It can be tempting to dismiss a band when the hyperbole surrounding a release says such things as “She came from outer space, a celestial being with supernatural powers, namely, inhuman vocals and a godly stage presence. She is the only one who can make four leather-clad bike-rockers readily dedicate their lives in subservience, ready to serve her in the name of rock and roll.” Couple that with the band name of The Neptune Power Federation and a line up of Imperial Priestess Screaming Loz Sutch on vocals, Inverted Crucifox on guitar, Search and DesTroy on guitar, Jaytanic Ritual on bass and Mr. Styx on drums and it all seems barking mad… and it is, in a way, but it is also a rather fine piece of theatrical rock that runs the gamut of Queen, Motörhead and T-Rex layered with a healthy dollop of Priest and a soupcon of Sabbath. This fourth album from these bonkers Australians is called Memoirs Of A Rat Queen and continues the adventures of the Imperial Princess.
Opener ‘Can You Dig’ sets the scene as, after a suitably strange intro, the main riff is Sweet in their heavy mode with T Rex backing and a melodic, punkish vocal; it is actually a damn good song as we are asked “can you dig what the Imperialist Priestess is laying down?” ‘Rat Queen’ is quality rock regardless of subject matter and this one has an extra bit of heavy progness thrown in. My favourite is the swampy blues of the slide intro to ‘Bound For Hell’ and when it transmogrifies into a Sabbath riff with a vocal showcase that shows a formidable range and a guitar solo that is simply great it becomes a complete blues/rock/prog song that stays with you. ‘I’ll Make A Man Out Of You’ is cowbell heaven (a la Hair of the Dog) with a riff that powers the melodies along and quickly becomes irresistible. ‘The Reaper Comes For Thee’ wraps it up in a dark and heavy intro and then a riff that sounds like Thin Lizzy mated with MSG and then chucks in a proggy Budgie bridge… even the mad laughter fits!
On paper, this should be a calamitous, cacophonous confluence of styles but the fact is, I loved every minute of it and will be seeking out the Priestess’s first three diaries. If you love a blend of rock genres then this is so much fun and has so many levels that it is different every time you listen to it. Give it a try.