Monday, 9 March 2015

QUEEN CRESCENT - Self-Titled (Album Review)

This is great stuff.

Queen Crescent is an all woman band from the Bay Area of California who make heavy, dark and punky stoner doom rock with flute. Comparisons will be made to Blood Ceremony and maybe even Jethro Tull, but should be avoided. These ladies do their own thing, and that thing is spectacular. These heavy ladies will also be lumped in with the occult rock label and there's some truth to that if you look at the song "Majic Moonjynuh", but this album is no more occult related than any other rock n roll album to emerge since Bill Haley & the Comets told the world what time it is.

Main vocalist Andrea Genevieve automatically brings to mind Chrissie Hynde of The Pretenders, especially on the album's best song, "Culture Vulture". But we're only talking tone of voice here, because she's singing from a low register. As far as what's going on musically, Queen Crescent are in a class of their own. It's hard to imagine flute as a blunt object for instance. It's used almost as a percussion instrument in this standout track, but if it can be done flautist / vocalist Melissa Vu will find a way to do it.

Flute is a huge part of what shapes Queen Crescent's sound, it's treated as a lead instrument. This allows the incredibly low-tuned guitars to slide under the radar and hit the listener on an almost subconscious level. This is what gives the music its dark and mysterious overtone. Some might hear it and read the sound as "occult", but what they're hearing is the contrast that springs from the interplay. The light tones of the flute, playing a darkened melody with that basso rumble underneath has a somewhat hypnotic effect. The musical mysticism expressed on this album is more attuned to the true magical experience of psychedelics than the often overblown imagery of the stirring of cauldrons and the riding of broomsticks.

What really matters is the music itself and this 7-song, 33-minute debut is potent stuff. Powerful vocals, solid melodies, heavy riffs and killer flute are all driven along at a solid pace from the back end by drummer Amy Martinez. You get an easy sense of the tongue-in-cheek sensibilities of the band with song titles like the above-mentioned "Majic Moonjynuh" and the short warm-up of "In the Court of the Crescent Queen". Also, any outfit that gives a respectful nod to the iron-fisted musical gymnastics of Mr. Fripp and company are alright in my book.

Rating: ««««½ / 5

You can find out more about this hard-working, up-and-coming band at the following links:

Queen Crescent official website
Queen Crescent on bandcamp
Queen Crescent on facebook
Queen Crescent on twitter
Queen Crescent on instagram

'Queen Crescent' is now available on LP and digitally. Check out the album on the player below


3 comments:

  1. This track reminds me a lot of Power of Zeus

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Any Power of Zeus song in particular? I think I've only listened to my Power of Zeus CD once, and not because I didn't like it.

      Delete
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