The Big Moon – an all-female awesome foursome from London – have released their debut offering ‘ Love in the 4th Dimension’ during a stimulating, almost paradigm-shifting, though nascent era of guitar music. They are taking their place in the exciting firmament where fellow guitar rock revolutionaries, like Honeyblood, Blaenavon and Black Honey, are also occupying a prime position. ‘Love in the 4th Dimension’ is the latest brilliant example of stripped back, unpretentious Indie rock being ushered in with the objective of erasing a lacklustre division of rock music which has tried, and miserably failed to subvert the chart dominance of the R&B and ‘Urban’ music outputs, over the course of the past decade. This section of Indie rock tried too be clever: combining genres, on the one-hand, conditioned by artistic intelligence, and unorthodox chord progressions, and on the other, a post-punk revivalism which, bizarrely, became besotted with awkward keyboard instrumentation and excruciating synth pop – which has tragically enjoyed a resurgence about as welcome as a giant Donald Trump covered with spiders.
This album, and the band themselves, reach us mere listeners on a nostalgic level. It’s hard to escape comparisons with Indie’s bygone 90s golden era, when so much of the rock magic of Britpop, 90s American Indie, and their immediate aftermath, is drawn upon by the band and deftly reconfigured to produce a sound that is their own. Elastica, Mansun, Sleeper, Pavement, they’re all in this album, but the individuality of The Big Moon is powerful enough to contort these influences to make them almost unrecognisable, as they turn the Britpop-inspired rock t-shirt inside-out and back through its own grunge, shoegaze, punk beginnings.
The opening track – ‘Sucker’ – is a testament to the stripped back, inside-out 90s Indie that the band aim to capture. A slow, fabulously dirty guitar intro that rises and declines in volume and tempo, in a more understated take on the Pixies-cum-Nirvana formula. Juliette Jackson’s vocals have the mellow, “don’t give a fuck” kind of cool attitude that Justine Frischmann teased from her lips back during Elastica’s heyday, and the backing vocals and occasional harmonies are reminiscent of a Banarama pop hit.
The weaknesses in the album are virtually non-existent, but if I was to offer any negative it would be in some of the transitions from strong verse composition to a slightly weak chorus which depletes the overall track: ‘Formidable’ is one such example, but even ‘OK Computer’ had ‘The Tourist’, no band is perfect. If any track from ‘Love in the 4th Dimension’ best heralds in an exciting future for guitar rock, it’s ‘Bonfire’, a standout track that pays homage to punk energy, grunge despondency and Britpop cockiness with faultless effect.
Stay tuned into these rock empresses, they may be the standard-bearers for Indie rock’s recapturing of the airwaves.