Femme-queer fronted four piece rock band Queen Cult have released their debut EP titled ‘Woman That I Know’ via indie label Mother City. Collaborating with Sam Bloor, producer and member of punk-rock band Out Of Love, the Macclesfield-quartet share a collection of unapologetic and honest songs that explore themes of women’s rights, standing-up for what you believe and “smashing the patriarchy” in an unwavering fashion. The record kicks into full force from the off with intro track and lead single ‘Show and Tell’ setting the pace. It sees the band craft an infectious distorted indie-rock-leaning record, where politically charged lead vocalist and guitarist Maisie Johnson asks “How do we float/Through this great depression” before erupting into a catchy open chorus where Maisie’s vocals take centre stage as she admits that “He wears it all too well/It’s all show and tell.” Maisie stated that “Show & Tell was written in such unprecedented times during the pandemic, when we were feeling the most physically and mentally tested by the world – not only from our own point of view but everyone around us too. The song details our struggles and our perspective on the government’s response to the pandemic. Living in a small town, we watched nothing get done by the floppy-haired twit. As Marie Antoinette once fed brioche to the poor…we sat hopelessly watching the news and thought, “why don’t we just eat some cake?” Queen Cult are certainly bringing punk back into punk rock. Their track ‘A Song of Consent’ finds a confident Maisie singing about how “Consensuality is a thing!” A track needed now more than ever where reports have shown that sexual harassment has increased.
Despite the band’s minimal catalogue ‘Woman That I Know’ displays that Queen Cult have both a familiar yet unique sound in today’s current climate, where drummers tend to be replaced by programmed samples, synths have found a place where guitars usually stood, and lyricism has become dull and secondary, at times almost just an after-thought. Queen Cult seem to be aware of the importance of melody, incorporating melodic hooks whether it be in the spacey guitar solo in the outro of ‘Calm’ or Maisie’s powerful vocal hook in indie-rock-leaning title track ‘Woman That I Know’. While the band are dynamically interesting, I think it’s the powerful message of each song that conveys the identity of Queen Cult and therefore helps them stand-out amongst their contemporaries right now.
When asked about the meaning behind the record, Queen Cult described that “This record resonates similar themes surrounding the patriarchy but focusing on the women who conform to these ideas. We wanted to know why excuses are always made, why they give in and let go. This is our reminder, you have your own voice. You have your own rights. Don’t let someone shine brighter when you are the sun. Pick you.”
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