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Quick Hit: Closet Disco Queen

Last updated on January 6, 2022

Closet Disco Queen produces instrumental riffhead magic. This album is one long collection of mighty, impressive riffs, distilled into smaller collections of riffs. If you like post-hardcore riffs, metal riffs, rock riffs, basically just riffs, you need this in your ears. The 8-song collection called Drink the Minibar – Live Recordings is exactly the sort of release I am coming to love: all punch.

Okay, not exactly all punch. The collection starts out with “Ninjaune,” which spends the first three minutes establishing the sort of towering reverb mountain that post-rock bands have become known for. Then at 3:30 they abruptly cut out the reverb and drop into a menacing, thundering guitar riff. It’s go time from there on out. The drums open up, and wow does the guitar get going. “El Moustachito” ramps up the energy further, starting out with a punk strum and all-four-limbs drumming. They tease back and forth from clean strumming to massive guitar drops, then knock out the first of their many memorable riffs around 1:00. It’s melodic, heavy, fast, and winding–not math-rock, but certainly enough to make a few mathe-musicians look up. If you’re looking for the high point of the record, though, it’s “Black Sorbet” — a frantic tune that builds up the weight of a riff through changing guitar effects over multiple repetitions, underpinned by impressive kit work. The “woohoo!” at 2:26 is fully deserved, as the riff onslaught that follows is truly thrilling.

While “Black Sorbet” is the highlight, it’s actually “Délicieux” that has the most exciting riff of the whole collection. It’s a torrential rager that starts at 1:05 and goes until 2:28 in multiple variations. As I’ve written before, it makes me want to get into a mosh pit, which I haven’t done in fifteen years. It is lightning in a bottle. It is a monster.

It appears that all of these live tracks have been previously released on Bandcamp except “Le Soucieux Toucan.” Maybe they wrote it after their latest releases, because the quality is certainly high enough to release. It’s a bit more moody than the previous tracks, as it tempers the rest of the record’s pounding enthusiasm with more evocative, pensive melodies. The drums hold down their end of the deal though, carrying the energy well. It’s a head-bobber instead of a rager, but it’s still got me moving. If you’re into melodic instrumental rock of any variety and you haven’t heard Closet Disco Queen before, now’s the time to jump in and this is the release to do it on.