I have really been out of the loop on The Neptune Power Federation. From Australia, the band members are a colorful collection of personalities. To wit: Imperial Priestess Screaming Loz Sutch – Vocals; Inverted Crucifox – Guitar; Search and DesTroy – Guitar; Jaytanic Ritual – Bass; and Mr. Styx – Drums. Despite the over-the-top stage names, the band’s sound is not a gimmick. The music is often described by reviewers and in press releases as space rock and metal. OK, sure. I’d say mainly it is catchy guitar-based rock and roll that lands on the heavy side, with numerous (too many to count) theatrical splashes. It reminds me a little of The Voluptuous Horror of Karen Black, except with a lot more variety. Also maybe a sinister hybrid of Blue Öyster Cult and Judas Priest. One of the most unique characteristics of the band’s music is the large number of sharp changes in the songs. They keep you guessing, and thereby interested.
This is how side one struck me after two listens. A snappy radio anthem “Can You Dig?” starts the set off with a spacey whurr. Next is the melodic beginning of “Watch Our Masters Bleed” that turns into a grinding guitar saw before rolling hooky into a pop metal valentine. “Flying Incendiary Club for Subjugating Humans” throws out great guitar licks to complement what might be a mission statement. “Rat Queen” has a de-synched dual vocal that is positively flabbergasting. It takes a hard left turn three minutes in with a transition of musical theater cowboy clicks that somehow lands in between squealing lead guitar and harmonica. Then the tempo changes. It is hard to keep up. And that’s just the first half.
Memoirs of a Rat Queen is available starting September 20 in full, but you can see a video of “Watch Our Masters Bleed” on YouTube now, and also a couple of live performance videos. Check them out. The music is solid and different. I have my fingers crossed for a US tour so I can see them live. Recommended.
Band website: http://www.theneptunepowerfederation.com/
Band Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/theneptunepowerfederation/
Words by Wayne Edwards, © 2019.