Big Terror Proves Delightful on Collaboration Album

By Deuce

The first thing you notice about Big Terror (the group) is it’s comprised of Rebel ACA and French Monkey Wrench, individual solo artists singing and sculpting sonic tracks somewhere in the United Kingdom.

The first thing you notice about Big Terror (the album)—obviously the output of this duo’s collaboration—is the guitars. It’s also the second thing, the third thing, and almost the only thing you notice about this 14 track long player—were it not supported by solid songwriting, special melodies, and the sort of instrumentation many players have yet to achieve.

Still, it’s the guitar work that unequivocally makes this Buttercuts Records release a standout. When Rebel and Wrench get together, it’s unclear exactly who (if not both of them) gets to talking with those tightly wound string instruments. In actuality it doesn’t matter, because the results are as varied as they are striking. We’re not just talking poignant acoustic mastery, the type that takes over a room or a pair of headphones. We’re talking electric metal guitars, bass guitars and, perhaps most palatable of all, the sort of wah wah funk that made many a 70’s Blaxploitation flick (and it’s soundtrack) spring to life.

In that respect “Super Mario” typifies the best of the guitar efforts, which bubbles and waxes with the funk of those six string and 12 stringed instruments. The track’s so good the only vocals are a colloquial recounting of the makings of this collaboration, or perhaps the involvement of the record label, or how the pair first came to work together. Whatever they’re talking about it sounds right with the incessant vivacity of those wah wahs.

Nonetheless, there’s a first-rate male vocalist on this album, notable not only for his trenchant lyrics but also for the pristine melodies that guide cuts like “Good Question” and “Slow Down”. The former is likely the most overt attempt at pop, yet remains edgy with a smoking fat bass line and live drums to animate the production. “Impossible” borrows the, well, impossibly high tenor of Anna Yeats on the hook and sounds like a leftover from vintage 1960’s sessions of The Doors. Both are compelling compositions that move with an energy most anyone would find difficult to deny. Such an assessment typifies the majority of the album, making even the casual listener wonder if the solo efforts of the pair are as good as that of the group.

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