Lazy Queen – A Human Reaction

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Oslo-based five-piece Lazy Queen are back with a dizzying burst of catharsis. Delving into themes of mental health, loss of identity, and addiction, new EP ‘A Human Reaction’ is as brutally raw as it is gloriously playful. The Norwegian group’s penchant for bouncy, punk-infused electro-pop allows them to deliver poignancy with a sprinkle of sugar.

Short, sharp and snappy, ‘A Human Reaction’ expertly melds a plethora of genres in its minimal runtime. The opening track alone emphasises this musical fluidity; ‘Bed/Head’ welcomes you in with a dose of synths, before moving into a realm of slacker punk, all the while still implementing soaring guitars solos and bright electronics. The experimental ‘Forget It’ further highlights this refusal to stick to one sound; sitting entirely within its own world, ‘Forget It’ fuses auto-tune and thick, distorted synthetics.

A vein of bright, shimmering instrumentation runs throughout the majority of this release. While a track’s theme may be dark, there’s always a punchy and woozily infectious soundscape that distracts you from the lyrical content. ‘Alcohol’, rather than reflecting the realities of substance abuse, is a summer-y indie-punk banger, light, breezy and festival-ready. ‘Leech’ is equally as likely to rile festival crowds, with its huge riffs, echoing vocals and easy flow.

This juxtaposition of tone and topic results in a truly layered exploration of what ‘A Human Reaction’ to the world truly is – complicated, conflicted and eager to distract from anything painful. Lazy Queen’s woozy sheen acts as a reflection of that desire to detach from pain, while still interspersing the EP with moments of reality. Interludes reveal jagged moments of reality, cutting through the safety of detachment – raw recordings of “I just feel so trapped…”, “everything is pointless and meaningless” or “I’m just trying to get the thoughts out of my head” sit between tracks, before the next delves back into the surreal safety of the sonic dreamland.

Ultimately, ‘A Human Reaction’ is a dynamic dissection of the human psyche. Interlude track ‘Rėāçtįöń’ worries “I hope this makes sense…” – and it does. Experimental, vibrant and honest, Lazy Queen have produced an incredibly intricate piece of art here that explores the nature of the human mind.

8/10

Words: Emily Swingle

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