WHEN: JULY 15TH | LOVE.LIKE.ALRIGHT: LOVE
When you come across a submission in your inbox and see that the band’s influences range from Pink Floyd’s ‘Animals’, Queens of the Stone Age’s debut and Thee Oh Sees’ ‘Mutilator’ you know you’re gonna be in for a good time. Queen Giza is a band based in Brooklyn and Charleston in the US of A and this is their debut album Machine Master Demon Dream. The record is described by the band as a “something of a two act rock opera” and the plot (in a “sentence”, the band says) is (and I quote):
“An old man builds a humanoid in his younger image, implanting his memories; the robot discovers what he is, hunts down and kills creator with some difficulties (Machine Master Side), and then the creator has a postmortem dream/nightmare focused on losing his soul to the robot/demons/devil (Demon Dream Side). The 2nd side is formatted around the stages of sleep/dreaming and the bodily/brain functions, and all songs flow into each other. “
Simply put, it’s badass.
Opening track ‘Flesh & Grease’ kicks off the record with a lo-fi, looping guitar riff immediately flooding the airwaves with a very Thee Oh Sees’ atmosphere as it begins to get things a little weird. Vocals chime in a strange performance before letting go for guitars to deliver melodies which are rammed in amongst the mess to properly give this song the tools to evolve into a complete monster. This is then followed up by ‘Magnet Control’ which tears through the eardrums in a rampant rage with bellowing vocals and thunderous riffs which are repeated over and over into a finale that aims to crush the face.
‘Current Control’ adds a bit of stability to it’s charge with the main riff being slightly more coherent while maintaining a lot of the unpredictability the record has brought to the ears already. This soon makes way for the dreamy ‘Machine Master’ which sees the volume lower quite a tad on the guitars, producing a hazy sound which is soon washed away in a flood of layered vocals and a pretty sick solo. The interlude ‘MMDD’ seems to bridge the two story arcs together as Queen Giza combine the raw energy of the first half with the dreamier side of the Demon Dream side, preparing the audience for the second half of the record.
The first taste of the second half ‘Alpha Contraction’ sees Queen Giza maintain a lot of the scrappiness and unstable qualities of the first act but tones down the riffage to allow a much more melodic route to take centre stage instead. The band deal repeated blows to the head with a continuous barrage of noise forever pummelling the skull with thick, layered instrumentation. This carries on through to the close of the record, with closing track ‘Demon Dream’ in charge of knocking the head for one last hurrah.
Machine Master Demon Dream is a fantastic debut from Queen Giza. It’s scrappy instrumentals are boasted with intense riffs, peculiar melodies, insane vocals and an overarching story that’s certainly unique to say the least. It’s like the scrappy younger brother of Swans’ ‘The Glowing Man’, but Michael Gira ain’t got shit on that plot. Goddamn.