The Black Queen's Orlando show melts down, but Uniform saves the night

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The Black Queen at the Abbey - JEN CRAY
  • Jen Cray
  • The Black Queen at the Abbey
THIS LITTLE UNDERGROUND
The Black Queen, Uniform and Kanga, The Abbey, Mar. 3

Comprised of Dillinger Escape Plan singer Greg Puciato, Josh Eustis (NIN, Puscifer, Telefon Tel Aviv) and Steven Alexander Ryan (tech for Dillinger and NIN), Los Angeles band the Black Queen is an emerging side project of credentialed music figures that's sprouted legs of its own.

The Black Queen at the Abbey - JEN CRAY
  • Jen Cray
  • The Black Queen at the Abbey
From the jump though, the mood of their set was marked to the point of distraction by a fantastic tantrum from guitarist Steven Alexander Ryan. We're talking total raging meltdown here.

The Black Queen at the Abbey - JEN CRAY
  • Jen Cray
  • The Black Queen at the Abbey
He spent more than one song smashing and thrashing his own equipment, making enough of a spectacle to require some calming by his bandmates in mid-play. The cause for his explosion wasn't perfectly evident but, hey, we've all had one of those days, I suppose. Ours just don't manifest onstage in front of a live audience. But, trust, his scene here is one I act out in my mind every day in traffic.



The Black Queen at the Abbey - JEN CRAY
  • Jen Cray
  • The Black Queen at the Abbey
The Black Queen at the Abbey - JEN CRAY
  • Jen Cray
  • The Black Queen at the Abbey
Unfortunately, that fit was so spectacular and jarring that the Black Queen's smooth synth emotionalism had a hard time shining after it. Still, frontman Greg Puciato was a seasoned, even slick, showman – no surprise given his pro experience with Dillinger. And his vocals – the heart of this group's music – were svelte and emotive.

Uniform at the Abbey - JEN CRAY
  • Jen Cray
  • Uniform at the Abbey
But one band whose sound and mien could hold up even if the entire place was being ravaged by Vikings was opening Sacred Bones band Uniform, who ended up stealing the show like an alleyway mugging. This New York City act have been earning their bones in the noise underground among mighty company like the Body, with whom they collaborated on last year's crushingly bleak Mental Wounds Not Healing EP.

Uniform at the Abbey - JEN CRAY
  • Jen Cray
  • Uniform at the Abbey
Uniform at the Abbey - JEN CRAY
  • Jen Cray
  • Uniform at the Abbey
Originally a duo and now just a trio, Uniform are one of those small bands that prove what you can really do with a little murder in your eye and a lot of volume. They were introduced on stage by a loop of projected visuals of stark black-and-white images from The Exorcist, appropriate given the terror they were about to unleash. Once they began, it was raw sonic thrill.

Uniform at the Abbey - JEN CRAY
  • Jen Cray
  • Uniform at the Abbey
Uniform at the Abbey - JEN CRAY
  • Jen Cray
  • Uniform at the Abbey
Conjuring dissonance from both guitar and electronics, their unfiltered noise-rock hits with an industrial crunch. It's a sick dance of brutality and bloodthirst. And in sound and bearing, the performance was beautifully nasty and perpetually on the verge.

Kanga at the Abbey - JEN CRAY
  • Jen Cray
  • Kanga at the Abbey
Also on the bill was solo L.A. act Kanga. With dark melodic vocals over bass-thick EBM beats, this is industrial pop that romances the glossy side of the beat. It's the kind of darkly sensual music that seduces through nocturnal melodrama. And even though it’s just a one-person show, she gets good mileage from presentation that works the physical drama of both a front person and a dancer.

Kanga at the Abbey - JEN CRAY
  • Jen Cray
  • Kanga at the Abbey
Kanga at the Abbey - JEN CRAY
  • Jen Cray
  • Kanga at the Abbey
Kanga at the Abbey - JEN CRAY
  • Jen Cray
  • Kanga at the Abbey

Follow Bao on Twitter (@baolehuu)
Email Bao: baolehuu@orlandoweekly.com


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