The Abjects amass the skills and experiences of three women from different global perspectives to join and create stellar punk rock and roll. Never Give Up is the testament to the bold styles of singer/guitarist Noemi (Spain), bassist Yuki (Japan), and drummer Alice (Italy).
The album’s musical amalgamation is comprised of garage rock and surf rock but with an 80s filter (from pop to post punk). Most revel in a hypnotic-but-blessed bursts of hard-edged guitar. On February 15, the Yippee Ki Yay label released Never Give Up’s punk splendor, strengthened by an undercurrent of honed gritty propulsion. The trio’s determination is palpable.
Yuki’s history as a J-Pop musician emerges with smart songwriting mixed with Noemi’s artistic skeleton songs. Once linked up with Alice, they got down to business forming these odes to determination. The lyrics are intelligent and confrontational against large problems through a lens of personal anecdotes and emotions.
“All these complications are seen as new challenges to overcome whilst having a lot of fun at it,” said Noemi, “Life is full of problems and obstacles, but we’re never going to give up having fun and living our lives the way we want. We want people to have fun listening to our music and to infuse others with energy, drive, and self-determination.”
The title track “Never Give Up” is a garage-infused, Manchester post-punk track with sung harmonies. “The Storm” is driving, 80s punk with a steadfast focus and a scorcher of a guitar solo. While the surf element is omnipresent and persistent, the most egregious homage is the song entitled, wait for it…”Surf” The reverb-hazy guitar over a bouncy bass and seductive “Ohs” and “Ahs” and marching drums produce a fantastic instrumental. “Manana” certainly combines varied influences with a 60s Asian pop garage rock sound and dirgy bass repetition.
Much appreciated is the astonishing brash sound of “Sad Song” with searing guitars over a dark and haunting tone. The beat gets amped on the unsubtly titled “Fuck Brexit.” Equally aggressive with a gritty tone and some screaming is “Awake.” Noemi again states, “Struggle builds character, and luckily we have our friends and family by our side to help us, drive our lives forward, and live life to the fullest.”
The Abjects do a wondrous job facilitating pop and rock sounds of the 80s and 60s. Thicker production injects heft to the band’s delivery. Thought-challenging ideas manifest through the chaotic beauty and distortion-soaked chords. Garage and surf songs are fun blends of simple instrumentations with skilled people playing them, but any fan’s adoration comes with an honest admission that it can get repetitive. These genres have a formula. Never Give Up is an album that can be put on repeat and not feel stale. Each track channels the women’s frustrations and introspection. They add depth to the sound and the subject matter beyond the horror or light dance vibes. Abjects have made an album that lasts.
RIYL: Go-Go’s, DEVO, Agent Orange, Cold Meat, Exit Order, Amyl and The Sniffers, The Briefs, The Buzzcocks, Ghouls Night Out, LA WITCH, Thee Headcoats,