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Queen Kwong - 'Love Me To Death' Album Review


1. Love Me To Death

2. One Lung

3. Fools Gold

4. Raptures

5. The Happiest Place

6. Third World Girl

7. White Whine

8. Prehistoric Blues

9. On The Mend

10. Old Faithful

11. Sun Of Life

Carré Callaway first came into the public eye in 2005 after being discovered by Nine Inch Nails main man Trent Reznor. She supported the band’s ‘With Teeth’ tour under her own name as a solo singer songwriter. She was off the scene for a while before returning, once again in support of Nine Inch Nails ‘Wave Goodbye’ tour, this time under the Queen Kwong name. The exotic sounding name is, as well as a great pun on giant monkey King Kong, is in fact derived from Callaway’s middle name which is Kwong. (Assuming my online research is correct). Her debut album ‘Get A Witness’ was released in late 2015 to great critical acclaim. She also played the Reading and Leeds Festivals that year. April 2018 sees the release of her new album ‘Love Me To Death’ on Edison Sound.

This is a crazily eclectic album that feels like a personal insight into Carré Callaway’s life. She has suffered from mental health problems for much of her life and I wonder how much of this primal, powerful and ethereal music is partly her exorcising her demons through her music. There is not one filler among the eleven tracks here. The title track and album opener and at times Polly Harvey-ish “Love Me To Death” drags you happily kicking and screaming into the world of Queen Kwong. You will be held captive in this world until the final multi tracked guitar drone of weirdly psychedelic “Sun Of Life” finally sets on the horizon. It is a world that I am sure will call you back often and each time you visit you will undoubtedly discover yet another layer hidden within this towering beast of an album.

Some of these tunes are going to sound incredible when played live. “Prehistoric Blues” hits you as hard as the comet that wiped out the dinosaurs 65 million years ago. The album was at one point going to be named after the Grungey, Garage, Electro-ish “On The Mend” a song which evoked memories of Peaches in her more rocky phase. The melancholy, heartfelt treatise on break-up and loneliness of “Old Faithful” surely cannot fail to work on your emotions. It seems to relate to depression and bad times and in a strange way this maudlin masterpiece is also quite uplifting. The video that accompanies the title track is like a collection of quality David Lynch outtakes that Lynch simply didn’t have the time or the space to use in a film. Nowadays Rock music is short on radical rebels and now it has a five star radical rebel in Carré Callaway. It is impossible to put her into any specific genre or box no matter how hard you try. So just give up trying and surrender to her majesty Queen Kwong!

Review - Bill Adamson

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