[16 May 2014]
PopMatters Associate Music Editor
Seattle pre-grunge band the Queen Annes don’t get talked about too much or too loudly. They released Something Quick on cassette in 1986 and remained active until 1999, but they haven’t garnered a ton of attention. This expanded edition of that ‘86 cassette, now titled Something Quick 1980-1985 seeks to correct that oversight. The set adds seven bonus tracks to the original album and gives listeners a wider look at the band’s mix of arena and garage rock. These songs were big ideas delivered with taut grit, and the Queen Annes could stop and shift on a dime on songs like “Up Her Nose” and the excellent “You Got Me Running”. They could also stretch out their energy into hazy space, as on “It’s Cool With Me” and the epic “You Will Cry”. The album itself is solid, though the influence of the Who, Zeppelin, and others sometimes holds too much sway on more anonymous tracks like “Give ‘em the Right Look”. The bonus tracks don’t add much except a notion that this band honed itself into shape for the proper album. In the end, the Queen Annes prove themselves an interesting curiosity, a solid, energetic band with some solid songs. But it’s also a band still searching for its own sound in the mid-‘80s, so while this is worth a listen, it’s not exactly an unearthed classic.