When word came that Dillinger Escape Plan’s Greg Puciato was fronting a new band, also featuring Joshua Eustis of Telefon Tel Aviv, I had no idea what to expect. The Black Queen, as it turned out, would be my first real foray into synthwave. Ends up… I fucking love it.
With its 80s vibe, spacey melodies, and gentle, pulsing beats, it is an exciting and beautiful listen. Every track on the debut album, Fever Daydream, is a journey. The album is littered with familiar 80s musical tropes that are all put to fantastic use, making for amazing and catchy series of tracks.
Two years later, with their follow up album, The Black Queen expanded their sound, pulling from a broader range of influences. Infinite Games features new wave and even industrial characteristics, making for a deeper and more varied album.
Puciato’s vocals throughout both albums are revelatory. We’d heard hints of his clean vocal capabilities via DEP, but The Black Queen puts that voice front and centre. Soothing, ethereal, and unbelievably well-suited to the synthwave style, Puciato proves himself an adept vocalist in multiple ways.
The Black Queen are a unique force in modern music. Their sound is nostalgic and of another time, while also feeling fresh and even futuristic.