Release Date: Feb 12, 2016
Record label: The Black Queen
Genre(s): Pop/Rock, Alternative/Indie Rock, Indie Rock, Alternative Dance
In the tradition of great supergroup side projects like Team Sleep/Crosses, How to Destroy Angels, and Puscifer, the Black Queen craft an intoxicating sound that combines the best of each member's day job into a new sonic creature worthy of its own existence. Together with producer Justin Meldal-Johnsen (M83, Nine Inch Nails, Beck), vocalist Greg Puciato (the Dillinger Escape Plan), Josh Eustis (Telefon Tel Aviv, NIN, Puscifer), and Steven Alexander (Dillinger, NIN) have spawned a lush electronic ode to both the nostalgic '80s past and the sci-fi future on debut LP Fever Daydream. Looking at their combined résumés, it's not a surprising amalgamation.
The Black Queen may be fronted by The Dillinger Escape Plan’s Greg Puciato, but their ambient dream pop is the root of TDEP’s calculated chaos. Alongside Steven Alexander and Telefon TelAviv’s Joshua Eustis, the trio wrote, recorded and produced Fever Daydream. Glitchy tracks like “The End Where We Start” sounds like a hybrid between Faith No More and Nine Inch Nails, while the nearly seven-minute-long finale “Apocalypse Morning” is a haunting exploration of the darker side of pop music.
If you’ve ever considered the Dillinger Escape Plan’s recent output and wondered whatever happened to the genre-bending ambition that made 2007’s Ire Works one of the best extreme metal albums of the 2000s, you’re not alone. It’s not as though the New Jersey innovators became complacent on 2010’s Option Paralysis and 2013’s One of Us Is the Killer, but the anything-goes ambition of Dillinger from a decade ago has been streamlined into a more comfortable amalgam of the band’s uniquely aggressive sounds. They’re playing to the metal and hardcore fans, and not the critics, which is fine in its own right, but as strong as the band still is, their music currently lacks that old magic.
From its opening moments, the debut album from Los Angeles-based trio the Black Queen is not at all what the listener is prepared for. A record involving Greg Puciato of Dillinger Escape Plan comes with certain set of expectations, and whatever they may be, they are most certainly not this pulsing landscape of cinematic dream pop.Layered and atmospheric, it's easy to be pulled along by the album's electric current, to succumb to the sense of urgency the album embodies. From the shivering cymbals to the velveteen vocals, this record is all about textures.