The best of the pack is probably the least-often mentioned -- Washington, D.C.'s Q and Not U. The band doesn't have the popular Gang of Four influence of Radio 4, or the Cure-like ambience of the Rapture. It doesn't have the overtly retro synth-heavy sound of the Faint. What it does have is the best beat -- a stuttering, hi-hat-riding, mutant disco thrash that causes the shoulders to spaz and the hips to shake. Last year, Q and Not U's show at Wash. U.'s Gargoyle proved the hipsters were done standing still, as skinny kids in thrift-store Ts spun and breakdanced like old school b-boys to the D.C. boys' fractured rhythmic excess.
Q and Not U is signed to Ian MacKaye's Dischord records and as such has a D.I.Y. political bent that is too often absent from bands with ass-shaking possibilities. Q and Not U knows that the quickest way to build a collective is through the power of dance. Shout, shake and revolt.
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