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splendid > reviews > 10/18/2004
Q and not U
Q and not U
Power
Dischord


Format Reviewed: CD

Soundclip: "Throw Back Your Head"

Buy me now
With Franz Ferdinand infecting mainstream tastes like rubella, you'd figure times would be good time for neo-art-rockers. Such is not the case. While the Scottish sensations are making money by the truckload, truly innovative bands like DC mainstays Q and not U continue to toil in cultish obscurity, even though, over the past five years and a string of releases on the venerable Dischord, they've made dancing to Caliban rifle fire seem impossibly cool. A jittery blast of dissonance and shoddy electronics, Power is only a slight variation on its predecessors, yet sounds more vibrant and alive than almost anything in the band's canon. The Middle Eastern flourishes that cropped up on their last outing reappear here in the form of "Wet Work"'s serpentine guitars and rubiyat melodies, and a newfound Afro-beat influence can be heart on the floaty, melodica-infused "Throw Back Your Head".

Power is the best album of Q and Not U's career. If they continue to progress at this rate, they're likely to outlast nu-bucks and nubile scouse rockers alike.



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