Camelia Brennan

Q and Not U: Different Damages

I sincerely think I may have listened to Q and Not U’s sophomore album Different Damage more times than any other album. It is a complete joy, and my first introduction to everyone’s favorite D.C. punk label, Dischord Records.

Following their debut album, No Kill No Beep Beep, Different Damage appeals more to your pop sensibilities, and feels slightly more disciplined and cohesive. The album combines sharp guitar riffs and crisp loud drums to fill your post-hardcore needs, while still being extremely danceable.

Q and Not U’s albums became progressively more pop over time — culminating with the extremely funky third and final album Power. Different Damage, in my opinion, has the best combination of punk and extremely catchy pop. I’m unsure if I could ever say which album is their best, since they’re all fantastic in distinctly different ways.

The first time I saw Q and Not U play at Go! Studios (R.I.P.) in Carrboro, NC, they spoke against George W. Bush and the Iraq War . As a regrettably ill-informed high school student, this was the first time I’d seen an artist use their platform to speak about politics and it was indeed quite effective. The urgency of how they spoke has stuck with me now 17 years later.

Despite their break up in 2005, Q and Not U was the soundtrack for most of my high school and college years. As much as I wish Q and Not U still existed, I have a lot of admiration for bands who bow out leaving their audience still wanting more.

Though I do spend every morning praying for another Q and Not U album, I know deep in my heart that we’re not worthy.