It’s taken it’s time to drop, but QTY’s eponymous debut turns on another bulb in NYC’s shining sonic lineage.
Duo of the moment, Dan Lardner and Alex Niemetz banter and shine their way thoughtful tales of adolescence and love, to the backdrop of spidery guitar parts and time-honoured boy-girl indie harmonies.
The ghosts of The Strokes do linger, not only in Lardner’s vocals, but also in the clipped hi-hats and bouncing single note bass. But, QTY take the sometimes rushed urgency of Casablancas and his crew and deliver songs that sit back a little, give their lyrics time to be digested and bust out guitar bursts that force your hips to shimmy.
As the saying goes, ‘you can take the band out of New York but…’. And while this 31-minute, breezy 10-track album might have the Big Apple’s musical influences on its sleeve, it was produced in London, by former Suede axe Bernard Butler, and it’s tinged with his spikey glam guitar nous and penchant for bold drums. He even ended up adding bass to some of the tracks.
Things kick off with lead single, Rodeo, in which Lardner reflects on life before QTY and the surrealness of musical success. “Well how far from where I’ve been / and how long until it’s comfortable?” he croons, as Niemetz’ guitar shapes a melody around his.
QTY continue this dynamic through Michael and Dress/Undress, before really hitting the mark with fourth track Cold Night. It has a great singalong chorus, but Lardner and Niemetz play a dab hand at knowing when to stop: nowhere do you find an excessive ‘repeat chorus to fade extended outro’.
Having proved indie-magazine-hype-wonderlust right, the energy continues. It is one that smells of newborn. Lou Reed and Debbie Harry’s test tube babies.
Things tone down as Niemetz takes up the vocals on self-penned New Beginnings, with its stripped down steely guitars, and reflective positivity: “Thank God for new beginnings / I want to be alive”.
And to finish, QTY do indulge themselves in a bit more rock excess, pushing the boat out to a four-minute pop nugget. There’s a Fleetwood Mac guitar solo, and luscious vocal parings. “Gonna be alright” sing QTY, and indeed you think it is, with this lot signing for our future.