Looking for previews and reviews of SXSW 2019? Right this way.

SXSW 2018 | 2017 | 2016 | 2015 | 2014 | 2013 | 2012 | Live at Leeds 2016 | 2015 | 2014
Sound City 2015 | 2014 | 2013 | 2012 | Great Escape 2018 | 2015 | 2013 | 2012

Don't forget to like There Goes the Fear on Facebook and follow us on Twitter!

(SXSW 2019 flavoured!) Video of the Moment #2926: Abjects

 
By on Wednesday, 20th February 2019 at 6:00 pm
 

Punk girls Abjects released their debut album last Friday. ‘Never Give Up’ is available now from Yippee Ki Yay Records, based in Austin, which is handy because the trio will be appearing at SXSW 2019 next month. Last month, they premiered the promo for the title track, which we posted as this Video of the Moment. For the video for ‘The Storm’, they don’t the title literally. No, this one was filmed in the bright sunshine and it’s got some old-fashioned video effects that actually lend themeselves nicely to the lo-fi nature of the presentation. Watch the video for ‘The Storm’ below, and stay tuned for reports of their raucous live show from Texas in a few short weeks. Missed any of our coverage on Abjects? Go here.

 

(SXSW 2019 flavoured!) Video of the Moment #2918: Abjects

 
By on Thursday, 10th January 2019 at 6:00 pm
 

Girl group Abjects will be releasing their debut album next month. Premiering on the 15th of February on Yippee Ki Yay Records, an Austin label, ‘Never Give Up’ was produced by Jim Riley at London’s Ranscombe Studios, home of ‘The Famous Medway Sound’. The band will no doubt be playing tracks off their forthcoming LP in their record label’s city soon enough: the band have been given a shout for SXSW 2019 in March. Check out the LP title track’s promo video, which stars the three ladies starting their day in their flat, rocking out for a bit, then going on to their some decidedly less interesting work to pay the bills, before they end up preparing for a gig. I covered one of Abjects’ appearances at SXSW 2016; I reckon I’ll be likely to see them perform live again in 2 months.

 

SXSW 2016: rock on the last day in Austin (Saturday, part 1) – 19th March 2016

 
By on Monday, 11th April 2016 at 4:00 pm
 

It’s been a bit of a tradition since Carrie came along with me to Austin to send SXSW off with an amazing (and free) lunch, plus Bloody Marys at the British Music Embassy at Latitude 30. However, this year, it made more sense for her to cover Lissie at the SPIN party at Brazos Hall, so I was all by my lonesome. I gobbled up back two delicious tofu wraps and two of those divine, tomatoey creations under the watchful eye of the barmaid who made them for me. It was probably for the best, though, because the music slated for the afternoon isn’t exactly Carrie’s speed…

The Northern Powerhouse showcase was a good who’s who of bands who are currently knocking about in the great North of England and showing who’s boss with their own personal brands of rock, generally on the harder side of things. Sheffield duo Nai Harvest started the afternoon on a frenetic, yet still melodic note. I think the great lesson that the success of Royal Blood, Drenge and Slaves has taught us is that despite the conventional wisdom that had been around for several decades post-Beatles and Stones, it is entirely possible to make a go of it – to be loud enough and be successful at making rock music – only having two blokes in a rock band. And going for it seemed to be the theme of the day, as it was the last day in Austin for most bands and the last time to make a lasting impression.

Nai Harvest at Northern Powerhouse at the British Music Embassy, Saturday at SXSW 2016

Based on the music videos I’d seen prior to SXSW, Nai Harvest seemed like funny guys: I mean, guys who named their last EP ‘Hairball’ can’t take themselves too seriously, right? Live, they didn’t disappoint on either the music or the stage patter front. As evidenced by most recent single ‘Just Like You’, Nai Harvest’s style is less about being massively loud than to embrace the lo-fi, slacker vibe that currently sweeping Britain. Guitarist Ben Thompson bemoaned that they’d forgotten to bring along Yorkshire Tea to Austin with them. Umm…didn’t they get the memo that there would be *plenty* of Brits at SXSW, some of whom must have had brought some over to avoid the curse of the American, non-descript dark water, black tea problem? At the very least, I could have helped them with their dilemma from my own stash specifically for travelling purposes. Well, now you all know who’s your dealer…

Following the Sheffielders on the afternoon and moving the action due north, up to Leeds, was Autobahn, who were playing their third and last show at the British Music Embassy. I’d seen them earlier in the week, Tuesday night at the felte / Part Time Punks showcase at Barracuda. As is true for nearly every act I’ve ever seen on the Latitude 30 stage during SXSW week, Autobahn’s sound was great, both in volume and pomp. I mean, really, how can you go wrong with guitars being banged and flailed about while there’s a beacon of light, via a voice in the darkness…er…in a trenchcoat. The raw and unforgiving nature of their music as described previously by Rebecca makes all the more sense to me after having the opportunity to speak with their singer Craig Johnson. He explains that there’s not only a dark melancholy that comes through their music but also the coming to grips of reality of what’s outside one’s bedroom window, of which there’s too little of in the greater landscape of manufactured top 40.

Autobahn at Northern Powerhouse at British Music Embassy, Saturday at SXSW 2016

Continuing later on the bill and whose punishing tones I heard well outside of the venue – because they were really all that loud! – were Sugarmen (Liverpool), Fizzy Blood (Leeds) and Demob Happy (Newcastle and Brighton). Lads, don’t be too discouraged that I did not join you. I’m currently going through a reboot of my hard rock loving phase and I’ll probably catch up to you soon.

In the evening (cue the Led Zeppelin song), Carrie and I got a bit of a taste of Lusts at the British Music Embassy before I left her to cover the rest of the NME / UK Trade and Investment showcase there. I needed to find a venue and I should have thought more about this at the time, as if it was some foreshadowing of what was to come later in the evening, but I didn’t. I got lost on 6th Street and when I asked around for help, a bouncer of another establishment on the block stereotyped me, warning me that “a nice girl like you shouldn’t be going to a place like that.” Uh huh… At that moment, I kind of wished Gwenno had been there to clock the meathead. I didn’t have time to waste, or else I would have started quoting lyrics verbatim off ‘IV’ or doing my now world-famous ‘Whole Lotta Love’ guitar solo humming.

Abjects at Sledge Hammer, Saturday at SXSW 2016

I finally got to where I was going (Sledge Hammer), and no thanks to any help from the chauvinist pig. As part of a coincidental continuing-on of the feminism theme and without any injury to myself, I witnessed Abjects‘ entire set. They’re lo-fi, they’re garage, they’re surf-y…they’re a little bit of everything but to be sure, a whole lot of fun. Yes, the sound can be in your face, but it’s in the name of having a good time, and the ladies were smiling the widest grins I’m pretty sure I saw onstage all week. I think the inevitable comparison will be to Manchester’s PINS, but after having seen both bands in a festival atmosphere and now being able to compare them, I think Abjects take it for their sheer audacity.

Stay tuned for part 2 of my review of Saturday at SXSW, which will post tomorrow. For more of my photos from Saturday in AustinE, visit my Flickr.

 

(SXSW 2016 flavoured!) Quickfire Questions #100: Noemi of Abjects

 
By on Monday, 29th February 2016 at 11:00 am
 

Ahead of SXSW in Austin in mid-March, just as we have in the past 2 years of our preview coverage of the big dance, we’ll be bringing you showcasing artists’ answers to a special SXSW 2016 flavoured set of Quickfire Questions. Today, we’ve got Noemi (guitars/vocals) of London girl group Abjects – profiled in our first SXSW-themed Bands to Watch for this year’s SXSW in January by our Rebecca – to answer the festival version of our questions for bands. Noemi’s definitely no shrinking violet, based on reading the hard-hitting song choices she has in her walk through her musical upbringing.

Describe your music / sound in three words. (We know, tricky…)
Loud, fast, fun.

What are you most looking forward to doing while you’re in Austin?
Drinking margaritas!

Of the bands who have already been announced, do you have any that are must-sees on your schedule? If yes, who are they and why?
PINS, Protomartyr, Bad Sports, Thee Oh Sees, Fat White Family, L7, The Moonlandingz… cause they’re all great!

Name something you’re packing in your suitcase that we might find unusual. (You are welcome to elaborate.)
Alka-Seltzers… best for hangovers.

If we happen to run into you in a bar, we’d like to buy you a drink. What is your tipple of choice?
A margarita!

What have you heard about the festival? Are you excited / anxious / scared / etc. and why?
We were a little overwhelmed at first, as we didn’t quite understand how it works as a fest. We talked to a few friends that have been before and tried to picture it out in our heads. We still not sure what’s going to the like, but we’re super excited and can’t wait to be there and play, play, play.

Now, let’s get into our usual list of Quickfire Questions…

What song is your earliest musical memory?
Probably something by Alaska. I grew up in Spain and she had a children’s TV program called ‘La Bola de Cristal’ (The Crystal Ball) and had a lot of music on and some puppets called the electroduendes (the electro elfs) and La Bruja Averia (the breakdown witch), which had a really cool theme song.

What was your favourite song as a child?
It’s also Spanish. I remember I used to like a band called Mecano a lot.

What song makes you laugh?
‘The Ace of Spades’ by Motörhead.

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eBIa0o36pPo[/youtube]

What song makes you cry?
‘Long Was the Year’ by Broadcast.

What song reminds you of the first time you fell in love? (It’s up to you if you want this to be sweet, naughty, etc.)
‘Death Valley 69’ by Sonic Youth.

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9k0dJEkzXc4[/youtube]

What song makes you think of being upset / angry? (Example: maybe you heard it when you were angry with someone and it’s still with you, and/or something that calms you down when you’re upset, etc.)
‘School’ by Nirvana.

Which song (any song written in the last century / 100 years or so) do you wish you’d written yourself?
‘What a Way to Die’ by The Pleasure Seekers.

Who is your favourite writer? (This can be a songwriter or ANY kind of writer.)
Holly Golightly.

If you hadn’t become a singer/musician/songwriter/etc., what job do you think you’d be doing right now?
Something creative. I’d probably be a designer.

If God said you were allowed to bring only one album with you to Heaven, which would it be and why? (Sorry, but double albums do not count.)
Redd Kross, ‘Born Innocent’, ’cause I think it’s perfection and I don’t ever get tired to listen to it.

Many thanks to the rockin’ Noemi for answering our questions!

 

(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.

 
 
 

About Us

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.

All MP3s are posted with the permission of the artists or their representatives and are for sampling only. Like the music? Buy it. If you want a track removed, email us and we'll sort it ASAP.

E-mail us  |  RSS Feed   RSS Feed  

Learn More About Us