“Not My Problem” is a recording that hit me in the gut and instantly hooked me. After listening to it, I must say that San Antonio, Texas artist Abe is one of the most unique and interesting underground alternative rock acts I have heard in a while. His sound is completely his own and every song sounds unique to Abe. No other band could cover any song on this EP and make it sound as good as the original. Abe sings in a way that can be angry, alluring, and awe inspiring all at once, while maintaining a biting force and personal introspection. A beautiful breed of melody and dissonance, the three songs contained here, go from sounding like riff-heavy alternative rock, to hard hitting hardcore punk. Each actually seeming like self-contained stories which guide the listener on a personal journey.
Give it a few listens before casting judgment: the note patterns are anything but traditional, and one must forget the usual constructs of mainstream radio music before appreciating the brilliance of this EP. Abe is quintessentially postmodern artist, one that delights in traipsing the high-wire intersections of sleazy guitar rock and high art arrangements.
From the moment the needle drops on the opening track, “Not My Problem”, everything surges forward, cranking up the intensity with the furiously whining guitars, and Abe’s uncompromising vocal growl. The track closes down in a pandemonium of cutthroat shredding.
Loud, distorted, and bordering on the fine line between rock and raucous, “Butterfly Woman” navigates a warping backdrop and an oscillating rhythm. The track emanates plenty of raw spontaneity. Yet, strangely, for all its intensity, the guitar noises resonate more subtly rather than mangling one’s eardrums.
Merging the propulsive structures of rock (both punk and otherwise) with the gorgeous chaos of his approach to the electric guitar, Abe’s avant-garde experimentalism, delivers a full-bodied soundscape. The propulsive drumming also gives much-needed punctuation to the odd timing.
Though gift-wrapped in jagged guitar tones and airy alternate vocal tunings, “Anymore” presents itself as a hypnotic blissed-out EP closer, before exploding into another twisted instrumental filled with igniting bombast. The frantic, rapid fire sweeps of guitar will get stuck in your head.
Built on cores of angular riffs and crunchiness, you’ll really feel the full force of what this recording is about. As it creates atmosphere in abundance, and allows Abe’s left field song writing style to set in without feeling out of place.
If the EP “Not My Problem”, has a singular strength, it’s the fact that it all sounds very uniform, within its extreme creativity. Abe’s vocals wrap around the beefed-up playing aptly, barking out whimsy lyrics in concurrence with the music, attacking each verse and chorus with a determined ferocity.
Rising swoops of distortion and billowing guitar aggression add a psychedelic atmosphere to the proceedings, as Abe bangs away at the instrumentation and keeping on cue melodically. This album defines all of the exploration that rock should undergo if it wants to return being revolutionary and exciting music.