Former Throwing Muses and Belly band member Fred Abong has been in around music for over 30 years but this marks his first real release as a solo artist. Having seen bandmate Kristin Hersh releasing solo material since 1994, Fred Abong has now got involved with “Homeless” – a short and pointed 6 tracks EP. It’s an acoustic guitar and vocal driven EP – stripped down it’s barest of bones and not one song is over two and a half minutes.
Each track has a punch to it, despite it being an acoustic collection. It’s like Fred forgot to bring the rest of the rock band along because he is jamming away heavy riffs you can tell would sound awesome fully plugged. This is particularly noticeable on standout tracks “Rattler”, “Homeless” and “Equinox”. All three jam and its a testament to Abong’s nimble guitar work that you can get pumped over just one instrument. His voice is the other big presence. He sounds like a gruff and ragged grunge rocker from the 90’s would do, with a touch of Americana thrown in. Despite all the gruffness to his voice, in the more chilled out tracks “Cannery” and “Hi Avalon” – he layers his voice a couple of times and it has an unusual warmth to it. I really like the way Fred’s lyrics paint scenes too – or just moments of time – in very vivid and visual ways. Ultimately though, all the tracks are very short and once you’ve got into them, they are all over. I think the brevity of the EP will really affect your listening depending on your mood and it’s the kind of EP you’ll have on repeat to experience its moodiness over again.
Fred Abong has waited a long time for this release and I’m delighted his solo work is unique and different from his bandmates, whilst keeping the same tone and feel. His voice is distinctive and unique and he has the potential to be an underground indie hit. He has found his quickfire acoustic formula and in an EP context, it works really well and is a great introduction to a new artist. I have a feeling it’ll be a grower for most people, so show it some love.
Recommended track: Rattler
If you like what I do, and would like to help me make better and more content then please consider supporting me via Patreon. Thank you.
If you have this release, you can comment with your own score below.