I wrote most of what I want to say about Abikyokan’s The Fear in a review a few months back, but there are a few points that I can add after the extra time I’ve had to listen to it.
The first is just that: I still listen to The Fear EP. It’s carved an uncontested place in the corner of my iPod, and I keep coming back to it at pretty regular intervals, which given the amount of music that passes through these parts, that’s pretty rare. It’s always difficult to be honest, even with yourself, when reviewing music made by your friends (and me and Abikyokan go waaaay back), but the fact that this EP never got filed away and lost somewhere on my hard disk is a sign that its quality shines through.
There’s a lovely combination of the eerie, off-kilter music, the often obscure imagery, delivered by Jake Arntson with the wrought earnestness of a suspect trying to convince a magistrate that the voices in his head are real, which gives even in tracks like God (Bigfoot), where the song seems to be warning of the dangers of excessive cake consumption, an air of mystery and concealed profundity. The title and the fact that it follows tracks called In The Woods and Fear, are equally powerful factors in setting the atmosphere of surreal, edge-of-sanity, esoteric wisdom.
Also in 2012, Abikyokan released the more shambling and rock-orientated 24 Hours EP and the bizarre and wonderful alien invasion-themed Christmas single Rock Lights, but The Fear EP is the one that still holds me in the firmest grip.