Rebel ACA and French Monkey are unsung heroes of the funk, indie, and hip hop genres, and now they are back, this time around with a project under the name, Big Terror.
Perhaps their moniker precedes them. Rousing terror and admiration everywhere they go, their band page describes them as: “3 piece made up of unlikely musical heroes who fate brought together following a maelstrom of misfortune.
Now some say misery is the great inspirer and you can believe this if you will, but it sure has helped the members of BIG TERROR create a truly unique collection of songs which nod at 70’s movie soundtracks through indie to deep authentic hip hop.”
With every subject matter under the sun discussed on their Self-titled record, Big Terror gifts us with “Fudge (ft. Anna Yeats),” which is a short interlude filled with an intimate conversation between the three artists as they talk about the qualities of fudge and chocolate and the cool mellow jazzy flairs on “Feel The Impossible (ft. Anna Yeats and Ben Laidlow)” that goes on to extoll the merits of drugs.
The majority of the songs on Big Terror melds organic instrumentation with electronic beats on this eclectic album. This pervades on the opener, “Great Balls Of Fire (ft. Jez Hellard and Alex Hamilton),” that provides for a downtempo electropop vibe while incorporating a range of trumpets and horns as well as a bluesy harmonica, on the jazzy cadences found off the bluesy twang of guitars on “Super Mario (ft. Jez Hellard)” that also elicits rhythmic electronic beats and heavy basslines, and on “Good Question (ft. Christopher Rees and Uncle P)” that is marked by soaring electronic beats and some psychedelic guitar riffs that sound off into a radioactive guitar solo.
Most of the time the songs are laidback. This is evident on “Clouds And Sheets (ft. Chiaro Ciabattoni, Jez Hellard, and Uncle P),” a track that reminisces on love lost with a stripped down rendering with simply an acoustic guitar and then the cadences of the flute interwoven into this song, on “Drown In The Ocean (ft. Ben Laidlow and Alex Hamilton)” that contains a mellow jazz undertow with auto-tuned vocals that make for a hazy and bleached overtone, and on “Life Is Good” where a slow-grooving sound could be heard with a sunny but reverb-filled chorus.
Dispersed throughout the album are short interludes that keep the record from being too overbearing. They add a short respite to even out the volume of songs. For example, “Glasswork (ft. Alex Hamilton)” contains the cadences of the xylophone trickling in and on “Speak Spake Spoke” Rebel ACA and French Monkey Wrench joke around about the past tense of ‘spoke.’
But perhaps what makes Big Terror a project that stands apart from all the others is that none of the songs on this album are overwhelming or over-the-top. These tracks are dosed with just the right amount of indie-pop and hip hop to make music aficionados of the genres seek them out again and again.
Most of these tracks have a stripped down air, pervading with a chill and laidback appeal. On “I Think You’re Pretty,” an acoustic guitar and a bouncy drumming beat together supports the energy behind the vocals as a mellow flavor follows through with a stripped down air. This could also be seen in the sunny sounds that could be seen in the funky and melodious flow on “Sitting Out Back (ft. Uncle P)” and on the electronic beats and piano melody that are melded together on “Slow Down (ft. Ben Laidlow).”
Big Terror makes music that is striking and appealing, with a sound that guns for your attention. The project is a nod toward Brit-pop conjuring the sounds of The Kinks and Oasis with a hip hop flavor.
The duo makes a listening experience one that is noteworthy and filled with inescapable fun. Filled with a dramatic dynamic-ism, this is a whimsical reverie worth your time.
Big Terror is an exciting and eccentric record.
Be sure you have a listen today!