We’re lucky in the UK, not only are we avoiding the man-baby that is Donald Trump and his grotesque mannerisms, we also get American music a few hours earlier than those in the US. This is particularly advantageous when New Yorkers QTY have been releasing their material ahead of today’s new album. Their self-titled debut album features 2 tracks that were previously released, and they wet the appetite for the remaining 8, some of which were released in the build-up to the album – the quality is upheld, and the total 10 combine to produce a late contender into anyone’s top 50, 10 or even record of the year.
Opener ‘Rodeo’ slams with the combination of guitarists Dan Lardener and Alex Niemetz, the album is built on the friendship between the two; “someone you can count on, someone you can trust”, and Lardener has previously commented on how the song is effectively their friendship in a couple of minutes. It’s over in a flash, and launches you into ‘Dress/Undress’. It has a lasting taste of the New York underground, with likenesses drawn to Lou Reed and The Strokes. A night in underground New York sounds good fun with this pair.
The dual-vocal style gives a conversational, active vibe, ‘Cold Nights’ is led by Lardener but the echo of Alex’s tones, almost as if in agreement, brings the duet close to home. Similarly, ‘Living Things’ helps picture two guitars, one mic, and faces either side of it singing. ‘Notify Me’ is Reed all over, and ‘Sad Poetic’ is a self-reflective track as if lyrically inspired by the blues scene but remaining true to leather-jacket, Strokes guitar.
‘New Beginnings’ was only released last month, the gentle tones of Niemetz lead this time, with Lardener providing an equally gentle reassurance during the chorus. The outro fades like taking your hand away from something balanced on a pinpoint – the beauty is preserved. Final track ‘Salvation’ has Lardener back on the mic, and the album is closed with heavier drums, heavier guitar, and a fuzz that resembles that of the artwork. The fact both singles ‘Ornament‘ and ‘World Breaker’ have been omitted shows the strength in depth this band has.
Go to New York for half an hour, you always said you wanted to go. QTY is out now.