The Evil Queens
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The best kept secret in music

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The Evil Queens have filled a necessary void in the five years or so that they've been kicking around the scene. Columbus bands have a propensity for keeping it simple, stupid, and wallowing in the obvious trappings of punk, garage or roots rock-or pushing that barrier further and further out as a reaction to the aforementioned camp.

The Evil Queens, however, are simply a rock band without any need for explanation.

Their latest, Lovesong Werewolves, is possible the Queen-iest of all, finding the middle ground between flat-out rocking and non-academic musical experimentation in an album that college grads can enjoy with as much enthusiasm as the drunken art school kids near the stage.

For those who have seen the band live on a regular basis, a lot of the songs will sound familiar, as much of the album has been already road tested.

And that's part of the fun. "Ditchdigger Blues" and "Fight Song," for example, had lives of their own before the album but sound new again here.

The Queens seem incapable of writing anything but barn burners. It's that tendency toward low-rent epics and grafting bloody pop hooks onto the body of the heavy end of indie rock that's made the band a favorite locally, reaching both sides of the "indie" and "rock" communities.

Even the most complicated songs are relatively simple verse-chorus-verse rock songs, which makes you wonder why more bands can't pull this off as well as the Queens do.

The Album is chalk-full of songs like that, from the bastard soul-groove of the title track to the driving, indie, pop-fueled "America America." All of the songs have individual quirks that make them stand out from the rest of the album, but the songs are still completely wrapped in the cloth of the best elements of the noisy, heavy rock.

R.A. - The Other Paper


Tough love
by Chris DeVille

When I first heard of Columbus band the Evil Queens, I imagined the nastiest, most abrasive sounds possible. When I saw the band live, I discovered a workmanlike rock combo, one that consistently churns out punishing riffs and guttural screams in a familiar but powerful way.

And when I popped in Lovesong Werewolves, the band's fourth album and first for local Sunken Treasure Records, I found a startling amount of melody, and not just shrouded in singer/guitarist Jacob Sundermeyer's shouts.

"Part of my personal interest is to write things that play against each other," Sundermeyer said. "Any sort of opposition is more interesting."

Thus, he's been trying to write songs that could be played softly and play them extremely loud.


"It's more fun when the amp's on fire," guitarist Mike Eckhardt chimed in.

Lovesong Werewolves has moments as brutally heavy as anything on the band's previous albums, but it also finds them delving further into pop territory. Songs such as "Into the Drink" and opener "Means to an End" are free of the fierce, call-to-arms yell that has become Sundermeyer's calling card. Instead, he sings his way to some of the album's biggest successes.

That's not to say they've gone soft, although this album does propagate the longtime Evil Queens in-joke that all the band's songs are "love songs."

"Love takes many forms," Sundermeyer said, with a nod toward the anger and disillusionment that color many of his lyrics.

"Year of the Cretin," for example, is a so-called "love song for Jesus." The song doesn't skewer Christ so much as his followers, but either way it's tough love.

"The next love song will be about John Lennon, and then we'll see which one is more popular," bassist Eric Hinterschied said.

Lennon probably won't be showing up in any songs soon, but drummer George Hondroulis noted the band is working on a new song called "OMG Lizard McGee," referring to the singer of local band Earwig.

That community reference is characteristic of the way the Evil Queens are working these days. Their previous album, First It Boils, Then It Spills, got national release from New York-based Addison Records, but when that label "just kind of disappeared," Sundermeyer said, local web designer Robert Duffy stepped in and offered to release Lovesong Werewolves through his Sunken Treasure Records.

As for production, Jon Chinn recorded the album as he has thrice before. It's all part of what Eckhardt called "keeping it in the family."

The Lovesong Werewolves release show will keep that theme alive, as the band's friends Little Darlings and the Rackets open. To sweeten the deal, keyboardist Jess Faller (Chris McCoy and the Gospel, Celebrity Pilots) will join the Evil Queens for one night only.

May 24th, 2007


Copyright © 2007 Columbus Alive, Inc. All rights reserved. - Columbus Alive


Evil Is Good For You

By Brian O’Neill

A couple of years ago The Evil Queens had high hopes. The band released the excellent “First It Boils, Then It Spills” album through a New York independent label that promised the group a few things – oh, nothing too extravagant, but the things that not every loud indie rock band gets – a chance to tour, to get their CD into stores across the country, and maybe a few bucks along the way.

Then The Evil Queens, who used to constantly appear on stage somewhere, suddenly seemed to vanish.

“Our label sort of imploded,” explains bassist Eric Hinterscheid, “so we kind of stepped back and reevaluated what we would do next because we couldn’t even buy copies of our last record to sell at shows.”

The band was actually forced to buy copies of their own album on Amazon so they would have something to sell at shows, which is probably not something you read about in The Business Of Music, but drastic times require creative solutions, and there’s nothing more drastic than the record company suddenly falling off the face of the earth.

“It was like a year ago March,” recalls singer/guitarist Jacob Sundermeyer. “We had contact with him (Marc Alghini) and he said he was dealing with a lot of shit but that he would have things up and running in April.”

Says guitarist Mike Eckhardt, “I got a text message from him that said the label was back together and he was back on track. That was the last we heard from him.”

When it became apparent to the band that Addison was jettisoned, the four Evil Queens (whose lineup is rounded out with drummer George Hondroulis) set about writing and recording a new album, which wound up being one of the last projects recorded by John Chinn at the old Workbook Studio location the weekend it closed down.

This good timing continued when Robert Duffy, the man behind the Done Waiting website, and more recently the founder of Sunken Treasure Records, offered to release the disc despite the fact that the Evil Queens’ brand of noise rock is unlike anything Duffy promoted in the past on the label and his local Blog.

“It’s true,” affirms Sundermeyer, “and that’s one of the things we thought about briefly. But he’s a nice guy and we’re working with friends.”

The album, “Lovesong Werewolves,” was worth the wait. Much like the band’s previous material, the music buzzes and lurches unexpectedly, sounding exactly like what one would expect from a band recorded by Steve Albini (even though he had nothing to do with it) if it was recording for legendary noise-rock label Amphetamine Reptile (even though that label is long gone). However, the band is a lot more focused this time out with a cleaner production that allows the impact to be more severe than anything the band has done to date.

“This record in particular, we did less of everything,” Sundermeyer enthuses. “The least amount of mixing, the least amount of messing with things, adding things, compressing things.”

“I just think it’s an organic record,” agrees Hinterscheid. “Just how it sounds. There are some overdubs, but really, it is what it is.”

The Evil Queens celebrate the release of their new album at Café Bourbon Street on Saturday, May 26. The Rackets and The Little Darlings support. For more information please call or visit www.myspace.com/cafebourbonstreet online. For more information about The Evil Queens, please visit the band’s official website at www.theevilqueens.com online.

Originally Published: Issue 504 - May 23, 2007 - U Weekly


The Evil Queens - Lovesong Werewolves (Sunken Treasure)
By Chip Midnight

Let’s not get stupid and start making flippant comments like “the best blend of metal, punk, and grunge since Nirvana’s Nevermind - or at least since Alta May’s We As in Us“, but I’ll be damned if there is a hybrid album containing these different elements that I’ve enjoyed listening to more than the latest from perennial “these guys deserve a big record deal” Columbus stalwarts The Evil Queens. Wow, that was a long and slightly inaccurate sentence as the Queens do have a deal in place for this album with Sunken Treasure. On more recent releases, singer Jacob Sundermeyer has had a bit more control over his voice than previous efforts which were basically screamfests though he certainly hasn’t become a “smooth” vocalist - there is definitely some grit and grime in his vocals. Some of the chugga-chugga guitars (”Means to an End”, “Fight Song”) remind me of Monster Magnet and maybe even an in-tune Mudhoney who always seemed to be on the verge of being great but never quite could cross that line. There’s also an undeniable link between these Queens and another band of Queens (of the Stone Age variety), particularly on the title track and “Into the Drink”. If you’re looking for the one that’s going to truly blow your socks off (the one you should download from Napster if you’re not willing to buy the whole thing), it’s “Ditchdigger Blues”, with some buried soulful keyboard playing and fucked up guitar work by Sundermeyer and Mike Eckhardt (could this be a leftover from Sundermeyer’s now-buried, never released jackshit, side project, The Killionaires?). This CD might not change your life the way Nevermind did, but if you’ve got a long summer of drinking PBR tallboys to cool yourself off from the blazing summer sun ahead of you, this is the album you’ll want to … no … NEED to … own.

(Note: Lovesong Werewolves will not be released nationally until July but you can probably score a copy before the “official” release date by checking out SunkenTreasure.org) - Atomic Ned


5.24.2007
Beach Talk - The Evil Queens

I'll lay the cards out on the table, I have never been a huge fan of the Evil Queens (but I've never made a conscious attempt to be into them). I was always turned off by what I thought was a derivative aesthetic; the "heavy" lineage of Columbus grit-rock (Monster Truck 005, Bob City, the Means, Grafton) whittled into radio chunklets and suitable sonics. While there appears to be a enclave of groups in this town (who shall remain nameless), in the last couple of years, who have exploited that legacy to create artistically challenged, not challenging,(and downright awful) results, Lonesome Werewolves, separates the Evil Queens far from their contemporaries. Obvious chooglings, power chords, brutal swells and depressions, are in their proper places, but guitarist/vocalist Jacob Sundemeyer (the architect of this classy bunch) is a master of subtlety, a dynamic character within his songs, and capable of realizing "pop" is needed even in the most ham-fisted of metal moments. To the high-tide Mudhoney informed crunch and maudlin Nirvana-esque hook of "America, America," to visceral booze stomp of "Year of the Cretin," there's little here to mentally edit.

Coincidentally, Queens of the Stone Age's Era Vulgaris leaked the day I got Lonesome Werewolves into my grubby little paws, and since then I've given the local boys more time. Homme is busy inviting in new best buddies and making a veiled attempt at textured groove (you'll never write a Groundhogs album Josh, though this isn't half-bad) instead of becoming fully unleashed. The Evil Queen's are content making that music for him. Here it's not desert and horse, it's cramped dive bars and hard liquor.

The Evil Queens will be celebrating the release of Lonesome Werewolves on Saturday, the 27th. Cafe Bourbon St. Bring a flask. - World Of Wumme



Malignant, raw and spiteful – just how pure wholesome rock ‘n’ roll should be.
The third full length from Columbus, Ohio based quartet the Evil Queens sees them ensconced on NY’s Addison records, a lot of blood, sweat and love has gone into this recording – their previous albums taking less than a week in total to nail while this baby has been nearly a year in incubation left to fester and mature – and boy it shows. Often compared to Queens of the Stone Age which is fair comment given this album takes its cue from Homme and Co’s blistering ‘Rated R’ oozing as it does that same locked down tight as a gnats arse pummelling paranoia. Yet for all that for me personally the Evil Queens personify that spiritual hunger and simmering raucous loose canon like edge that possessed Nirvana in that interim between the brash raw as fuck youthful petulance of ‘Bleach’ and the refined and honed blueprint that crawled all over ‘Nevermind’. Add into that very special chemistry elements of the stripped down three chord throttle of early Monkeywrench with the subtle essence of Detroit’s much underrated Big Chief’s ‘Face’ to muddy the mix and you have yourself an uncompromising hi-fi humping hot pot of no nonsense in your face head jarring rawk. ‘First it boils, then it spills’ is a fast and furious cocksure street fighting wreckin crew assembled out of 10 crunching sub three minute workouts that usher in with an unconscionable sense of menace at their core, it’s a bludgeoning experience that spits, scowls and shunts its way from start to finish never letting up on its intensity until the parting desert swept summit between the Bad Seeds and Black Heart Procession rears it’s head on ‘Requiem for Antonio Pants’ but by that point your to sapped to put up any worthwhile struggle. From the minute the tension brewing claustrophobic ‘Valentine’ kicks in your already under siege, this seizure inducing baby paces impatiently like a cornered and wounded predator sizing up its escape route while ‘American Cancer’ is a ferocious pedal to the metal affair that has all the enduring subtly of a hammer to the head. Then there’s the fucked up charred blues of ‘And Hell’ to contend with – think of a particularly impish and heavy-handed Mudhoney torching the discordant ramshackle mindset of the Birthday Party’s ‘Junkyard’. Best of the set though the hell bound demonic scorched earth dragster mayhem of ‘the Theme from Donovan’ comes tearing out like a rabid mutation of wired to the eyeballs Beastie Boys and Ministry and suggests that not only should you nail down all moveable household objects but perhaps consider moving zip code to escape the crater sized hole that this cutie will redecorate your living space with. So good it hurts – essential. - Losing Today


DETROIT METRO TIMES
by Dustin Walsh
8/24/2005
They’re more rock than Queens of the Stone Age and more roll than the White Stripes. So, think of Columbus, Ohio’s the Evil Queens as a collaborative manipulation of rock ’n’ roll’s past and near-present — but in a good way. Singer Jacob Sundermeyer draws comparisons to a throatier, less pretentious Dave Grohl. His rumbling voice is all swaggery cocksure on "Strong-Wristed Women," and can make you believe lines like: "I will show you truth in a shot glass/I’ll show you hands in the air/I’ll give you just what you wanted/I’ll give you just what you need." Elsewhere, "And Hell" and "The Master Plan" quake to bass lines that’d make Les Claypool and Primus shiver, and "The Government Has Cloned You" and "American Cancer" sport guitar licks not been heard since the halcyon days of Helmet and the Melvins. From start to finish, First It Boils, Then It Spills lingers just out of the mainstream grasp — like, say, Jesus Lizard. In short, the Evil Queens are the kind of fist-jacking rock-roll that loner — maybe stoner — kids will love and likely no one else will give two shits about. Now that’s a good band. - Detroit Metro Times


Swizzle Stick
April 26, 2005
Heather Dodson
Where you’re likely to hear this CD: A gritty, whiskey bar; blasting out of a Columbus local’s car at a stop-light.
Song you should pick to play on the jukebox: “Strong-Wristed Women,” “American Cancer,” “And Hell,” “The Government has Cloned Us,” “The Master Plan”
Drinking Partners: Helmet, Queens of the Stone Age, Nirvana, Foo Fighters, Mudhoney
The Morning After: Hit play and pay attention.
On their third record, First it Boils, Then it Spills, The Evil Queens rip through ten short and ferociously smart tracks in less than thirty minutes and leave the listener craving more. The Queens of the Stone Age influence is easy to recognize, though a deeper dig into The Evil Queens music will reveal additional points of reference, from Primus (Eric Hinterscheid’s opening bass riff of “And Hell”) to Helmet (drummer George Hondroulis’ staccato energy on “The Government has Cloned Us”). Guitarists Mike Eckhardt and Jacob Sundermeyer complement each other in a back and forth exchange of searing guitar riffs, particularly on “American Cancer” and “Grand Prix” which will inspire heavy duty air guitar playing (even while driving, in my case). While Sundermeyer’s wailing, screaming, and growling vocals have earned comparisons to Dave Grohl, his blistering intensity shares a lot more in common with Mudhoney’s Mark Arm. There’s a strong, seductive confidence in Sundermeyer’s lyrics and delivery, with several songs sure to raise eyebrows. The music to “Strong-Wristed Women” begins exactly how a song so provocatively titled should with Sundermeyer swaggering in and promising “I’ll show you truth in a shot glass,” “I’ll get you roses,” and “I’ll kiss you right where you want it.” If you’re not singing along by the end, the volume isn’t up high enough. It’s my favorite song on the record. The Queens wait until the tenth track, “Requiem for Antonio Pants,” to allow you to catch your breath. The acoustic track marks a major change of pace for the band, but they pull it off and the record pleasantly smolders at the end as a result. First It Boils, Then It Spills is a welcome rarity: intellectual, fist-in-the-air rock and roll that pleases both sides of the brain. The Evil Queens are cleverly difficult to categorize and make records that appeal to metalheads and indie kids alike. Their reign beyond Columbus is inevitable. - Swizzle Stick


babysue/LMNOP
After spending a mere two days each recording their first two albums, the guys in The Evil Queens adopted a different approach for this album...which took about a year to record. Contrary to the images the band name might conjure up, this is not a group of androgynous homosexuals. These bad boys play loud, heavy, stoner rock that is reminiscent of bands like Fu Manchu. Unlike many hard rock bands of the twenty-first century, the guys in The Evil Queens do not play generic overblown speed/metal/noise. Despite the fact that they play hard, their music is, first and foremost, pure rock and roll. Explosive rhythms...killer overdriven guitars...and a supremely macho vocalist...combine to create an upbeat and intense wall of sound. Heavy rockers include "Valentine," "American Cancer," "The Government Has Cloned You," and "Requiem For Antonio Pants." (Rating: 4++++) - Babysue


thephill(ER)
www.thephiller.com
PhiLL Ramey
There are two words capable of describing The Evil Queens better than any other, "rock" and "roll". A glance at the rear cover of First It Boils, Then It Spills reveals a sketch of a hand reminiscent of the cover art that graced The Murder City Devils' Thelema. Take into account that both bands have/had a penchant for blood and I may have just been lucky enough to find out about the Midwestern version of one of my favorite bands that no longer exist. The Evil Queens attack their music with a level of ferocity rarely captures successfully on disc. Fortunately for the Columbus, OH quartet, Jon Chinn's work recording and mastering First It Boils, Then It Spills conveys the energy of a bloodthirsty band as good as any other. The guitars of Mike Eckhardt and Jacob Sundermeyer maintain a crisp overdriven sound that suggests a bit of Queens of the Stone Age as the hooky riffs carefully balance alongside the rhythmic assault of drummer George Hondroulis and bassist Eric Hinterscheid. Just as the references to disembodied hands, eagles, and blood is far from original material for hard-rocking bands, The Evil Queens don’t present anything too innovative with the tracks on First It Boils, Then It Spills. What they do offer, however, is something many bands attempt to accomplish but rarely do – rock and roll for the sake of rock and roll. While many bands may conjure bloody imagery, only those like The Evil Queens that pour their own into the music can create something so pure.


- thephiller


Discography

The Evil Queens, 2002
Dos, 2003
First It Boils, Then It Spills, 2005
Lovesong Werewolves, 2007

Photos

Feeling a bit camera shy

Bio

Who knows what evil lurks within the hearts of men?

Jacob Sundermeyer, that's who. As singer for The Evil Queens, he's tapped into his most misanthropic instincts, spelling out fuck-offs, detailing malicious intents and casting a penetrating light on the dark sides of love and life with furious precision. With the three albums the Queens have already notched and
the forthwith “Lovesong Werewolves”, he's given voice to the thoughts we all have but are usually too polite to mutter. Am I evil? Why yes, yes I am.

Like four feral cats thrown in a bag, The Evil Queens have coughed up a baker's dozen fuzzballs entangled with pigmuck, stoner rock and grunge noise. “Lovesong” is a tinderbox for the Queens'
incendiary sounds: Sundermeyer and Mike Eckhardt's guitars grate against each other in a sparkflying melee, tumbling atop the seismic rumble and groove created by bassist Eric Hinterscheid and
drummer George Hondroulis. "Lions of May" is a blast of dry heat and warning; "Year of the Cretin"
is a modern parable of Biblical revenge latched to meaty hooks; and "America America" is a coming-of-age indictment set between blood-boiled riffs. But those tracks are just the tip of this
iceberg. The album never lets up through its 40 minutes. Drop your virtual needle down anywhere
and you're gonna hear a man at the end of his tether and a band at the top of its top-shelf potency.

Hailing from Columbus, Ohio, the Queens were borne out of the remains of Our Flesh Party, who
had become fixtures on the local scene (i.e. the string of dive bars spaced along the city's main
drag) by the time Sundermeyer, Eckhardt and Hondroulis graduated high school. After recruiting
former Behemoth guitarist Hinterscheid for four-string duty, the band hit the ground running in 2002 and self-released their self-titled debut concurrently to playing out for the first time. A second album, “Dos”, followed less than a year later. In 2005, the band released “First It Boils, Then It Spills” on the short-lived Addison Records, playing the CMJ Music Marathon and other dates out of town to widen their fan base.

“Lovesong Werewolves” is the Evil Queens first record for Sunken Treasure Records. Like the bands' other albums, it was produced by Jon Chinn, who has manned the board for the New Bomb Turks, The Sun and many of Columbus' other finest. It's the culmination of many years of toil and trouble and nights spent staring into darkness. It's the sound of rock 'n' roll beat to a pulp, the howling accompaniment to a bad moon rising.

Take heed, dear listener, take heed.