THE BLACK QUEEN- ‘Infinite Games’
The Black Queen’s first album was a slick and exciting, 80s-influenced, tech-noir triumph. This… is not that. Oh, ‘Infinite Games’ is made of much the same ingredients- dark ambience, drum loops, bubbling synths, and the whispers and croons of erstwhile Dillinger Escape Plan frontman Greg Puciato- but instead of icy cool and tightly coiled, it’s grim and grey and meandering. Puciato pierces ‘Thrown Into the Dark’ with a wicked hook and ‘Porcelain Veins’ introduces guitar to great effect but even the best tracks outstay their welcome and others never do anything worth inviting in for in the first place. Maybe the Los Angeles trio wanted to move away from 80s imitation and immediate thrills- a classy move, maybe, but definitely boring. ‘Infinite Games’ wants to be the late-night x-rated version of ‘Fever Daydream’ but this is just that debut, drunk and showing off a too-expensive leather jacket, clumsily trying to get into your pants. Disappointing.