Queen Adreena
The Butcher and the Butterfly
/one little indian; 2005/






Queen Adreena’s music is clearly unwholesome and conveys a feeling of gruesome schizophrenia. In my review of their excellent previous album entitled Drink me, I depicted the ex-Daisy Chainsaw’s music as, let me quote myself and have a swollen head, “on the one hand, urgent, noisy, fast and visceral punk songs in which Katie Jane Garside yells, shrieks and gives the impression of scarcely waking up from a terrible nightmare; and on the other hand, slow, poisonous atmospheric songs in which KJG’s unhealthy voice spreads its wings of depression. If you’ve never heard her voice, try to imagine Bjork performing ‘Army of Me’ completely stoned and trying to imitate Lydia Lunch. Add a punctual raucous tone due to helium inhaling and alcohol abuse, well then you might have an idea of what her voice sounds like.”

What else than drug addiction, unstable re-habs, alcohol abuse, and twisted minds can have possibly led Crispin Gray and Katie Jane Garside to play such a dubious music which really epitomize schizophrenia ?? When she stops yelling, shrieking and venting her rage or madness upon the listener, when she whispers or pants or just sings, KJ Garside’s changing child-like voice offers insane deliveries which, backed up by cryptic lyrics, sound like little girls’ nightmares (‘Pull Me Under’, ‘Join The Dots’, ‘Childproof’). There is certainly a child related theme in the lyrics but I do not dare analysing it, lest becoming completely mad. She really is vocally mind-blowing. There are even two beautiful quiet songs (a style the band hadn’t explored before) in which she delicately sings as if she was looking for lost purity, for an exit, be it temporary (‘Birdnest Hair’ and ‘ Childproof’).

As ‘Siamese Almeida’ in Drink Me, there are visceral noisy should-be hits: ‘Medicine Jar’ and its heady bass lines played by KJG’s sister who joined the band; ‘The Butcher & the Butterfly’ which closes the album on a dubious impression, Garside singing ‘am I alive or am I dead’ and screaming out the pain of a woman having lost or sacrificed a baby contrasting with innocent back-voices; and above all the fascinating ‘Suck’ in which she starts with la la las that become raspy, interspersed with angry ‘Suck, suck it down deeper’. And when she sings in the chorus ‘I will sign anything just cos I’m lonely, lay me down please, just do anything cos I’m lonely’, it should sound like a poignant confession but it sounds like a trap. The Butcher and The Butterfly might be a little bit too long (‘Fm Doll’ is the great grungy unhealthy 2002 single dealing with incest the band has re-recorded and ‘In Red’ is a song for nostalgic Rid of Me fan), but it is absolutely worth listening.

-SEB ‘just get through the night this time’ WOOd.

Let’s mention that Queen Adreena released a live album as well. It’s called Live at the ICA and its sleeve evokes Daisy Chainsaw’s Eleventeen. I don’t know why but I’ve listened to all Queen Adreena albums about six months after their official release, so I might review it later on…

/december 2005/