(SXSW 2016 flavoured!) Bands to Watch #366 and #367: The Big Moon and Abjects

By on Thursday, 14th January 2016 at 12:00 pm
 

Original of cropped header photo of The Big Moon by Laura Allard-Fleischl

Editor’s note: we’re making some exciting changes in the way we cover SXSW 2016 this year, especially in the way we preview all the bands that we want to introduce you to before the big event in Austin in March. Read all about our big plans here.

I always love an all-girl group. While there have been more of them in recent years, fully female groups are still relatively uncommon and inevitably, you end up comparing them all to each other. You run the risk of potentially diminish these bands in their own right by such comparisons but overall, it’s reassuring to see women making a respectable dent in the world of music, particularly in the vein of hard-hitting rock, and comparing them to one another is simply to rejoice in their numbers.

London group The Big Moon are a dynamic mash up of indie rock/pop with a similar sound to Manchester’s PINS, yet they appear to be set to hold its own. Juliette, Soph, Celia and Fern haven’t been together that long, yet they create a timeless sound. Their two recent singles, ‘The Road’ and ‘Nothing Without You’ are well worth a listen.

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GQCY-7_SY6Y[/youtube]

‘Nothing Without You’ is an upbeat tune that you can imagine dancing around to in your living room or playing full blast in your car on a road trip. ‘The Road’, in contrast, is softer and drawling, the jangly guitar hook running throughout the song quirky and playful. Juliette’s vocals are crisp and smooth, with just a touch of grit. Maybe how Haim would sound if they had a tad more Hole about them? The Big Moon have a bunch of upcoming dates in the UK as well, as the Dutch event Eurosonic Noorderslag Festival in Groningen this week.

Like The Big Moon, Abjects are an all female ensemble also from London. Whilst the two bands are equal in gender, Abjects are not entirely similar in sound. This trio favour punkier, garage rock numbers, coiffed with hairstyles to rival the Ramones. Their sound is bold, guitar-heavy and so edgy, you’d be afraid to reach out and touch it for fear of getting cut. [How ironic, then, that the below shot is their current Facebook profile pic? – Ed.]

photo of Abjects in a beauty shop, from the band's Facebook

Their debut EP ‘Gone’ features four catchy, confident tracks with no shortage of energy. The opening hook of ‘Gone’ reminds me of White Stripes, particularly ‘Fell in Love with the Girl’, with the raucous guitar being joined by the brash drums just moments into the song. At times, I can hear Ramones’ own ‘Blitzkrieg Bop’, or Sex Pistols caught up in the thrumming guitars and unflinching drumbeats. This mix of garage and punk echoes throughout the EP, and really makes me excited to see what they do next.

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6RLspHquNmQ[/youtube]

Abjects’ aesthetic, whilst involving punchy riffs and a fearless tempo, feels refined and stylised. Even the EP artwork and 12” vinyl is impressive and evocative of a different era: the pastel background colours layered with the black and white image of the band are a joy to look at and make me wish I owned a record player.

For years, critics and various and artists have been claiming that rock ‘n’ roll is dead. Back in 2014, Gene Simmons of KISS was advising young musicians to forget about learning how to play guitar and focus on X Factor auditions instead. Abjects are the kind of band that can restore faith in the future of exciting, authentic-feeling music.

The Big Moon and Abjects are scheduled to appear at SXSW 2016 in Austin in March.

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There Goes The Fear is where we tell you about the latest music, gigs, and tours we love and think you should too.

We love music that has its heart on its sleeve, tells a story, swims around our head all day or makes us dance like no-one's watching.

TGTF is edited by Mary Chang, who is based in Washington, DC. She is joined by writers in England, America and Ireland. It began as a UK music blog by Phil Singer in 2005.

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