Q And Not U Power

There’s no mistaking the sudden change in Q and Not U’s shuddering post-punk on their third album, Power. While this DC band proved in between their first two albums (2000’s No Kill No Beep Beep and 2002’s Different Damage) that progression is inevitable for such forward-thinking and talented musicians, the gap between albums two and three seems almost too drastic. At times, Power even reaches new strides that just don’t feel like they belong on the Dischord roster. That’s not to say this isn’t a worthy or even good album, because this band is definitely inventive and full of enthusiasm. Q and Not U though have moved beyond the agit-punk of No Kill into perfect exploratory pop that doesn’t completely disregard the past. "Wonderful People” introduces a retro-futuristic type of pop-funk hybrid (akin to a 21st century Make-Up) that reappears on "Wet Work” and the electronically enhanced "7 Daughters.” A few tracks like the fiery "X-Polynation” and "Dine,” which maintain a slow Fugazi influence, recall the band of yore, but when put alongside the near a cappella of "District Night Prayer” and the flute solos on "Throw Back Your Head,” the band’s cheery attitude adjustment sure can’t be denied. (Dischord)