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This Weekend I’ll Mostly Be Listening to… Queen Adreena August 2, 2014

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Culture, This Weekend I'll Mostly Be Listening to....

Never a big fan of Daisy Chainsaw, their crazed indie/garagey/polite punk thing wasn’t bad, but it didn’t feel… solid. Too much of a construct, too much of a filling in of one tiny sliver of the musical pie… too considered. But, then what happened. They went away and reformed in all but name as Queen Adreena (later Queenadreena) and while according to more or less the same musical template somehow they were simply better.

Perhaps it was because singer Katie Jane Garside took over lyric writing duties, or perhaps because there was an interval of a good half decade and more. Sure, there were echoes of PJ Harvey and others, but Garside’s voice was all her own and Crispin Gray’s guitar lines provided crisp garage rock scribbles that underpinned the individual songs.

So, what about Taxidermy, their first album? Opener Cold Fish typifies much of their sound: great circular riffs that fade in and out, with added Jimmy Page style sliding swathes of sound borrowed/appropriated from Whole Lotta Love. All the while Katie Jane Garside sings and whispers above it. Soda Dreamer uses a finger snapping rhythm that stops and restarts with squalls of guitar before the vocals appear and Garside’s ability to switch from abrasive to smooth is put to particularly good use. I Adore You sums that up even more perfectly, an almost inevitable choice for a single with its twisting sub-metallic riff.

And there are nice touches throughout, from the multi-tracked vocals on Yesterday’s Hymn to the rearranged traditional air on Pretty Polly (a gloomy little tale of murder – natch). Yemaya slides along on a soft fuzz of feedback and not a lot more. X’ing Off the Days is almost Zeppelin in its approach, albeit a lot speedier and with the addition of breathy, sometimes breathless vocals.

They released a number of other albums that didn’t radically alter the template before finally breaking up at the end of the 2000s and with Garside pursuing a solo (and collaborative) career.

Throughout there is more than a hint of goth in all this – though more Bat Cave goth of the early 1980s than the later excess of the Sisters of Mercy et al. In other words a goth, or proto-goth, anchored to that point where a tranche of post-punk encountered what Siouxsie, early Cure and others were doing, liked what they heard and ran with it – Garside’s public and performative persona certainly locked right into that proto-goth/art school area – for better and worse. Indeed there’s a studied quality to this, for all the abandon, which may for some be a significant failing, and fair enough. But, I’m reminded of Christgau’s review of Boston’s second album where for all the precision of the guitars and the arrangements he found sufficient corruption in the work to make it interesting.

I Adore You

X’ing Off the Days


Soda Dreamer

Cold Fish


1. steve white - August 4, 2014

great pick listened to them all day yesterday


WorldbyStorm - August 5, 2014

Good to hear Steve!


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