Whilst 2018 proved to be a year for celebration for hundreds of acts, it’s likely that no other band experienced the multidimensional whirlwind that Queen Zee found themselves perpetually within last year. On the back of a string of tracks and a ferociously idiosyncratic reputation live, the group went from curious oddballs to being endorsed by the likes of Iggy Pop and Liam Gallagher in less than a year, all without having a full length under their collective unlocked chastity belts.
Following on the from the announcement of their record last year, many pondered if Queen Zee could transplant the filth and the glamour of their live presence into a cohesive and concise offering. However, their self titled debut doesn’t just perfectly capture the riotous glitz of Queen Zee, it’s a brilliant establishment of their intent. There’s no formal introductions to be had here, and nor should they be. Opener ‘Loner’ acts as a stun grenade to the senses, with it’s scrappy and rebellious mannerisms instantly transporting you to the wondrously eschew world Queen Zee reside within.
Whilst is the album is undoubtedly the result of a number of factors, the underlining legacy of the great Liverpool scene is evident within this record, with the sound contained within the release harking memories of the heyday of UK punk whilst simultaneously sounding perfectly relatable for the modern age. ‘Lucy Fur’ sounds like an uncaged hedonistic invasion of a local parish church with it’s oscillating crunch and ‘Sissy Fists’ could be set to become the next battle chant for the continuously oppressed LGBT+ community.
Whilst many LBGT+ acts aim to be a source of comfort and community for those experiencing horrific oppression and abuse, Queen Zee sound’s within this record is something akin to a celebratory war charge. It’s a record that is not only a rallying call, but one that reinvigorates the energy required to make a change within our culture. It’s a call to those who feel that they must hide within the margins of society, one that encourages them not only to take pride in who they are, but to break free from the margins with a charge.
Despite the jovially aggressive hedonistic demeanour and polished, skilfully assembled aesthetic, there’s a level of melancholia and anxiety underlining this record, one that becomes more apparent as the record progresses. With it’s heavy Marilyn Manson influence, ‘Idle Crown’ is the lamentations of a person who has been ravaged by the cruelty of modern life and beneath the frantic fretwork of ‘Boy’ lies the worrying reality that non-binary people are often the target of unprovoked violent attacks. Whenever it’s overt are more covert, each track on this record carries a message that explores and challenges modern life and current politics. Regardless of your sexual orientation or the personal tribulations you have experienced, it's impossible not to relate to the trails that Queen Zee have experienced.
Beneath this polished yet feral exterior, this record is plentiful in both substance and human emotion. Queen Zee have managed to repurpose a sound that’s become synonymous with toxic masculinity and convert it into a positive and revolutionary record that’s fit for a vast audience. This record isn’t just an album that showcases the high octane and sexually hedonistic ideology of the band, it’s an invitation to leave the mundanities and oppression life gifts us behind and join them. In times of increasing division such as these, albums such as this are exactly what we need.
Queen Zee is out now via Sasstone Records