Queen City Heist – Rock & Soul Music – EP Review
Hey! Would you look at that – Queen City Heist have found their way back to our corner of the internet! With the release of three singles also available as a new EP called Rock & Soul music – I can definitely attest to the title after listening; that is one apt labelling! Also interesting to me in the sense that I can now compare the skilled sounds from their past to the exciting music they’re making today. It is always awesome to be able to hear an audible difference from record-to-record and Queen City Heist is no exception; this new handful of songs truly reveals a more tightly-focused band.
Cause skills they got…after listening to them last time I knew I was listening to a truly gifted group of musicians. I’m not even remotely kidding. Like….imagine skills were physical objects…and you had to pack them up and take them with you each time you went to band practice or to put on a show…I can’t even tell you how many trips to the van Queen City Heist would have to constantly make…but I bet they’d be in amazing shape everywhere they’d go due to all that heavy lifting of boxes stuffed with talent & skillsets…
Led by the absolutely electric Skye Mangrum, the first of these three singles I put on was called “Tangerine Dream.” Within moments…jaw completely agape…I was actually kind of startled to tell the absolute truth! It was happening! And so soon! This intense and explosive track had everything I wanted to hear in the evolution in sound for Queen City Heist.
I mean….I’m not trying to say this EP is as easy as 2am & last-call on a Friday-night…but it really did give me everything I wanted within seconds of meeting it… And like the dirty-dog of a music-man I am…I got right in there. But like a true gentleman – I called this EP back first thing the very next day. Herein lie the rest of the juicy details of my torrid affair with this short, sweet & extremely soulful EP from QCH…
Whereas the last time I had listened to this band and marveled at their incredible skills, this time left me in complete awe of their tremendous focus they’ve put on defining their sound to allow them to make the music they’ve obviously always wanted to. In many ways, listening to “Tangerine Dream” sounds like Queen City Heist completely unleashed as it rips through rock-hook to more-incredible-rock-hook – but I assure you…this is all credit to their uncanny ability to highlight their strengths in their music and find a way to truly bring the live-stage right onto a record. The result is a gorgeous rock track has an intense & lasting impact, and like I said – for me…this was an incredible beginning to the latest three songs I was about to listen to.
In many ways, though played with extreme skill, that last full album from Queen City Heist straddled the edge of genres like they only had eight seconds to ride. I again find myself appreciating the focus now displayed in this band from Clarksville, Tennessee as the second track “Lies” still retains the familiar & excellent playing of their past album but continues to display that overall tightening and defining of this rock/soul sound of theirs. HUGE shout out to all the players in this band cause for real, they are killing it every time they pick up their instruments. Bill McDonald on the drums specifically, really deserves an entire write-up of his own – that guy is a machine back there on the kit, pounding out exciting fills and inventive drum lines. “Lies” is yet again another highlight for vocalist Skye Mangrum who clearly seems to possess the ability to turn regular oxygen into audible-gold.
That’s some alchemy I can dig right there. She has it all for this style of rock & soul music – a beautiful voice that was born to sing in these genres, with emotion & passion in her voice that seek to claim the throne.
But don’t be convinced by my words – be sold by their music. The last track in this set of three for me was their song “Let Me Love You,” which places more emphasis on the soul-side and also has Jason Mangrum on full display through some excellent moves on the keyboards. Guitars stand out in their simplistic but perfect accompaniment to the soulful keys and Skye’s beautiful voice. As always – even in this slowed down tune – Bill McDonald is creating excellent parts with the stop & start, push & pull aspect of the drum-line in this song…you can almost get the sense of him being the trigger for Queen City Heist to explode into their more rock-induced moments simply from lack of being able to contain himself any longer.
And you know what? I kinda hope that’s the case! Bill SHOULD be excited – they should ALL be excited, and certainly proud of how these all came out. It’s as perfect of a representation of the rock-meets-soul sound as you could possibly want and with it being as concise as it is – there’s no filler here. It’s exciting, energetic and truly staggering in the skill department and how these players all come together as one so well on each track. Each song is like a warm invitation and boasts massive amounts of universal appeal.
Rock & Soul is the evolution of Queen City Heist I’ve been personally hoping to hear; it’s extremely awesome and literally rocks to listen to a band hitting their stride like they clearly are right here, right now.
Find them at their official Facebook page at: https://www.facebook.com/queencityheist
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