Sunday, 25 November 2012

Single/EP Review - Queen Jane - Romantics

Queen Jane are a band who continue to go from strength to strength.  Their previous EP's, 'Confetti' and 'Denver' showed a tightening of sound and when they played at The Captain's Rest as part of Scottish Fiction Presents back in June it was evident to all that their live show showed there was much more to come from the Cumbernauld foursome.

'Romantics' is their latest offering, the six track EP is out on Monday 26th.  Starting off with an intro that builds and then hammers intro 'Stop Pretending'.  It's jangly, it's full of angular guitars and full of wishful lyrics.  There's a great drum solo stuck right in the middle, showing the band are not afraid to break conventional rules of making pop music.

'Josephine' continues where the last track ends, with more upbeat, afro-pop influenced sounds.  The rhythm section are tight as a badgers nut, providing the perfect backing to lead singer James McGarragle's punchy vocals.

Near enough title track 'Romance' brings the tempo down a little bit as McGarragle proclaims "we don't need love 'cause we've got romance".  There's some brilliant off-kilter and catchy guitar hooks throughout this track, and this track serves as the staple showcase of Queen Jane's sound.  I've heard them described as a Scottish Vampire Weekend, which has some truth, but they also echo the Maccabees, Bombay Bicycle Club and Two Door Cinema Club.

Having said that, next track 'Sometimes' veers off the guitar-pop track with a more solemn and darker feel.  The guitars drone, the vocals reverb while the drums are that little bit slower, showing that Queen Jane can do post-rock too.

The EP ends with 'Fighting Man', which plays by the 'save the best till last' rule.  It's an absolute joy of a track, seven and a half minutes of thoughtful lyrics culminating in an orgy of guitars and drums, akin to The National.

The EP as a whole is a complete package of summery up-beat pop music, featuring chiming guitars, angular beats and jaunty melodies.  It further cements Queen Jane's status as heading for bigger and better things, and confirms that with each release they have honed and developed their sound. 

'Romantics' comes out on Monday 26th November on Queen Jane's bandcamp page.  Check out their EP launch on Sunday 2nd December at Glasgow School Of Art Student Union.

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