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Qui - Love's Miracle

  by Paul Raven

published: 8 / 8 / 2007



Qui - Love's Miracle
Label: Ipecac
Format: CD

intro

Inventive and diverse welding of punk, metal, rock and grunge, the new band of former Jesus Lizard frontman David Yow


Welcome to the New Weird. Qui make music that you just can't put in a box – at least, not with any hope of being able to keep the lid closed. A bass-free three-piece, they've ram-raided ideas from punk, rock, metal and grunge, and welded them together at strange and inventive new angles – and their front-man is a notorious subculture hero of the 90's, returning to music after a long time on civvy street. 'Love's Miracle' is a clever album. Not clever in that “see how many notes-per-second I can hammer out in a solo” way, though. It's secret lies in subtlety, a deceptive surface simplicity that reveals some real intelligence at work beneath. At a first listen, the music sounds disjointed, almost random. Strange time signatures are pounded out on the drums; rhythms that force you to make an aural double-take and pay close attention, convinced that there's a trick being played on you and that the song structure is going to collapse or crash into a wall at any moment. The guitar work moves from plucked muted riffs in warped keys and discordant quasi-melodies to crunched-up chords and thrashy trashy sections of punk-rock fury, following the lead of the percussion but working with it closely, sometimes in tandem, sometimes in counterpoint. Have you ever seen that kung-fu movie, 'Drunken Master' ? This is the musical equivalent of Drunken Master style – the illusion of fractured chaos conceals a dangerous power waiting to deliver a decisive blow; incredibly abstract in places, but sharply focused all the way through. And then there are the vocals. For music like this, no ordinary singer will do. Up until last year, Matt and Paul shared vocal duties while busy with guitar and drums respectively. But then came an opportunity that many bands can only dream of having; the singer of the band that Qui drew a huge degree of influence from did a guest appearance with them during a live show, and gradually became their third member. That man is none other than David Yow, the confrontational front-man of art-punk legends The Jesus Lizard. Yow's reputation as a unique vocalist precedes him, and justifiably so. Firstly, his schizoid lyrical style is unique in its own right, the words and their delivery coming across almost as theatre of some sort, as if he's method-acting as randomly created personae and letting them jabber their manias into the songs. But the performance is not restricted to his voice – Yow is notorious for his on-stage antics, which frequently involve impacts between him and the audience as well as the removal of his clothing. It's a match made in heaven ... or maybe hell would be more appropriate. Yow's vocals blend perfectly with the strange creeping weirdness of Qui's music, with the overall effect mimicking a sojourn inside the mind of someone who probably has to be heavily medicated for the sake of their own safety, and that of others. 'Love's Miracle' is not a pop album, then. Nor, to be fair, is it the sort of album that every rock music fan is going to be able to wrap their head around. It's wilfully obscure, glorying in its own strangeness and defiant of such niceties as catchy choruses and bright melodic hooks. It's also a work of genius, a demonstration of just how far the generic assumptions of guitar-based music can be stretched without shattering completely. Give it a listen – challenge yourself



Track Listing:-
1 Apartment
2 Today, Gestation
3 Gash
4 Freeze
5 New Orleans
6 A#1
7 Willie the Pimp
8 Belt
9 Echoes



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