In these times of over-stuffed CDs, nothing makes me happier than getting an old-school "album," with just nine songs and clocking in under 23 minutes. CQ's sparkly-to-rugged brand of Pop might just have the power to suspend time. The opening "Needy Wannabe" reintroduces CQ in 61-seconds, but it feels like a fully formed song and not just an incomplete snippet. The whole album follows suit, fully satisfying despite having only one track over the three-minute mark.
While CQ's last album featured a few tracks of experimental mirth, the experimentation is more subtly interwoven within the saccharine-sweet harmonies, inescapable melodies, wavy keys and adventurous guitar quirks.
The band can even get a little Prog-y within the Pop infrastructure -- call "Sunshine" the world's shortest Prog song, with a hovering intro and keyboard/organ that adds a little Deep Purple-meets-Imperial Teen grooviness to the proceedings. Elsewhere, the band is more consistently rollicking. The toothy, raving "Nervous Wreck" gets agro-ish with attacking guitar, swirling, scraping sound effects, Scott Fredette's mordant snarl and maniacal backing hoots. Singer/drummer Dana Hamblen is predictably awesome, singing the New Wave-ish "Save It For the Night" with her spine-tingly vocal sweetness.
Culture Queer creates a beautiful sound with a Rainbow Brite color scheme, but there are many emotional shades to Kid Friendly Dinner Party, from sincere and amorous to sarcastic and surreal. Come for the untouchable Pop, stay for the fabulous interior decorating. (myspace.com/culturequeer)
More Local Notes
· Another local musician is ailing and, once again, the music community is rallying around him for support. Veteran guitarist Tim Skidmore is recovering from lymphoma cancer, and a benefit for Tim's recovery fund and the Barrett Cancer Research Fund will take place this Sunday at 5:30 p.m. at the 20th Century Theater in Oakley. Slated to perform: The Faux Frenchmen, The Blue Birds, Tickled Pink and The Hopheads, the great Roots/Rockabilly band Tim formed more recently. · The Sundowners will make their debut this Saturday at The Mad Hatter in Covington (apparently the band name might only be temporary). The group came about when members of the local groups Spindle and Krinj got together for a jam session and discovered an immediate chemistry. Not long after that initial session, the band went to Tampa to record some demos with Mike Major, who has worked with At the Drive In and Sparta. The Sundowners hooked up with HM Management and Concerts, which works with bands signed to Metal Blade and Victory The band's debut will be a part of a happy/sad kind of night -- it's also a funeral of sorts for Krinj. The show is being billed as "The Death of Krinj," marking the end of the Northern Kentucky band's great 13-year run. (myspace.com/thesundownerslive)
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