Q And Not U - Different Damage (Cover Artwork)

Q And Not U

Different Damage (2002)


Dischord, whether you like it or not, is one of the greatest labels in independent music history. If only for their business sense in today's world of major labels, video clips with more tits in them than words and the almighty dollar, Ian MacKaye and the Dischord staff have continuously put quality albums at good prices out for years, with little publicity. Word of mouth is the weapon there, and it from this - the Dismemberment Plan website to be precise - that I first heard of Q and Not U.

Expecting great things, I picked up this album and did not know what to expect at first. Initially the sounds of Faraquet came to mind, but with more of an emphasis on lyrics rather than the guitar work of their Dischord stablemates. 'Soft Pyramids' really shows how a catchy lyrical line can be as powerful as any string of guitar chords: (Select a colour for your chequelist / Kiss all the commas in your chequelist). 'So Many Animal Calls' is a little more rawkus without being overbearing. 'Black Plastic Bags' seemes to have various references to globalisation, just as you'd expect from a Dischord act - "Every town gets an Eiffel Tower tonight."

'This Are Flashes' starts well, but decends into a cacophony of 'la la las' which does get a touch much, but it leads into probably the best (and most bizare) track on the record - 'Everybody Ruins'. Begingin with alot of silence and drum clicks the song kicks into a fast-paced line until halting abruptly, the kind of halt that has you looking oddly at your headphones. Odd, but strangley drawing, after this it rolls into a much more laid back outro and into 'Snow Patterns.'

The same about this album is that the last few tracks really are nothing memorable. Not that there is anything wrong with them, Q and Not U are strong songwriters and musicians, but they really don't stand out the way the first track, or several others do.

Not that this should take too much away from a fine album with many high points. Very laid back, and somewhat depressing, it really is all I'd expect from an outfit that's garnered quite a reputation as music for musicians and fans alike.

Good and not great - but close.