Thing of the Day

Lyon's scrapyard-angularists Ned have a new album, and so do New York space rock riffers Mirror Queen

April 25th 2011

 Thing of this day is the new album from Lyon’s Ned; still all scrapyard abrasive.a little less cluttered now though… And while you’re here, it's worth checking out the new album from New York’s Mirror Queen

NedNED – Bon Sauvage (Africantape/SK Records) – After fourteen years of hard touring and a significant body of recordings, Ned say they are “still raunchy, but prefer to make it a little more simple now, to make tunes that go straight to the gut”. They’re a band from Lyon, France; a band we’ve been covering around these parts since their DIY cassettes in the snail mail days of the late 90s. In comparison to that body of work this latest album does sound a little less cluttered, and yes, a little more simple that some of the things Ned have come out with in the past. It is all relative, however: this is still barbed and pecking and all rusty around the edges, all there just waiting to catch on you and tear off a little bit of your musical mind. Bigger what? Same Same But Different, the sound of the once very abrasive scrapyard band evolving into something suprisingly bold and easy to catch. Still loaded with that Ned personality, same same, but just a little bit different.

Bon Sauvage is a very satisfying album, still very much Ned, still very much hardboiled and angular, still awkwardly good, but a little more laid back, a band at ease, enjoying it, less rusty abrasion with their angularity this time around. Ned are sounding refreshed - this is a pleasant listen, almost breezy at times when I kind of expect them to be scraping rusty metal over open wounds; this time around its just slightly uncomfortable chairs with bits that still stick up and catch you. Punky energy now and again, mostly a left-field noise band slightly more at ease and as a result, challenging themselves, and yes, making another rather impressive album. Strong tunes, songs alive with engaging personality, a sound of their own, nothing ever obvious, rather like this same same but different approach from Ned this time around… Excellent album.

Bon Sauvage is out on May 2nd.

Mirror QueenMIRROR QUEEN – From Earth Below (Tee Pee) – They’re from New York, they’ve evolved out the ashes of Kreisor, they’re an unashamed 70’s Hawkwind flavoured guitar dominated hard rock band. Think Hawkwind riffs, bits of Blue Oyster Cult, more Hawkriffs, touches of Metallica (the bits Metallica borrowed off Budgie and Diamond Head), some early UFO, a health psychedelic undercurrent and you’re pretty much there.

Kenny Kreisor handles vocals alongside his flying V; the album is largely instrumental, but they do have proper songs and hooks and things, not just another jamming guitar band riffing away. From Earth Below is nothing you won’t have heard before - they close things with a Captain Beyond cover from 1972, and that should give you more than a healthy indication as to where Mirror Queen are coming from.

Totally retro psychedelic flavoured mellow heavy rock and proto-metal, touches very early NWOBHM, all rather decent and, well, here it is should want to go investigate further:         
From Earth Below is out in the UK on April 25th via Cargo Records distribution. Mirror Queen join ATOMIC BITCHWAX as part of the current Tee Pee European tour, for a one off UK date on April 27th in London at Camden’s Purple Turtle. Full bill is Naam, Quest For Fire, Mirror Queen and The Atomic Bitchwax. More Bitchwax here.

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