Album Review

Q4U – “Q1 Deluxe Edition: 1980 – 1983” – [Dark Entries]

Thurston Hunger   5/23/2013   12-inch, A Library

Sons and Dottirs of Iceland, although their audio parents were
likely a bunch of UK punks and Pistols. Elly Halldorsdottir’s
vocals are delivered with urgency, and a hint of the kind of
lunacy that KFJC DJ’s and listeners learn to love without fear.
Elly’s not quite on the Demi Semi Quaver scale, but especially
on the A-side, there’s plenty of wild (dyed blonde) hairs at
play. At times, her vocals are doubled by Linda Gar??arsd??ttir,
held on some of the higher notes to give it a keening energy.
While there are pumping bass and some nice guitar work, synth
is the most prominent instrument, and the drums if not always
machined are pretty mechanized. A tight ship, but the A-side
definitely pushes the edges. Not just vocal quirks, but some
slap reverb and other effects and even some guitar slicing
from Stein????r Stef??nsson. The B-side feels smoother and sweeter,
and the melodies are more pronounced/pleasant. Back on the
A-side, the lead off track is evidently Elly’s take on
getting arrested for being a bored punk in a more boring
city. “Why” switches to English to probe the suicidal
side of teenage angst, and “Creeps” grinds on Kraftwerk’s
“Model” riff, while mulling over parricide. There’s an
interesting earlier version of “Creeps” at

Comparing that with the album version, you can trace the
band’s punk spikes get minimally waved by synth. But the
more I listen to this, the more Elly’s antics are where the
warp best hits the woofer. Check out “Draugasaga” even
before a sax solo drops in, she’s getting a good rabid
froth going. Other tracks she’s fighting off an insistent
drum machine, but she wins. I wish I had found an interview
with her, recently she’s been on stage with a configuration
of the Q4U, and evidently has done some painting in the past
*30* (yikes) years from the initial Q4U daze. Pretty cool
stuffed based on minor Facebook detective action. Anyways,
another nice time capsule frozen in the 80’s and this
time Iceland from Dark Entries. For more, the documentary
“Rokk i Reykjavik” beckons, I think that link above is
from the film. Pretty amazing how young almost all the
bands looked then. But as tends to happen, us “Creeps”
become parents…so nice to listen/look back at times.
-Thursson Hunger

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