I’m a fan of most of the offshoots that Throwing Muses have created (by virtue of discovering Tanya Donelly first and then working backwards – I know – don’t judge me). Fred Abong’s first solo works ‘Homeless‘ last year was a wonderfully rough set of acoustic guitar and vocal tracks. Tightly knit and weary in a traveller way, it resonated with me.
Pulsing, Fred Abong’s new EP follows a very similar framework. Across the six tracks, most of the music is Fred’s guitar and his voice, although it’s more electric this time around. The gimmick here is that often the music is recorded in a pulsating fashion. In the opening track ‘Footprints’ it’s in the guitar strum. For ‘Firefly’ it is the warbling electric guitar feedback that fades in and out. The title track is about the slap on/off high note of the riff. ‘Sum’, ‘Meet Me’ and ‘Wire’ are the electric guitar pieces and the pulse here is around switching of styles of volume intensity.
Each track is around the two and a half minute mark which makes for tightly woven ideas. In many ways the EP reminds me of PJ Harvey’s 4 Track Demos where it’s just Fred and a record button – left alone to go at it. There is a purity and honesty that comes from this approach and as the makeupp of the guitar itself changes throughout the EP, getting more and more intense with each track – it feels like you are riding a wave of energy. Each song is really well put together too.
So Fred Abong’s second EP ‘Pulsing’ is certainly a hit for me. It’s over way too quickly at sixteen minutes but what is here, is fantastic. If you want to enjoy some downtrodden angsty one-man guitar rage – this is you covered.
Recommended track: Firefly
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