With their visceral and vital live performances generating a huge word-of-mouth buzz, Queen Zee’s debut album sets out to show that they are far more than just a good night out. Singer and lyricist Zee’s growing prominence as a queer icon helps to shine a light on a world of which far too many are unaware.
With blood-red raw stories of transphobia and domestic abuse, this could easily be just a ‘worthy’ listen, but the punk band’s inherent understanding of the power and potency of the genre transform it into a vital one too.
They start off in top gear with ‘Loner’ and hardly let up in the following half hour or so. ‘Lucy Fur’ sounds like a riot in St Pauls, Zee’s vocals threatening to turn into a Manson-esque sneer at points - leaning further into that on the pummelling ‘Idle Crown’, warning that “we are ballerinas dancing on broken glass.”
Live favourites like ‘Porno’ and ‘Victim Age’ get an upgrade here, losing none of their vicious bite - in fact, the whole record is a perfect capture of their live essence. But it is the likes of ‘Boy’ and ‘Sissy Fists’ that will resonate the most. These songs demand their messages be heard, showing the reality and effects of transphobia, allied with the sort of surging riffs that are going to see some serious moshpit action.
2019 has only just started, and we may already have the most important record of the year in our arms.