In a little less than two years, Ryan Spencer and Adam Pressley have gone from a potential career disaster to having one of the most acclaimed albums of the year in the form of Wormfood, their debut as Jamaican Queens.
Their tale began in late 2011, when producer/artist Pressley relocated to Detroit with the intent of joining Spencer’s band, Prussia, but the group imploded almost immediately. Rather than retooling the band, Spencer and Pressley chose to move forward as a duo, christened their new partnership Jamaican Queens and spent the subsequent winter crafting the nine songs that comprise Wormfood, one of the most engaging and fresh lo-fi basement Pop albums of the year.
While Wormfood, a brash and funny treatise on tainted love (or perhaps tainted love songs), certainly exhibits the duo’s avowed love of Southern Rap icons Three 6 Mafia, Gucci Mane and Young Jeezy, there is also a clear connection to Brian Eno (in both of his major incarnations, as an Ambient revolutionary and as an Art Pop provocateur) as well as Tuff Gong Dub sonic scientist Lee Scratch Perry.
Throw in a Pop/Rock melodicism that leans in the direction of Ray Davies and a sense of humor that nods to They Might Be Giants and Dan Deacon and it’s clear that Jamaican Queens is one of the year’s most brilliant musical hybrids.Tiny Mix Tapes called Wormfood “deliciously schizoid, as whimsical and chemical as love itself. The duo calls itself “Trap Pop.” And we would add that it’s also a Popadelic, Folktronic, Psychesonic, Dubtastic masterstroke.
JAMAICAN QUEENS play Monday, Aug. 26 at MOTR Pub in Over-the-Rhine. Check out performance times and get venue details here.