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Guitarist Jona Nido and drummer Luc Hess, both formerly of The Ocean and current Coilguns members (amongst a prolificacy of other musical side projects), now have a new baby under the intriguingly ambiguous moniker of Closet Disco Queen. And this, the self-titled debut album for their latest sonic spawn, is something of a corker... and there's not a disco beat to be heard.

Some albums you listen to and you're not quite sure just what you've experienced. Lost for words, I was, upon first hearing Closet Disco Queen. Lost for words in a good way, that is. I fucking loved it, but couldn't pinpoint why... and I also fucking loved the fact I couldn't pinpoint why, for music that provokes such a level of enjoyment in the most latent and least obvious of ways has to be sourced from pure and sincere modes of creative expression. The feeling throughout the album is that of two men who, apart from being in total aural and artistic affinity with one another, are expressing some form of inner self, rather than executing overthought compositions. This is part of Closet Disco Queen's charm... and there are charms aplenty to be heard.

There's a surprising range and depth of moods on the album as well. Each song is its own emotive entity and affectively compelling force. So much so, that it remains a thoroughly engaging listen throughout - it offers profoundly immersive potential and if you allow yourself to become immersed in its captivating sonics, you won't even notice the lack of vocals. Besides, the music on this album will speak to you in all sorts of non-verbal ways, such is its affective variance. And it has such a full sound for just two musicians, engendered by Hess' ton of inventive beats, fills, and rhythms, and Nido's astoundingly crazy and crazily astounding fretboard work.

It's also an album that's loaded with boundless surprises and unexpected twists. The first of these arrives with second track, 'What's Your 20?' - a nightmarish soundscape and a menacingly laden piece loaded with aural malice that screams of horror film soundtrack... or Angelo Badalamenti at his most sonically sinister, scoring some sort of Lynchian depravity. The antithesis to this resides within 'The Shag Wag', which resembles a heavied-up, fucked-up slice of psychedelia from a soundtrack to a late-60s Russ Meyer movie. And the album jumps around within each mood-based piece with surprising ease - there's never a jarring feel to proceedings; rather, a pleasing emotive progression as each new track presents itself in all of its innovative glory. And, mentioning soundtrack comparison points, I guess this is a corollary of the music's nature, which seems to stimulate the mind's eye into conjuring all kinds of visual concomitance.

I have to say, 'Closet Disco Queen' is undoubtedly one of the coolest album's you'll hear all year. It oozes cool without even trying to be cool. I've been an admirer of Nido and Hess' musically innovative exploits for a number of years now, and this is up there with their very best. An unexpected gem of indulgent and permissible sonic perversities.
Hummus Records
Review by Mark Holmes
12th June 2015
1) Hey Sunshine!
2) What's Your 20?
3) Caposhi
4) Catch You on the Flip Side
5) The Shag Wag
6) IYD (In Your Dreams)
7) Black Saber
"An unexpected gem of indulgent and permissible sonic perversities."