Q4U - Q1 Deluxe Edition 1980-1983 LP
Label: Dark Entries
Iceland's synth-punk outfit Q4U issued their one and only album Q1 back in 1982, and now those recordings (along with a bunch of tracks from the same period) get a glorious makeover courtesy of the premiere, minimal wave reissue label Dark Entries. Inspired by the British punk scene, Q4U adopted an aggressively propulsive rhythm section and maniacally jagged guitars all fronted by the snarled vocals of Elinborg Halldorsdottir. She was definitely listening to her Siouxsie & The Banshees and X-Ray Spex records, slanting towards the detached gothic monotone that would also develop out of the under appreciated X Mal Deutschland. Had Hallsdordottir sung in English and not Icelandic, the band might have developed a much broader audience, but she was committed to speak to the political inequities of Iceland in her own language. While the band originally began as an archetypal punk four-piece, the drums were abandoned by the time they recorded Q1 in favor of a drum machine (christened Elisabeth II) and plenty of synths. These icy synth melodies and motorik rhythms were much better suited to the Teutonic belting from Halldorsdottir. The 'deluxe edition' of Q1 does feature a bunch of the tracks that featured their original drummer, with the band caught in a spirited if sloppy punk furor. By the time, the electronics entered the mix, Q4U was a sharpened, synth-punk machine. It's a shame the band called it quits by the end of 1983, but at least we have this lost gem! Highly recommended!