Queen Moo’s DIY Debut Album

Michael Quick

Local Connecticut band’s first full-length album will stay on repeat
‘till the cows come home

One of the many things that I’ve come to appreciate since coming to college is the local music scene. I grew up in one of the more rural areas of New Jersey, so the local music scene back there is essentially non-existent.

Queen Moo is a local Connecticut band (Photo obtained via Facebook)
Queen Moo is a local Connecticut band (Photo obtained via Facebook)

Here in New Haven (and surrounding areas) the complete opposite is true; there are so many local bands it’s difficult to keep track of even a fraction of them.

One band that I had the pleasure of seeing since I’ve been here is Queen Moo, a DIY garage alternative band from Hartford, Conn.

Truth be told, the band I went to see was Sorority Noise (another Hartford band of similar style) and was pleasantly surprised to see a couple of the members of that band playing in Queen Moo.

Queen Moo just released their self-titled debut album on Aug. 10 and it has exceeded my (high) expectations.

As a whole, the collection sounds a lot like that classic, rough, DIY sound that so many bands (especially around here) are striving for, however this is one of the few acts that executes it properly.

Being loose without sounding sloppy is one of the hardest things for a band to achieve and it only comes when the members know what they are doing and are incredibly in sync with one another. Queen Moo does an exceptional job of this, creating something that doesn’t sound as if a computer spit it out, but rather something organic and original, with tempi ebbing and flowing as they should, along with vocal performances and melodies summoning up an emotional response in the listener.

One of the things that stuck out about Queen Moo when I saw them was the varied and unique rhythmic patterns found within their pieces; I was not disappointed when instances of this popped up throughout the album.

As a matter of fact, the very first song, “Hook Sox,” incorporates a ridiculous amount of syncopated rhythms at the end. Isolating just that section, one might even think they were listening to a math-rock band or something similar. And “Never If Ever” bounces back and forth between emphasizing a duple and triple rhythm creating this really interesting tension and almost forces the listener to bob their head to try and keep up.

The only real gripe I have with the album is the overuse of the double-tracked vocals. I understand how they are trying to take the lead vocal and make it sound bigger and a little bit washy, and I also get that it’s kind of “the sound” of this particular style of music, likening its way back to a band like Modest Mouse.

However, I still think it could have been used a bit more sparingly, focusing more on choruses or emphasizing particular parts of phrases.

My absolute favorite track off of Queen Moo was “Don’t Think I Do” which starts out in this slow, bluesy, sea shanty-esque fashion focusing on the interplay between the electric guitar and the lead vocal, and then immediately shifts to this upbeat early-Americana rhythm.

The entire song bounces back and forth between being that same sort of slow groove to something upbeat and dance-inducing. It’s just very interesting all of the places the song goes, both rhythmically and melodically, in three short minutes.

Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed listening to this album (several dozen times) and would easily recommend it to anyone.

Check them out on Facebook and Twitter and go see them the next time they play!

Send me an email if you have any albums that you would like me to review!