Father You See Queen: 47

Contrast is the order of the day on this half-hour EP from Minneapolis-based outfit Father You See Queen, which pairs the electronic textures, beats, and noise of Makr (Mark McGee, of the late To Kill A Pretty Bourgeoisie) with the comparatively delicate vocalizing of Mona (Nicole Tollefson). The jarring contrasts in the duo's music are on full display in “Ocean,” where her high-pitched singing butts up against his aggressive, fuzz-toned rattle and hum. Contrast doesn't just emerge within a song either but between them, too, and consequently it's Mona's voice that becomes the thread connecting the stylistically diverse songs and that gives Father You See Queen its defining character.

The combustible addition of drummer Drew Christopherson and guitarist Nick Ryan amplifies the scabrous bite of “Teratoma,” which otherwise plays like a primal howl led by Tollefson's chants and McGee's noisemaking. “We Give and Give and You Take and Take and Take and Take,” on the other hand, plays like some credible stab at melodic pop, filled as it is with the alluring sound of wordless harmony vocals and atmospheric electronic textures. Her multi-tracked voice swells into an hypnotic choir of Sirens during the brief dreamscape “Lungs,” before melodramatic snarling through “Edmund” in such a way that the tune starts to suggest a post-punk take on Brecht-Weill balladeering. Each of the six songs forms a key part of the puzzle, but it's hard not to hear the nine-minute “Don't Be Mad at Me” as the EP's central track. A slow-building epic, the piece opens with a lovely bit of vocal counterpoint before growing ever more forcefully into an insistent swirl of ecstatic vocalizing and pulsating electronics powered by a underlying beat pattern that's as much minimal techno as android funk.

April 2012