Formed in 2000, LA duo Qui otherwise known as Paul Christensen and Matt Cronk became three in 2006 with the addition of ex-Jesus Lizard David Yow; they play an awkward but very heady mix of experimental punk/metal noise. "Love's Miracle", released on Mike Patton and Greg Werckman's label Ipecac, is a difficult listening experience at times, but then, many good records are.
Right from the start the album kicks off with off-beat time signatures, jagged guitar riffs and playful lyrics. Tracks that start off tuneful and regular soon descend into jagged staccato rhythms and screams, but there's a really hypnotic quality to even the harshest moments, especially as the album goes on and you get sucked in to their world, it's impossible to press the off button. With all three players lending their vocals to tracks on the album, the variety of styles is huge: shouting, growling, crooning, screaming, talking, whispering, sometimes all at once, so there is often a schizophrenic quality to the jabber that it creates that makes you feel more than a little on edge. At one point on track five, 'New Orleans' there is a moment in the stop start tune where the sound of a creaky gate starts up in the silence between the noise and it is so eerie that it makes your skin prickle.
This is a truly experimental album, not slightly interesting or tuneful with the odd quirk, this is properly unhinged; you really have no idea where it's heading from one moment to the next, but that's really part of the joy of it all. Bringing to mind obvious comparisons with The Jesus Lizard but also bands like Shellac, The Butthole Surfers and Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds and there is a 70s prog quality to some tracks, but only for short sections, before it morphs away from you again. The fact that this album is so good is a testament to the skill of the players, they manage to hold together the whole mess of unexpected, manic and aggressive noise with ease, sounding laid back and relaxed while they do it. The only problem is it's far too short.