Following the untimely demise of Versoma, Gods and Queens springs forth from those ashes (Tombs is another band which formed in the wake of Versoma's death) to create another logical progression within a similar vein or style of musical sound. In fact, prior to Versoma forming, Gods and Queens had a short existence which resulted in a nascent version of the first song on the lone Versoma record, Life During Wartime. This is the first release from Gods and Queens, and its seven untitled tracks reveal quite a bit about the influences of the band while still making music that is most assuredly theirs.
Track one is heavily laden with a haze of sound which permeates everything and leaves listeners in a deep morass of audio pummeling; the plodding tempo serves to heighten this sense, and the vocals cut through the din. The overall sound of track two is not as thick as its predecessor, and the increase in melodic quality both in the guitars and vocals further sets the track apart; the steady bass sits subtly amongst the swirling guitars and other orphan sound. The noticeable groove inhabiting track three adds a new dimension to the music that Gods and Queens offers on this record. Track seven is a much longer form jam that is actually one of the best songs on the album; at almost ten minutes, this piece is full of complicated layers of swirling guitars that are held together by the solid rhythms and throbbing bass guitars while vocals peep through the fog of noise. At extremely high volumes, this record could really devastate speakers and ear drums.
This debut from Gods and Queens is both strong and full of potential; including the CD with the LP version (available in the US on Robotic Empire and in Europe on Adagio 830 while the cassette, yes cassette, version is available via Dead Format) is a nice addition to the overall package. There are some strong songs that really keep me going back and listening to them, while others not so much. Then again, the production on the record is muddy at times and rather quiet as a whole (to hear the record well, you have to really crank the volume). This is a deceivingly catchy record that I find myself going back and listening to over and over again. This untitled record is good and shows that this three-piece has a strong idea of where the collective wants to go in the future; and the rough pieces on this record show that there is room to grow for the group.
7.5 / 10
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