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Sunset the Machine - Queen of the Monsters (self-released)

21 December 2023

I’m all for high art and ornate creativity. It has a place. But sometimes, you just need something short, sharp, shockingly direct and to the point. No airs, no graces, no highfalutin attitudes. Something that just gets on with the job at hand, especially if that job is to fire off grunge-punk salvos, make a sound that is big rather than clever, and deliver music full of swagger and attitude, music made between alt-rock and an even harder place. And when that need arises, you call on a band like Sunset the Machine.

“Queen of the Monsters,” the new one from this Portland, Oregon three-piece, is everything that I have just described above, and more, a punky-metal-grunge-fest that goes from nought to annihilation in three and a half minutes, pausing only briefly to slacken the pace and drop some strange, squelching bass lines (possibly?) before wiping themselves down, re-assuming the position and rocking themselves into oblivion.

This is the sound of melody backed up with muscle, granite grooves delivering grit and grind, music that rock, bops and then socks you in the face with a sonic sucker punch, a song which both kicks ass and cuts the mustard! (As they say on my side of the Atlantic.) Sometimes, it really is as simple as that.