McQueen - Break The Silence

The tenacious Tyneside indie label that is still bringing you Hanoi Rocks and Twisted Sister, switches its approach only in gender to unleash an all girl smattering of explosive punk with a metal ridge and Rock N’ Roll Spirit doused all over it. The hammering opener ‘Neurotic’, with its snarl to match Kittie is pummelled along by the abrasively rhythmic percussion of Hayley Cramer. Thus setting a peak for the prowling vocal strut then screech of Leah Duors, who spews out aggressive release and exposes underworld lifestyles. With such shock tactics deployed early on, the more garage rock Hanoi Rocks spiced stomp of ‘Dirt’, almost has the impact of a ballad, but the driving nature just seems to have more focus than the opener. As the momentum turns into a slightly more glam direction, the offerings begin to even out and the vocal craft and range Duors is easier to appreciate.

Whilst the subject matter of many of the songs is downbeat and a little languid, the percussive pull immediately picks up the tone, demonstrating that Cramer is as big a key to this outfit as Reni was to The Stone Roses. A molten screamo/post hardcore pinch is put upon proceedings through ‘Break The Silence’, neatly incorporating the slow, tense and eerie interludes oft associated with the main protagonists of this genre. Some punk skirting attitude in ‘Bitch’, continues to widen the range and impact, but the drilling percussion base is still there as a foundation for the launch of attitude and revenge extolling. Through the sporadic screeches and ripping jams there is heart a plenty and an appreciation for the roots of alternative music, something that they use in the rampaging and liberating ‘Not For Sale’. Here they expose a modern issue of sexual exploitation, without sounding sanctimonious or forced. This debut album displays enough range and modern tilts to make the retro rips enjoyable, but not shamelessly derivative.

David Adair

Click here to leave your McQueen reviews on the Message Board
(NB: The message board opens in a new window so please disable your pop-up blocker to view)