting back to the more accessible and Q AND NOT U sound, "When the Lines Go Down" is a great example of the 3-piece kicking it like their previous record but with more focus and experimentation. This is a killer song. Thus concludes my favourites from the album.

And then came "Power". Bleh. Not my thing. It's really dancey to the point of it having some beats and synths which really don't sit well with me...because I'm standing. It's obviously what the band was going for and I guess it is a logical progression but that doesn't mean I have to like it. I've jammed it a few times but I generally just think, "Why in the hell am I listening to this when I could be thoroughly enjoying the first two LPs?" So I listened to my brain and fed it the good stuff instead. It should be mentioned that the demo for their final album, appropriately titled "X-Polynation/Book of Flags" is worth checking out as the two songs lean the closest towards the band's earlier sound and don't suffer from the power pop/dance thing.

Regardless of the final output (which I should mention that some fans adore) Q AND NOT U were way ahead of their time and released two of the most influential punk/rock records I've ever had the pleasure of listening to. Do not skip on this band. T'would be a fucking travesty...you monster.

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DISCOGRAPHY
Click )==>here<==( to download the band's complete LP discography in mp3 form.

2000 - No Kill No Beep Beep cd/12"LP
2000 - Hot and Informed 7"EP (demo) (you got this? post it! thanks <3)

2002 - Different Damage cd/12"LP
2002 - On Play Patterns cd/7"EP (demo) (you got this? post it! thanks <3)

2003 - X-Polynation/Book of Flags cd/7"EP (demo)

2004 - Power cd/12"LP

2005 - Wonderful People cdEP (remixes) (you got this? post it! thanks <3)

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(2000) Q AND NOT U - "Hooray for Humans" (from 'No Kill No Beep Beep')

(2000) Q AND NOT U - "A Line in the Sand" (from 'No Kill No Beep Beep')

(2000) Q AND NOT U - "And the Washington Monument (Blinks) Goodnight" (from 'No Kill No Beep Beep')

(2002) Q AND NOT U - "Soft Pyramids" (from 'Different Damage')

 (2002) Q AND NOT U - "Black Plastic Bag" (from 'Different Damage')

(2002) Q AND NOT U - "When the Lines Go Down" (from 'Different Damage')

(2003) Q AND NOT U - "Book of Flags" (from 'X-Polynation/Book of Flags')

(2004) Q AND NOT U - "X-Polynation" (from 'Power')

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Q AND NOT U out of print mp3 discography download (minus a demo or two)

(download here)

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1 comment:

  1. Hot and informed has the 2 same songs from no kill the only difference is that they sound slower. It is only Busy lights, busy carpet that wasnt on the No kill LP

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