on 28 August 2002
I am a very new Queen Adreena fan, but from what I can tell, their music is usually described as art-rock, whereas in reality, it's a whole load of things at once. They seem to have taken the best bits of various genres and put them into a musical blender.
The lead whisperer/singer/squealer/screamer Katie-Jane Garside is what makes it all so special. The girl is clearly a complete loon, which is the highest compliment I can give! She goes from barely audible whispering to an astounding banshee wail in a matter of a second...she's that good.
The first song, 'Pretty Like Drugs' is a stormer of rock track, with half of the lyrics being sung in a very breathy manner, and the rest being hollered with force. All of this with a truly blinding guitar riff.
'Kitty Collar Tight' is probably the best song on the album, starting off with another excellent riff, going to the best vocals I've heard in YEARS, her odd kitten-ish croaky squeals occasionally sound strangely sexy...
'Siamese Almeida' kicks off with cracking drumming and generally continues along the same line...a decent art-rock kinda track.
'Razorblade Sky' is (mostly) a slower song, with KJG's very odd half-whispered-half-sung vocals and some nice bass guitar.
'Sleeping Pill' is a really strange one right from the start, very hard to describe accurately, but still a very good, slower track.
'A Bed Of Roses'...the most inappropriate title EVER. Buzzing guitars, Katie's violently hollered vocals, insane drumming...A really brilliant track, surely one to throw yourself around the room to.
'My Silent Undoing' is the EXACT opposite of the previous track. Acoustic guitar, softly sung vocals, a glockenspiel (seriously!)...a real lullaby, which brings me nicely onto...
'Desert Lullaby'...NOT a lullaby at all. The first 20 seconds or so are the most disturbing thing on record. A brilliant art-rock type affair.
'Under A Floorboard World' is a song full of tribal drumming, chainsaw guitars and the full range of KJG's amazing vocs.
'Hotel After Show'...a massive, brilliant, buzzing and drumming cacophony. Features THE MOST AMAZINGLY SCREECHED VOCALS ON RECORD!!!
'For I Am The Way' is a great way to end such a quite frankly weird album, a lot of the quietly sung vocals mixed with a large dose of feedback and guitars that genuinely sound like they're about to fall apart.
Coming in at 38.20 mins, it's not the shortest album ever, but it never outstays it's welcome. I've previously heard their music described as 'haunting', which sounds about right to me.
This is a genuinely fascinating album that should be bought by anyone who has an interest in something a bit (well, OK, a lot) different.
on 11 December 2002
People mainly ignore the follow-up album to the strong Debut (in this case Taxidermy...) but you have to be just plain silly to ignore this album. The only way I can describe the sound of the album is as a big sigh. It is so sad, genuine and heartfelt. We begin with the crowd pleasers "Pretty Like Drugs" and "Kitty Collar Tight" raw rage and emotion, this is the rockier sound of Queen Adreena and it is good, very good. But lest we not forget the painful lunatic-child that is Katie Jane Garside, we enter the middle movement of "My Silent Undoing," this is the sound of loss, of anger that went wrong, nothing but Katies' sweet sigh a background of tinkling music-box and occasionally and acoustic guitar/xylophone ensemble, strange, soporific, sleepy and stunning.
This is one of the highlights of the album, it's just so different and rare to hear music so well thought out yet so bare of over-production, it breaks my heart every-time.
Things pick up for the next two songs, They rock out immensely, shout, spit, scream... this is Kate Bush on Crack.
Hotel Aftershow is Nu-mental a leering fairy princess Katie has lost it, sweet pianos and raging electric guitars, the typical nature slow, fast, slow of Nu-metal is turned completely on its' head... This is a good thing.
Then finally the climax the peak of what is an emotional, completely original album. It ends on a very basal and beautiful low note, reminicent of stoner rock, things aren't okay, the sigh has ended and yet you still feel bad.
Thank you Queen Adreena, this album is fantastic.
on 21 July 2003
"I will not change what I hate in you"
Queen Adreena's second offering, the Alice-in-Wonderland-titled "Drink Me" is much different to the first album. Perhaps more brutal, songs like Hotel Aftershow and Kitty Collar Tight really push the limit of Katie Jane's banshee wail. My Silent Undoing and Sleeping Pill also take the mellow side further, with Sleeping Pill almost Bjork inspired. The album is a 'joy' to listen to - to the uninitiated it could also be viewed as disturbing. A friend once had to stop listening to My Silent Undoing due to the fact the tinkling glockenspiel and Katie Jane's whispering, ghostly lullaby had begun to scare her. The song itself is the mellow highlight of the album, and the album follows in the pattern of its predecessor. The crunching, fiddly guitar intro of Pretty Like Drugs leads into a stomping riff and insane vocals, with the album ending on the saddened but self-affirming For I Am The Way. It got me into this wonderful band, this wonderful music, these enigmatic, and charismatic, incredible people.
on 8 September 2004
Since the moment I heard the song "Madraykin" from Queen Adreena's debut album "Taxidermy," on a rainy day, half asleep - I felt an understanding of sorts. Queen Adreena seem to know a secret that is to make goose-pimple-inducing music at the strum of a chord.
The album "Drink Me" certainly takes a new direction to that of "Taxidermy" - it is like Katie Jane is taking a step back into the harsh reality of her world though not abandoning her ethereal nature. She comments from her weight problems in "My silent undoing" to her view on religion in "For I am the way," a superb ending to the album.
The lyrics in this album are so poetic and deep, Garside tops this off with her amazing range. " Our history picked out in stars" from "Razorblade Sky" is a personal favourite of mine also with the alliteration in "rib cage cuts a clear outline" from "My silent undoing" makes the hairs on the back of my neck stand on end every time.
Queen Adreena are a blend of rage, misery and devistating beauty and deserve to be heard by everyone. I only hope that Katie Jane doesn't burn herself out for the release of "Butcher and the butterfly."
on 8 August 2002
Since it seems to be pretty much obligatory to mention Daisy Chainsaw in any Queen Adreena review, might as well get it over with at the start - go grab you copy of Eleventeen, crank it to the max and get it all out of your system. Done? Okay, you have the new album in your trembling little hands, you're looking at the cover thinking "classy graphics", sexy like the single art. Brings to mind the Mark Romanek video for Fiona Apple's Criminal. Then it hits you, these are peeling polaroids all shot close-to, nakedness-not-quite-seen, weird postmodern-Victoriana and this is as much an insight as you'll ever get into the album.
Drink Me works well as a logical sequel to the KJG-therapy session of Taxidermy, it's not just an update, but a shift of focus. The fairytale-expressionist art-metal of the original remains, but is tuned down as the razor-sex undercurrents of previous songs slash and burn their way into the foreground. The whole sticky polaroid, slashed up bodies, sordid tabloid exposé feel is most evident in Pretty Like Drugs, Kitty Collar Tight, A Bed of Roses and Hotel Aftershow, grinding, screaming, violently smutty assaults that are just completely designed to hurtle round the room to. No, really, it is actually impossible to stop yourself doing that. I tried. Just avoid playing them with other people in the room cause you'll probably look like an idiot. Oh, add F.M. Doll to that list, it seems destined to be to this album what their Jolene cover was to Taxidermy. If you heard it on their Radio 1 Rockshow session you'll understand.
Actually, as a whole this album is heavier, crunchier and generally smash-things-uppier than the previous one. The balance has shifted, the quiet drifty bits on Drink Me are pretty much limited to the sultry freefall lullabies of My Silent Undoing and For I Am The Way, that dreamy/sickliness is present in the other songs, but either surrounded by or laid over strange, loud, and dare I use the phrase "mosh-tastic" distorted guitars and crashing drums. I'd say most everyone who loved Taxidermy would love Drink Me as much if not more, it'd likely appeal to most Nine Inch Nails, PJ Harvey, Jack Off Jill fans...basically anyone into fairytale-industrial who thinks, "the midnight sun burns holes in the soles of my feet" is a cool lyric. Oh, and Daisy Chainsaw fans, of course.
on 17 December 2004
I feel blessed to have encountered this band, with a mixture of great sweetness and great pain(on a radiohead level, with a vulnerable yet powerful singer fronting a great band, making extremely unsettling and original music). If you haven't bought it already, go buy it. Now! After the sweet and scary Taxidermy, full of fairy tale horror, 'Drink Me'is to Taxidermy what 'OkComputer' is to 'The Bends', with noisy, highly stylised electronic sampling but without losing its visceral, highly sexual, crazy rock guitar quality. Katie Jane Garside is wonderful, using her voice to create spine-chilling bone-breaking effects. She really uses it as an instrument that shapes and integrates the music rather than as an excuse to cover it all up. If you ever get the chance to see them live, DO IT! They are possibly the most compelling live band I have ever seen. No lie.
on 30 August 2002
now i've heard a number of people slag this album off, people who like taxidermy too, & slag queen adreena's latest gigs & i have no idea why. maybe it's just all getting a tad too visceral for them these days. well good luck wimps, go stock up on travis as it leaves more room down the front for the rest of us.
this album is more shouty & a touch heavier than the last. with that huge metal audience out there at the mo, this maybe deliberate, or it maybe coincidental, but it matters not cos if they cross over & get on top of the pops it'll be the greatest tv moment since the firestarter video.
on 25 November 2007
dark and cynical, yet beautiful and haunting. this is a " take no prisoners " album that has not been sugar coated to sell records. Queen Adreena know what they're doing, and they do it best. Katie Jane Garside has one of the most diverse set of vocal chords i've ever heard! from soft, ghostly whispers to throat shredding, blood curdling screams in a second! over their 3 album career so far (this record being their second), Queen Adreena take you to every dark corner inside the human mind that nobody dares think about or speak of, which is one of the main reasons i adore them, they talk about things that will make people feel uncomfortable. although they have been lumped into that " metal " category, their music stretches far beyond. i'd describe them as Siouxsie & The Banshee's, Tool & Deftones mixed together in a blender. sadly, since leaving their record label " Rough Trade " this album is no longer in print and it's quite a rare collector's item, which is why it's so expensive, i paid £25 for it off ebay but it was well worth it. it's an album you can rock out to that will also make you think and let your mind wander into those places you didn't know existed. also check out their other 2 album's " Taxidermy " & " The Butcher & The Butterfly " which are also scarily amazing! Katie Jane Garside & Crispin Gray (Queen Adreena's guitarist) had previously played together in the awesome britpunk band Daisy Chainsaw that had some moderate success in the early 90's, check them out too! according to their website, Queen Adreena have a new album due out in 2008. i will be counting the days
on 21 April 2006
I bought this album without ever hearing a note. Imagine my joy when I found this to be rare and enthralling. It has a stamp of originality and pure expression all over it - Katiejane Garside's voice is perfectly calibrated to the subjects of the songs, especially "Siamese Almeida"; which is the very sound of psychological collapse and righteous fire. I do enjoy the follow up, "Butcher and the Butterfly" but this is by far the superior work. Unrestrained and uncompromising. Buy it
on 10 October 2003
If QA's first album, 'taxidermy', was one of the mortal sins praised by catholic church, it would be lust; if 'drink me' was also a mortal sin, it would be envy.
The difference between both albums is like the one between night and day; 'taxidermy' is absolutelky beautiful, soaked in dreamy melodies, sometimes struck by raging guitar chords and breath-taking backup vocals by k.j.garside; 'drink me' is rough were the previous was soft, hard riffs and violence driven gorgeousness.
When I first heard the album I was really disappointed, because I was expecting the contained beauty of songs like 'pretty polly', 'mandraykin' and the most beautiful and soul-.breaking song 'weeds'. But what I found were melodies burried under tons of rough sound, waving guitars and what seemed to be a lack of arrangements for keyboards. Happily I didn't give up and listened to the album over and over.
Once you start to discover the beauty and simplicity of some of the songs, hidden inside that big wall of sound, you find the most beautiful songs ever. K.J.Garside also suffered some changes in her voice: she really wants to show people that she can scream better than anyone; sometimes sweet, sometimes greedily bitter, she goes through the songs like a ghost.
While in 'taxidermy' the lyrics were a bit abstract, now the understanding of the whole album is made a little easier; some of the songs are absolute perls: 'siamese almeeida' with its stonr chorus, 'razorblade sky' ( I started crying when I listened to this song... her voice is so full of pain) and 'sleeping pill', that could easily win the award for best song of the year.
If you want to rock out and just explore your darker side, QA serves you songs like 'a bed of roses', 'under a floorboard world', 'pretty like drugs' and 'kitty colar tight'. If you're the quiet type, try listening to the aching 'for I am the way' or ' my silent undoing'.
The only thing in the album that really makes me sad is the photography and design of the package... they got a step backwards in that department, away from the amazing art in 'taxidermy', made by Martina Hoogland-Ivanow. It's a pitty, because the band's image is unique in today's alternative music.
All in all, this is one of the best albums in A.music; Queen Adreena and Diamanda galás are here in this world to show us that, sometimes, fear and rage are good things.
I hope this review was hopeful:)