Big Joan - Insects and Engines

'Big Joan' hail from Bristol, that hotbed of musical talent, and we've already seen them live so know that this could well be a band to get a little bit excited about. This is their debut album and it's chock full of meaty goodness. 'Big Joan' sound big, we're talking huge, chunky bass lines from both heaven and hell and mixed together with beats and noises straight from the devil himself. This is a fusion of punk, funk and dance mayhem that's one of the freshest and most exciting albums for a while.

The bass is probably the first thing to strike you when listening to the album. It's raw, aggressive and absolutely all over the place, but it's only one piece in the jigsaw. Annette Berlin on vocals is the perfect counterpoint to the heavy bass lines. Each lyric is delivered with impeccable timing and attitude. She howls, she shouts and she moans but mainly she's just there, a breathless presence that gives amazing lift to the songs.

Big Joan combines urban aggression and tension with huge slabs of avante garde chaos. 'Tiger' will absolutely blow you away; it's dance-like electronic machine noises combined with tinny drums and Annette on distorted vocal combine to deliver a knock out blow and the same thing with 'Here To Help’, which sounds like a nightmare brought to life and in a good way. See, the thing that Big Joan manages to pull off, which so few bands do, is to bring a sense of real terror to their music. Not terror in any sort of tacky way, but this is paranoia, urban tension and rage brought to a weird sort of sonic life. You can feel the tension in the spaces between the notes of music. This is not a relaxing album in any sense of the word. Listen to the yelps and distorted, wailing, thrashing guitar that end the album on 'Fight Song' and you'll see what we mean.

'Big Joan' deserve a wide audience. They're accessible enough to be instantly appealing and yet there's much hidden depth to the music. It goes without saying you should risk a listen at the first opportunity you get. Have a look at their website here and look out for their live show.

And have a look at our live review while your at it.



out of 10

Last updated: 19/04/2018 12:14:50

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