Los Angeles absurdist-indie rock duo Qui are back after a half-decade hiatus with Life, Water, Living…, 35 minutes of eclectic material that combines Ween’s pranksterism, the Melvins’ eccentricities and Frank Zappa’s predilection for unexpected musical juxtapositions.
Drummer/vocalist Paul Christensen and guitarist/vocalist Matt Cronk’s twisted pop sensibilities are at the forefront of deceptively unassuming tunes such as “Songbirds,” where the two singers beautifully harmonize about starving refugees eating migrating birds. Then there’s bossa nova-tweaked “Awkward Human Interest,” which “borrows” the theme from “The Girl from Ipanema.”
The twosome’s early punk-noise roots are replete on the damaging “Mucho Sex in America” and blistering instrumental “You’re a Girl,” while the angry clown tale “Kicked Out of Mime College” sounds like a blend of the Minutemen and Fun.
Life, Water, Living… is a weird and attention-grabbing record, certainly not for all tastes. However, the off-kilter music has a distinctive appeal for anyone who likes diversity with a devil-may-care demeanor.