Queen Chief
Animal Stories
Crank this to 7.6 of 11
Hard rock
Sounds Like:
Smashing Pumpkins, The Annie Crooners
Thursday, September 05, 2019
The highly prolific heavy music breeding ground of Portland Oregon hits us with a band called Queen Chief. Animal Stories is the band’s second release in five years. While we do gravitate towards the eccentric heavy spectrum, it is nice occasionally to hit the lighter side of heavy or straight-shooting hard rock. Lead singer Justin Lien features some of the apathetic nasally pipes much akin to Billy Corgan or Wes Scantlin. Animal Stories hits some high marks when the band explores the floating space ethereal as we hear on "The Space Funeral" and "Give It To Me" variety. Psychedelia and vocal distortion make for an interesting take. Unfortunately, the album contains a handful sub-par tracks that expose some weaker lyrics and plain vanilla melodies. The overall flow of Animal Stories encompasses a weak start with a few tracks that expose Lien’s vocals (not enough echo or distortion). The album does end quite strong however, with the last 4 tracks taking in a more spacial vibe.

Track Listing:
1. Rosemary- Say Hi to Jesus (2:02)
2. Animal Shadows (4:35)
3. Hands In a Jar (3:59)
4. I Feel Like an Animal (5:18)
5. Get You High (4:01)
6. The Space Funeral (4:52)
7. Give It to Me (6:59)
8. Waiting for the Ocean (feat. King Black Acid) (3:58)

Standout Track:
"The Space Funeral" contains the best fretwork and heaviest melodies of the lot. Ethan Conrad shines on this track. Love the variety and contrast throughout. We wish they had kept this vibe from track one onward. Keep going though as "Give It To Me" and ‘Waiting for the Ocean’ end quite strong.

Adult Beverage Pairing:
Grab a Breakside Fitzcarraldo at 11.2% punch this will draw out the animal theme in you. A powerful Belgium strong dark ale from Portland Oregon. Its a bit choppyon the fruitiness side as depending on the day we taste soaked raisins, plums and some thick fruity port. A nice compliment to Animal Stories very strong ending.

Captivation and Variety
7.3 out of 11

Vocal Performance
7.8 out of 11

Weight of the Heavy
7.2 out of 11

Fretwork Prowess
8.0 out of 11

Percussion Prowess
7.8 out of 11

Overall Album Flow
7.1 out of 11

7.3 out of 11

Album Cover Aesthetics
8.0 out of 11

Production Value
8.1 out of 11

Final Thoughts:
We are sticklers for strength throughout the entire album. There is so much amazing and unexplored music out there that when we hit a few stumbles early in an album it can taint future listens. If ‘Animal Stories’ were an EP starting from track 5 onward, we could have potentially put this one up as an Editor’s Pick. We do encourage you to also check-out their 2014 self-titled debut release as well. Its quite solid throughout.

Band Members:
Justin Lien - Guitar/Vocals
Ethan Conrad - Guitar
Terry Burch - Bass
Ulysses - Drums
Mak Kastelic - Keyboards/Vocals

Follow Queen Chief: Bandcamp / Facebook
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