Wednesday, December 3, 2014
Q and Not U – “Y Plus White Girl” from No Kill No Beep Beep (2000 Dischord)


Wikipedia’s desire to call Q and Not U “post-hardcore” probably has something to do with the world and record label from which they come. Maybe it’s like how I want to describe every Washington D.C. indie rock band with any kind of interesting level of noise and rhythmic composition as “angular.” Seriously, it’s a bit of a problem with me.

There you go. Nailed it in three lines.

Actually, the good people at Oh My Rockness do it even better, and they even use my word:

Nobody rocks spazz-pop better than D.C.’s Q and Not U. Catchier than most bands on the Dischord roster, these guys thrive on off-kilter minor-key melodies, technical wizardry and vocal node-scarring noise. If you had to compare them to their other labelmates, think Fugazi meets Black Eyes. However, bands like the mighty Drive Like Jehu and Les Savy Fav can also be heard within the roar of their infectious angular hooks.

But just in case that’s not enough, I’ll continue: “Y Plus White Girl” is a song whose lyrics, as near as I can tell, make zero sense (and as such are probably not culturally insensivitve), but they do work as a kind of fun dada poetry exercise. The music, though, is high energy indie-rock that is, at times, angular, which is to say, really interesting and original. For intstance, there’s lots of guitar noise, but none of it is feedback. It’s pick slides and weird bendy parts. There is some yelling near the end, so I guess maybe that makes it post-hardcore.

Later this band evolved into something a bit more electro-clash or dance-punk or whatever. I enjoy that progression more than I would have expected. If you listen for it, you can hear the foundations in this song.

I saw them not long after this, which was my introduction to the band. They were supporting Hey Mercedes at the 7th Street Entry. Braid had broken up not long before, and Hey Mercedes’ EP was really exciting, and so it was also exciting to see such an energetic new band in Q and Not U. More exciting was that they were able to sustain that level of energy and creativity throughout their career.


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