Queen Moo’s Self Titled Debut Full-Length Reviewed

Written by | August 11, 2015 20:35 | No Comments

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The Queen’s Not Dead, She’s A Farm Animal

Connecticut has a fiercely loyal music scene, and when long-time vets Two Humans announced their split, everyone felt a little lost. Luckily, Jason Rule, former frontman of Two Humans, and Kevin O’Donnell, bassist, have teamed up with Scuff “Adam” Ackerman of Sorority Noise, and we all feel a little bit more at ease.

The trio has come to form Queen Moo, a band that has been playing shows for about a year now, and released a not-quite album, “Incomplete”, which was exactly what it sounds like. Their official first album, self titled, was released on the 10th and is not only some of the boys’ best work as musicians, but has placed them at the top for best Connecticut bands (tied only with 10,000 Blades).

 

 As a whole, the release is damn good. It features songs old and new, which is super exciting. Cam Boucher of Sorority Noise recorded and mixed the album, and also played saxophone and provided some sweet screams on some of the tracks. It was mastered by Matt Baltrucki, recording studio coordinator at The Hartt School.
Track by track breakdown:
1. “Hook Sox” starts the album off with a strong vocal lead by powerhouse Rule, meeting up with a staccato beat, backed by a strong bass and guitar licks in between. It’s a bold start to the record, with really great lyrics and a phenomenal bridge/break- “Hands on the clock pointing fingers at me / What do you know about friends? Could you know what they’re for? / I’m the tall glass. You’re the spoon in the drawer.” This, followed by a guitar solo, then shifts back into a strong end to the song: “I’ll drink you in, through thick and thin / My dear, do I bore your eyes?” The track ends with the beautiful, poignant “A leave-the-light-on kind of love you.” 

2. “It” features Kevin O’Donnell on vocals, which is a nice change of pace. He has a really smooth quality to his voice that fits really well with Jason’s, and together blend and add so much to the song’s unique melody- literal music to my ears. There’s so manHave y different parts to the tune- the tempo changes, the vocal shifts, there’s a lot to keep you interested. This is definitely the song you’d suggest to a friend to get them into the band. It shows the musicians’ depth and breadth of talent.

3. & 4. “Introduction” and “Upper Butcher” flow into each other, as they did on “Incomplete”. These two are still absolute gems, and I’m glad the band decided to redo them. The vocals are much clearer, and the reboot just sounds so much better, which is exciting because they were two personal favorites, especially to see live. I’m a sucker for songs that go straight into another, so this is awesome to hear.

5. “Don’t Think I Do” has the best start on the album- “Drink to get drunk, fight to seem sober / had my shot at punk, well I guess that’s over.” This song is just, perfect. I love the way it picks up, rocks hard as hell, and gently lets you back down. Moo’s the best at packing a punch mid-song and then toning it down. And when Rule hits his beloved falsetto? Forget it. “It’s been so hard to swallow it’s been so hard to speak / no need to weep or wallow no need to count on sheep.”

6. “Leech” is just beautiful. It’s a slower ballad-y tune, and the guitar work just solidifies my love for the song. The build up is slow, subtle, and when they hit that harmony at “I sit tight and wonder what I missed,” it’s almost too much and I get overwhelmed with how good it is. “There’s no making amends with someone who thinks too far ahead.. Stop writing prose, even con-men can grow / He’s humble now but in a year’s time who knows? / You may never see me again.”

7. “Never If Ever” is super reminiscent of Two Humans. The punky vibe in it will probably remind any CT scenester of the good ol’ days when TH shows were just one big party. This song is such a jam, and I can’t wait to hear it live. I love how quick it is, it’s catchy and is a great set up for the next track.

8. “Cactus Romantic” is another redo. A personal favorite of theirs in general, they play it at every show and is probably their most recognizable song. I love the change of the beginning riff, a little surprise for listeners, especially those wearing headphones. “I’m gonna sharpen all my teeth I’m gonna be the boy you wanna meet / You’re gonna call me Boy With Fangs I’m gonna finally learn to hang” is one of the most fun parts of the song, ending with a great harmony. Just overall awesome and nice to hear all finalized and pristine.

9. “Captain Glee” is a self-reflective break to slow everything down. The gentle vocals and guitar, accompanied by the sounds of conversations muffled in the background, Rule’s vocals dominate this track. His voice and guitar skills pull the song together and create a really intimate sound; “For the hundredth time I’m fine / Call me Mr. Feel-Alright. Captain Fucking Glee.”

10. “Icehouse” also feels like a Two Humans song. It’s quick and sharp, and instantly drew me in. The guitar solo is killer, as always, and all the instruments are really tight and clean, providing a perfect track for Rule to lay down his lyrics: “Stereo mono carrier of a higher volume that I can choose to sleep in / You know, I’m still myself when I’ve been drinking.”

11. “Three Humans” is obviously paying homage to Two Humans, featuring nods to previous songs in the lyric “Once old pair of shoes; two bigger better things. / Now I’m growing up bit ain’t cause of what my momma wrote to me.” I love that they’ve closed that chapter of their musical careers so cleverly, in this flawlessly culminated song.

12. “Amends” is the last song on the album. Oh boy, it’s a good one. It’s really complex, featuring just vocals and guitar until the whole band joins in; it’s a wild ride. “And I want to get back to you in the way that an addict can’t get enough. / Like falling for the moon.” The lyrics in this song are really the highlight. “Face the facts with me. The love of my life is better free. / Oh me. / I sat tight for days and days on end. There’s a difference between personal and making false amends.” They call up the melody from “Leech”, which I love. They end the album with “I said what I meant.”

All in all, I thank the boys for gracing us with this release. I can’t wait to catch ’em live and celebrate. Queen Moo lives on, and they’re here to party.

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