Artist: Q and Not U

Date Released: October 5, 2004

Label: Dischord

Produced By:


  1. Wonderful People
  2. 7 Daughters
  3. L.A.X.
  4. Throw Back Your Head
  5. Wet Work
  6. District Night Prayer
  7. Collect the Diamonds
  8. Beautiful Beats
  9. Dine
  10. X-Polynation
  11. Passwords
  12. Book of Flags
  13. Tag-Tag


Q and Not U, the DC/Dischord band that brilliantly creates catchy yet off-axis post-punk songs, has re-invented themselves once again with their third full-length, Power. This album resembles the upbeat and excuberant No Kill No Beep Beep a lot more than more melodic Different Damage, except for the fact that it is made for the dancefloor rather than your headphones. In the regular Q and Not U style, each song is a combination of an up and off-beat drum pattern, catchy, angular and repetitive guitar and bass lines and the enigmatic shared vocals from the entire band (and on some parts large groups of people). While the innovative instrumentation that was utilized so much on the previous albums still remains, there is a lot more emphasis on keyboards (and undeniable ferocity of the jazz flute). The vocals have also kicked it up an octave; on some songs the singing style and harmonies almost resemble The Bee Gees. The biggest difference I hear in the sound since their last release is less of a dub influence, and more of a dancehall and funk vibe (similar to fellow Dischord-ians El Guapo), most likely thanks to the popularity of the current danceable post-punk scene. Though it has to be noted that this by no means makes Q and Not U blind followers of the genre; they in fact were one of the innovators in the style of genre that appears prominently toady. This is an amazingly fun release from a band that is usually associated with politics and lyrical seriousness, though there is still a good helping of that as well. The somewhat depressing observation is that Q and Not U has fallen into the "normal" classification of indie-rock music, which is inevitable since their musical ideas helped shape the scene as it appears today. Could this have had a factor in the break up of the band (which resulted within the year after this release)? Possibly, but I hope not. Mpardaiolo

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