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Q And Not U’s “Soft Pyramids” is the sound of 2002

In Hear This, A.V. Club writers sing the praises of songs they know well. This time around, we’re picking our favorite songs that feature s-p-e-l-l-i-n-g.

“Soft Pyramids,“ Q And Not U (2002)

Like almost everyone else who got down with Washington, D.C., rock around the turn of the 21st century, I was a fan of Q And Not U. The Dischord band put out at least two absolutely amazing records—2000’s No Kill No Beep Beep and 2002’s Different Damage—and was consistently great live. I saw them at least a few times before their 2005 demise, with the most memorable coming in 2002 at the Mid-Atlantic College Radio Conference—or MACRoCK. The conference is still around, but definitely caters to a younger audience, which is why I was so enamored of it when I was in college. I mean, Fugazi for almost nothing in a packed gym? That’s unbeatable.

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Anyway, I’m 99.99 percent sure Q And Not U opened for The Dismemberment Plan at one of those MACRoCK shows, and while I already knew and loved No Kill No Beep Beep, I hadn’t heard any of Different Damage. That’s why, when the band launched into “Soft Pyramids,” my mind was absolutely blown. It’s got the tom beats I adore, the melodica that, when used sparingly, is just fantastic, and I’m always a sucker for some syncopated and offbeat spelling. “Soft Pyramids” was a real barnburner then, and it’s just as compelling now. And while I’m not much for quick turnaround band reunions, if Q And Not U got back together for a couple of sweaty shows, I’d be there in a second.

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