The idea of of transitioning from metalcore to dance pop may seem absurd, but it's been done before. Last year, we saw And Then There Were None move from being a metal act to a techno-influenced dance band. So we shouldn't be entirely surprised that two former members of The Chariot are now the leading men for Queens Club, Tooth and Nail's latest pop rock/dance band. After releasing the Nightmarer EP last year, it's now time to hear what Queens Club can spin with a full album, their debut release Young Giant.
Initially, it seems that the band has been mis-labeled. While definitely featuring frequent dance beats and a good dash of synth, Queens Club is still pretty close to being a straight up guitar driven alt-rock band. Listeners expecting something similar to Family Force 5 or the previously mentioned And Then There Were None will be disappointed.
In fact, it's hard to not be disappointed in general with Young Giant. Even as an alt-rock album, it's pretty lackluster. There's very little creativity or variation between tracks, causing the album to wear on the ears as it nears the end. The guitars meander around in a rather boring manner, providing an unremarkable backdrop for the vocals, which are solidly average at best and annoyingly distorted at worst. In addition, there's not a great deal of melody in any of the songs, which only adds to the uninteresting sameness. "Catchy" is not a word that comes to mind here, and it's hard to imagine anybody wanting to dance to this music. It leads one to wonder if the influence of The Chariot is at least partly responsible for the general lack of melody here. The fifth track, "Dust," is a bright spot on the album, but it's the noticeable exception. At the same time, "I'm American" is two minutes and ten seconds of noise that's roughly two minutes and fifteen seconds too long.
The one impression I can't shake while listening to Young Giant is that of a band trying too hard to be fun. This results in some rather pathetic displays of immaturity, like the random shout of "Oh my god!" in the middle of "Less Talk." In fact, the whole track oozes with the feeling of a failed attempt at being clever. As if that's not enough, "Upstart" features the very creative chorus "Would you shut him up, would you please shut up?" And to round it all off, there's some cursing in "Are We? Will We?" which has a line that sounds like it says "If you could see me, hell it'd be easy."
Young Giant unfortunately fails to live up to nearly all of the hype that preceded it. The music is largely uninteresting and occasionally annoying. The lyrics are sometimes questionable and childish. We've already heard great things from Tooth and Nail this year, but Queens Club has largely struck out with this release.- Review date: 3/19/10, written by Timothy Estabrooks of Jesusfreakhideout.com
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