Q and Not U
No Kill No Beep Beep


4.0
excellent

Review

by timbo8 USER (42 Reviews)
August 18th, 2009 | 24 replies


Release Date: 2000 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Smart, jagged post-hardcore that’s very much a product of the D.C. scene.

The conventional understanding of punk, in particular that harsh brand that loyally draws lineage from the violent mosh pits of the hardcore ‘80s, tells you that punk is all politics. And if you consider D.C. punk? Well break out the megaphones, the White House is a few blocks away! But while the proud history of punk rock in the nation’s capital has surely seen plenty of anti-machine and “*** Bush” bands, some of the most important bands of the scene have eschewed the soapbox and instead got more personal and analytical; the targets of firebombs are not world leaders but societies, perceptions, ourselves. They are bands that not only leave us more impassioned, but also smarter.

Add Q and Not U to the list of such groups. Their 2000 post-hardcore debut No Kill No Beep Beep is as slanted and code-talking as its title. The album enlightens, but certainly in a lyrically avant-garde way with cryptic one-liners and fragmented imagery. Deciphering listeners require dictionaries (“No cognoscenti / can stab critique in the back for making me cognizant”) and imaginations (“Tired of waking up with a new haircut every morning / so it’s no scissors in bed”). Much of the lyrics seem to vent the frustrations of the young and urban, albeit in abstracts.

However the interpretations go, you will at least find the band’s signs and symbols are more often than not ripped to shreds by jagged riffs, beeping guitars and furious drumming. Lead singer Chris Richards spits composed, clear vocals while leaving strangled cries to Harris Klahr, whose shaky pronunciations and unstable aesthetic nicely balances out Richards. It is more credit to Richards, however, for keeping No Kill No Beep Beep consistently melodic. As machine-like guitar beeps scream for attention on “And the Washington Monument (Blinks) Goodnight”, Richards’ composed singing retains clarity and weight. “Fever Sleeves” is perhaps the most melodic track here, however, as the guitars offer less resistance to the tuneful rise and fall of the action. On many other tracks as well, Q and Not U remain tuneful, even catchy, but they never lose their rough edges.

A cursory but reasonable description of No Kill No Beep Beep would be that it definitely sounds a good deal like fellow Washingtonians Fugazi. The band has clearly memorized End Hits and it’s dabbing of the punk rock brush into quiet, brooding compositions is not lost here: “Kiss Distinctly American” and closer “Sleeping the Terror Code” both explore quiet, pensive territory (and both are great songs, by the way). Furthermore, it is a D.C. punk band after all, so it’s not surprising that Q and Not U are on the legendary Dischord records and have Ian MacKaye’s fingerprints all over it, having produced the album. Richards even pays homage to Fugazi with a rewording of a line from “Do You Like Me” off of Red Medicine, something astute fans will register.

The album also abounds with dance-punk influences that suggest the influence of the Dismemberment Plan, another D.C. band. While never reaching the Plan’s level of silly insanity or Emergency & I’s pop-accessibility, Q and Not U share their herky-jerky flirtations with danceable music and offer flashes of light-hearted play (See: “Hooray for Humans” about a minute in).

But unless you’re a strict, no-fun purist, the fact that Q and Not U rubs shoulders with its influences does nothing to minimize the band’s own creative directions and punk energy. Q and Not U is not posturing, they are simply a product of their environment that has taken their influences and made a new animal with so much force and brains that they don’t need blow horns and lame sloganeering to make waves. Their unique fusion of styles is more than the sum of its parts on No Kill No Beep Beep. Their debut, smart and furious, firmly builds upon D.C.’s true punk tradition.



Recent reviews by this author
Candy Claws Hidden LandsTitle Tracks It Was Easy
O.A.R. In Between Now And ThenSo Cow Meaningless Friendly
Christmas Island Blackout SummerUmphrey's McGee Mantis
user ratings (110)
Chart.
3.9
excellent

Comments:Add a Comment 
PuddlesPuddles
August 18th 2009


4787 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Ha! I was JUST about to review this.
Man, nice work

Prophet178
August 18th 2009


6397 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Very underrated album, more people need to listen to this.

Iluvatar
Staff Reviewer
August 18th 2009


16089 Comments


this is a good band

Roach
August 19th 2009


2148 Comments


I like this.

accompliceofmydeath
August 19th 2009


4302 Comments


I've been meaning to get a hold of this.

Digging: Snapcase - Progression Through Unlearning

YDload
September 12th 2009


1207 Comments


i''m a big fan of moody, chilled DC bands like this. the Washington Monument song is a big highlight for me

sexualsoybean
October 7th 2009


915 Comments


This CD is incredible, i cant believe this came out in 2000.

musicConsumer
January 15th 2010


494 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I can't believe I've never heard this. I love fever sleeves. They remind me of No knife alittle.

StreetlightRock
Emeritus
August 10th 2010


3781 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Listened to this again today, such a cool record.

RebelWithoutApplause
September 13th 2010


220 Comments


Maybe I should check this out.

EaglesBecomeVultures
November 27th 2010


5273 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Absolutely love this record. In my top 5 of all time.

Digging: Viet Cong - Viet Cong

fractured
April 5th 2012


367 Comments


Totally agree Eagles, everytime I play this puppy I can't stop it. So infectious and just plain fun.

Funeralopolis
April 25th 2012


11894 Comments


very energetic, I really feel like this would have benefited from some harsh vocals.

Digging: Owen Pallett - In Conflict

Funeralopolis
April 25th 2012


11894 Comments


significantly better than Dead Sara

Kman418
March 22nd 2013


11347 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Damn this is great

Digging: Xiu Xiu - Fabulous Muscles

EaglesBecomeVultures
April 29th 2013


5273 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

fav record of all time

Kman418
April 29th 2013


11347 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

idk if I'd go that far but it's pretty damn awesome yeah

EaglesBecomeVultures
April 29th 2013


5273 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

i'm a sucker for jagged, angular dance punk and the amount of influence this record had in my expanding tastes makes it hold a special place in my heart

EaglesBecomeVultures
April 29th 2013


5273 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

kman bruv check out this little diddy if you like the Q
http://www.sputnikmusic.com/bands/The-Spotlight-Syndicate/46436/

Kman418
April 29th 2013


11347 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

sweet i'll dl it now, you always give me good recs



You have to be logged in to post a comment. Login | Create a Profile





FAQ // STAFF & CONTRIBUTORS // SITE FORUM // CONTACT US

Bands: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z


Site Copyright 2005-2014 Sputnikmusic.com
All Album Reviews Displayed With Permission of Authors | Privacy Policy