Quayde Lahüe – Love Out of Darkness

4 out of 5

Label: Adult Fantasy Records

Produced by: Peter Randlette and Johnny Wulf (recorded by)

Someone wielding a sword on the cover; a song that starts with the line ‘Out from the depths of the dungeon dank’; an umlaut in the band name… what kind of music do we think this is?  Yeah, brother, this is some throwback rock n’ roll, but it’s of the damn good variety, that nips just enough 80s thrash and metal and 90s and beyond post-rock to mix it up into something particular and fresh, and delivers it all with the chops and energy to make it legit.  Lead singer Jenna Fitton has a kind of flat delivery that takes a spin to get used to: she shines when her vocals are layered, and when she’s backed by lots of guitar slingin’ fury, but when the riffage is a bit more pared down, her speak-sing style can be mistaken for a lack of passion.  However, kicking the volume up a couple of notches takes care of that, and once you’re expecting her to maintain a note instead of go up an octave, it all starts to sync up, allowing the energy and rock to come burning back through.

A browse through the song titles – Give Me Your Love, Widowmaker, Right to Rock – probably brings to mind the kind of cookie cutter rhyming you’re going to be getting.  In truth, the lyrics don’t cut too deep, topically, but I appreciated the way Fitton found various ways to speak to those topics, and besides, lines like ‘I am the warrior’ could be said to be somewhat part and parcel with the genre, so it works.

Definitely an album that benefits from some volume, but also one that just gets better and richer the more you listen to it.