A few years back I was talking to a friend of mine about music, and as was the normal routine, we talked about bands we’d “discovered” recently. It was during this discussion that I was introduced to a band with a strange name.
“Dude, I just picked up this new CD, it’s great”
“Yeah, it’s this band, Q And Not U…”
“What the fuck kind of name is that?”
“I don’t know, check it out, I’m telling you, it’s great”
With that, I had a burned copy of Q And Not U’s No Kill No Beep Beep in my hands. So, did I listen to it in the car on the way home? Nah, I put in something else. How about when I got home? Nah, I think I listened to Bad Religion or something. How about any time that week? Nope. Finally, two weeks later after constant nagging, I grabbed the CD at the last second because I couldn’t think of what I wanted to listen to at work that night. Well, it didn’t take long for Q and not U to show me the error of my ways, and I of course regretted not listening to it sooner. Of course, I couldn’t admit to being wrong, so when my friend asked what I thought, I blatantly lied and said, “I guess it’s ok.” But the fact that I had ordered an actual copy of the record was pretty good evidence that I was full of shit.
So, here we are, now in 2004 and Q And Not U has just released their newest full-length, Power. Power is a record that shows the band expanding its horizons, while maintaining the same energy they’ve shown on their other releases. Parts of this album are dancier than their previous work, but they manage to pull it off without sounding grating or forced. I’ll be honest; music from that mold usually irritates me to no end. Still, I couldn’t help but enjoy the album’s first track, “Wonderful People,” which will surely inspire a different sort of dancing than most of the stuff I review on here. This doesn’t hit nearly as hard as “No Kill No Beep Beep,” but songs like “X-Polynation.” show that the band isn’t about to settle down anytime soon. This is a diverse release, with no two songs following the same formula, with equal amounts of success. What makes this more enjoyable than the other bands trying to put out something danceable is the fact that Q And Not U don’t need to belt you over the head with tired hooks over and over again to be effective, this allows them the freedom to experiment. From the danceable tracks, to the catchy, albeit short “L.A.X.” to the strange “District Night Prayer,” which features vocals that almost bring to mind church hymns, they do just that.
I’ve got to hand it to these guys, they could’ve kept playing the same type of music, I’m sure no one would’ve complained, but they decided to go in another direction. I know some people aren’t going to be happy with this, and I’m willing to bet that the first track left a bitter taste in the mouths of some, but give it time, this is a very strong release that shows the continued progression of a very talented band.