Release Date: Oct 5, 2004
Record label: Dischord
Genre(s): Indie, Rock
One of the original batch of bands that started mixing indie rock, post-punk, and disco-influenced rhythms in the '90s, Q and Not U return with Power, an album that nods to dance-punk's moment in the sun and also finds them adding more dimensions to their already versatile sound. Like Les Savy Fav, Q and Not U are among the strongest songwriters working in this style, and on Power, they're equally adept at short, sharp shocks like "L. A.
A few questions that came up while listening to Q and Not U's Power: If a band supposedly evolves throughout the course of its first few albums, is there a ballpark figure for how many albums we need to listen to before we can say that they've settled on a distinctive sound? Does the third or fourth album always mark the terminus of their development? Does every change in style represent progress? Need we endorse a Whig theory of musical history under which every album is a step forward – or an evolutionary "misstep" – until the band hits a middle period and we begin to see diminishing returns? Common reactions to Power seems to hinge on some of these assumptions. On 2000's No Kill No Beep Beep and 2002's Different Damage, Q and Not U sounded like a more agile version of Fugazi, keeping the kinetic rhythm but replacing the ponderous vocals with off-the-wall free associated couplets. Writers, while generally positive, were also positively psychoanalytical when considering Q and Not U's future.