I am HER: Big Monster

Review by Hannah Rose Kessler

I am Her, this self-described alt-punk rock duo pulls all the stops out with this track. With a warm, vintage guitar sound opening the track the listeners have only a sense of what is about to come. 

The “sparkling punk energy as fuzz-filled guitars are played with a seething passion” is transporting, as Julie Riley’s soft, yet powerful vocals chant the refrain “Big Monster”. The use of space within the song also gives the blooming melody space to explode. Jeff Townsin’s drums come in, giving the track a head-rushy quality. 

Listening to it, it feels like the perfect grunge track: deceptive mellowness covering the thrashing beast underneath.  Julie explains,

“this song was triggered by someone telling me their experience of an anxiety attack. It got me thinking how anxiety/stress is like a beast separate to us that stalks us and preys on us.”

and you can certainly feel that building sense of heady panic in your chest as the song progresses. 

All in all, the experience of “Big Monster” is a delicious assault on your senses. The dynamics and the energy are exactly what I want to hear, and the effect is truly exciting. It is highly recommended that you listen to this track as loud as you can safely do.

Julie (vocals guitar), formerly of 90s cult band Rosa Mota, originally formed I am HER as a solo project in 2016. A year later, she then paired up with Jeff Townsin (drums) and the duo have gone from strength to strength ever since. Their album Herstory received critical acclaim from the likes of Uncut and The Crack, as well as BBC 6Music’s Tom Robinson, BBC Radio London’s Gary Crowley and BBC Radio Wales’ Janice Long to name a few.

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