Past Reviews

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

[ New Music ] QUEEN WOLF releases new album "Unsung Monsters" 4.14.17

Artist: QUEEN WOLF
Album: Unsung Monsters
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New album Unsung Monsters comes out 4.14.17 on CD, tape, and digital!

     The new QUEEN WOLF album can be summed up in one word... "Epic".
     Chaotic in all the right ways, Unsung Monsters will take you on a voyage across an ocean on fire and back. While prominently a band focused on writing metal songs that will melt your face off, they also have an ace up their sleeve... the ability to switch gears at the drop of a dime and play in-your-face punk, hopelessly hopeful grunge, guttural thrash metal, and jazz infused noise if you listen closely.
     This wolf-pack has influences ranging from Queens Of The Stone Age, and Converge, to artists like Fiona Apple, and every aspect of musical theater. Over the years there have been some lineup changes, but I think it's safe to say QUEEN WOLF has found it's fantastic 5 with Mike Walls on guitar/vocals, Chuck Hannan on drums, Tyler Merchant on bass, Sarah "Flash" Gorman on lead vocals, and Christie Macdonald tearing it up on lead guitar.

Let's dig in...

On the first track "We Don't Grow Up" , "We don't have dreams we just have envy, we're underwhelmed and unprepared". Adulting at it's finest, by not adulting. Nothing screams punk more than refusing to grow up, and gang vocals over thrashy guitars and wailing cymbals.
     Leading us into the next song "Taking On Water" ,"Taking on water through holes in the floor...". Picture yourself out at sea, with stormy waters whipping waves up against your sinking wooden boat searching for weaknesses. The boat begins to plunge, and you're left with your own frantic thoughts...  Lots of clever wordplay and imagery describe a scene of drowning, and being dragged down with the ship. "Scratching at the surface gasping for reasons, and grasping at air".
     On the third track "Pets" it's hard not to visualize an uprising of domesticated household animals strapping leashes on their humans, and throwing some scraps on the floor as they leave for work."Don't forget that i'm a predator just like you" The screaming growls of "discipline discipline!" and distorted vocals later in the song are a nice touch.
     Next up is "Carrie Buck Will Have Her Revenge On The Commonwealth Of Virginia"
The title reminds me of a track from Nirvana's In Utero album "Frances Farmer Will Have Her Revenge On Seattle’ Mike Walls and Sarah Gorman sing in haunting harmonies "Don't try me I'm frightening, I'm lightning, one strike and you're frying before you even realize"
     Enter into the smoke lounge, and open up your lungs for the jazzy calm chill out beginnings "Clovesmoker" "Show me the light, I want to know whose grave i'm dancing on, and if it's mine...".
"Eris" layers in with chugging guitar riffs, a distorted lead guitar, bass and drums flourish and build throughout the song into a fiery last chorus tying all the pieces together,
"Things that are brighter in the dark, rarely ever show up, things I thought I couldn't see, are still there".
     On the triumphant song, "Black Box" we're painted a picture of a winged goddess, soaring up and over any obstacle life throws her way. "Close our eyes, feel her glory, when she flies... and you'll never see her fall"
     As musicians life can seem like a series of stages and bars, green rooms and gear stacked in corners. On "Curtain To Curtain" we are reassured that even when if you lose faith, you may find humanity. "Words I didn't write falling out of my mouth like prayers, curtain to curtain to curtain to death". A melodic power punk anthem with a message of perseverance.
     Last but certainly not least, From Dusk Til Dawn is the perfect closing track for this wild ride.
A slow burn, the calm before the beautiful gust of wind that tears through your town, leaving it upside down and desecrated. Or at least that's what a breakup / heartbreak songs looks like to me. Vocals begin with a duet between Mike and Sarah, "I think i'm past the point of redemption", then burst into harmonies that swell and sway in perfect time, "Just gotta make it through the night, if we can make it through to sunrise I think we'll be alright"These unsung monsters singing their forlorn melodies as we catch a restful nights sleep beneath our sheets... "In vain we hide under our beds like monsters in a story".

Join QUEEN WOLF in Baltimore at The Windup Space / 4.14.17 for the "Unsung Monsters" album release show: SHOW DETAILS / TIX

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