Album Review: The Black Queen - Infinite Games
Artist: The Black Queen
Album: Infinite Games
Review by Steve Jenkins
If you're new to The Black Queen, think 80s-inspired pop and synthwave sensibilities along with beautiful soundscapes, ambient dark tones and done in non-cheesy way at all. Forming in 2015 and consisting of Greg Puciato (The Dillinger Escape Plan), Joshua Eustis (Telefon Tel Aviv, ex-Nine Inch Nails), and Steven Alexander (former tech of both The Dillinger Escape Plan and Nine Inch Nails).
It was always going to be hard to follow the stunning debut album, Fever Daydream, but they sure did come close with Infinite Games. Greg Puciato has always been a divisive figure as a clean vocalist, owing mainly to the perceived softness he has brought to The Dillinger Escape Plan (albeit still mostly recognised for his overbearing brutality), and if you can't listen to Miss Machine without skipping 'Unretrofied', this album will assuredly not be for you. However for the rest of us, his tone and skill in delivery is an absolute joy. His breathy falsetto melts over these tracks in assured confidence, oddly reminiscent of Darren Hayes of Savage Garden.
This is a wonderful pop/synth record, accompanied by pristine production, with dark, sultry, downright sexiness on display at every corner and nostalgic ride for those who have experienced the culture of the 80s first hand. But it also provides the listener something new and fresh where you would least expect it. You'll continue to hear hints of Depeche Mode, Tears For Fears and Nine Inch Nails, but obviously with a more modern twist. You can hear a bit more emotion on this album compared to Fever Daydream, and I guess you could also say it's a little darker. After what the band members have experienced since their last release, from Puciato’s Polish bus accident, the demise of The Dillinger Escape Plan, Eustis’ return to Telefon Tel Aviv, and a robbery of the trio’s storage space, how can there not be?
If you're a Dillinger Escape Plan fan and you're curious as to what you might hear, whilst you might think The Black Queen to be strange and unexpected at first, it’s best to approach their music with an open mind, and to accept it for what it is. Dreamy, electro, synth-y goodness that's very well executed. If you're looking for a unique experience then do yourself a favour and see The Black Queen when they're in Australia next January, if you can get a ticket that is. 7 out of 10.
Infinite Games will be out September 28th. https://theblackqueen.bandcamp.com/
Thursday 17 January 2019 - Black Bear Lodge, Brisbane
Friday 18 January 2019 - Lansdowne Hotel, Sydney
Saturday 19 January 2019 - Northcote Social Club, Melbourne
Sunday 20 January 2019 - Northcote Social Club, Melbourne