After much anticipation, we’re finally blessed with a debut album from LA-based Queen Kwong – aka Carré Carraway. After a sold out four month residency in London earlier this year, the LA punks built up a bit of a reputation for their electrifying live shows; and Get A Witness certainly doesn’t disappoint.
Kicking off with the savage power Queen Kwong are known and loved for with ‘Cold Daggers’, it’s instantly clear why they gain the attention they do. Aside from the reckless noise of Carraway’s vocals, there’s obvious talent behind the tunes: a powered motivation that’s impossible to ignore. The controlled madness – which continues flawlessly into second track ‘Newt’ – is sold confirmation that punk is both very much alive and well.
Saying that, listeners mustn’t become too accustomed to the brawling nature of the opening tracks. By no means does Carraway’s talent stop at aggression. Taking a calmer, more sultry – though just as sinister – turn, Queen Kwong tone it down a notch. ‘Love Me’, with its lustful use of church organ sounds beneath Carraway claiming she’ll “beg and steal just to feel your heart beat”, shows a rather unexpected, but very welcome, vulnerability; a vulnerability, however, that remains suitably cool and collected. Carraway may open her hard to you, but she’ll be cold as ice while doing so – something every girl dreams of having the ability to do.
Snapping back from the brief lapse into emotion, Carré returns to her punchy, punk-rock attitude for the remainder of the album – which is far from long enough. As though the sultry aggression isn’t enough, however, Carré here –particularly in penultimate track ‘Purrfiction’- shows off her undeniable sex appeal. With yells of “I’m tired” and “I’m perfect”, she pretty much sums up her own album: the perfect amalgamation of unapologetic punk bangers and mellow, heartbroken tracks.
Finishing strong with ‘Bells On’, Queen Kwong have made an album that is unquestionable proof of the embodiment of “viva la punk”. With the combined talent, charisma and commitment of a fantastic band and front-woman, punk is not dead. And nor should it be if albums like this are still being made.
Get A Witness is out today. And, if you’re at Reading or Leeds, make sure you catch these guys live!