Listen to all 2.5 minutes of a Queen Moo song — “Funeral,” say, or “Gone,” or just about any track on “Mean Well” (Topshelf Records), the Hartford band’s second album — and find yourself surfing the waves of uncertainty.
Song sections flow from one to the next, with little repetition. Volumes rise and drop; grooves kick up suddenly, then seize up before you begin to tap your foot. “Mean Well” is smart, guitar-driven rock music for lean times: stripped down and modestly dressed, but also deliciously cerebral.
“We’re not writing pop songs,” bassist Kevin O’Donnell says. “‘Mean Well’ is not a radio-hit record, and we know that. But we like what we’re doing.”
“It’s definitely important to us that we maintain a certain sense of integrity about our thing, our style,” says singer-guitarist Jason Rule. “I think we do have a higher barrier of entry for the average listener. It’s not everybody’s thing, and I think we’re pretty conscious of that. We’re not really concerned with it being everybody’s thing.”
Queen Moo — Rule, O’Donnell, guitarist Oscar Godoy and drummer Nick Charlton — performs at MAC650 Gallery in Middletown on July 15 at 7 p.m., with Two-Inch Astronaut, Ovlov and Hellrazor.
Rule and O’Donnell, who also play in Zanders (with singer-pianist Alex Saraceno), spoke with Courant music critic Mike Hamad in the podcast above about “Mean Well.” Studio tracks include “What It Comes To” (00:00), “Gone” (05:45), “Come Through” (11:36), “Fixture” (18:59) and “Mean Well” (24:27).
Stream and purchase Queen Moo’s music on Bandcamp. Listen to “Mean Well” on Spotify and find the band’s public performance schedule on its Facebook page.
Press Play is a column exploring the underground musicians of Connecticut. If you have new music to share, send it to email@example.com.