The music of these extremely old homosexuals has a strange importance that starts with a crazy post-Flash Gordon electric guitar hook and continues throughout. There is a beautiful controlled chaos at work here. On first listen it feels like an impromptu jam, but on closer inspection The Queens have weaved a complex tapestry regularly asking the listener questions such as ‘why shouldn’t these two chords be played together?’ The apparent bedlam is actually a very sophisticated and well thought out sound, perfectly represented in the opening track, ‘Turning The Screw’, which is a sort of Floydian ‘Brick in the Wall’ for rockers.
But whilst the music itself is able to be untangled, the underlying message of Era Vulgaris seems a little more confusing. Symbolised by a brash and largely incomprehensible inlay, which is also hard to remove from the case, The Queens want to make a political statement but just haven’t got that far with their thoughts and have therefore resorted to ambiguity and ambivalence.
As a musical beast however, there is enough material here for three albums. There’s no putting it on and ‘chillin out’. It’s a modern masterpiece of composition that somehow seems to harmoniously house buckets and buckets of guitar music in one cosy compilation. There are a couple of moments of more contemplative music – Make It Wit Chu and Suture up Your Future are excellent Chili Peppers tinged twists on an otherwise highly charged offering. Whilst Era Vulgaris may not have succeeded in challenging the status quo as the band would have liked, this is undoubtedly music made by people who know how to make music.