24 Sep 2020
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Quinn The Human - Album Review: Shade Queen

26 Jul 2019 // A review by Jason Peters

Following on from their EP Mission Helsinki released in 2018, Quinn The Human release their first full length album Shade Queen and it doesn’t disappoint. A heady mixture of alternative and dessert rock with sprinkles of trademark Quinn humour and some sweet vocal harmonies to boot.

They kick off their album with Party Gaol, on this track lead singer Rusty Steele vocals remind me of 90’s British indie band Mansun, especially combined with the smooth BV’s provided by Rowan on Guitar and Phoenix on Bass, the layered vocal treatment is a prominent feature throughout the album and sets them apart from other bands of similar ilk. Single Hoon is up next, with a chorus Josh Homme would love to steal for himself I’m sure, it’s a catchy beast that you can equally rock out and groove to.

Another mint track is Mansexer featuring some nice melody lines, a fuzzy pop rocker that chugs along like a manic locomotive out of control, this will get heads nodding live I’m sure. 40/40/80/90 is another track show casing these guys vocal harmonies that work very well within the Quinn sound. 40/40/80/90 rolls into Shade Queen #2 providing an expansive instrumental outro to lead us into another cool track on the album, Hong Kong Medicine; this one has a retro vibe, think the best bits of 60's and 70's rock and you’ll get the picture.

There are three songs on this album called Shade Queen #1, Shade Queen #2 and Shade Queen #3 respectively and they provide the ying to the other track's yang, moody and atmospheric instrumentals that create a nice balance to the album. #3 is my favourite, equal parts heavy, sonic and experimental, while Bad Deads has a QOTSA vibe, a sweet rocker of a tune that hits the right spot.

Natalie Imbroglio closes out the album on a heavier sonic/stoner rock note, this tune is draped in tripped out psychedelic guitars, heavy bass and features some tasty drumming by drummer Mikee.

Overall Shade Queen is a very solid album by this Auckland quinntet (pun intended). They say variety is the spice of life, and this album offers variety in spades. Shade Queen has killer riffs, tight production and driving alt rock that’s injected with equal parts humour and harmonic melodies. Their queen may be shady, but she certainly knows how to pack one hell of a punch.

Rating: ( 4 / 5 )
 

Releases

Shade Queen
Year: 2019
Type: Album
Mission Helsinki
Year: 2018
Type: EP
Good News, Everyone!
Year: 2014
Type: EP

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