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Release Info: Neon - Neon - 2005
Australia has a long and proud history of power-pop bands, and you can see the lineage forming when you listen to Neon – from this band back to Automatic, then Ammonia, then Hoodoo Gurus. On their self titled debut, Melbourne three-piece turn up the fuzz.
Sure, they’re following in the long line of alterna-rock power chord heroes; from Big Star to Cheap Trick to Superdrag, but Neon still have a distinctly Australian bent to their sound. They’ve also got energy and bouncy pop-rock songs galore, which is what makes Neon a joy to behold. The likes of “A Man”, album highlight “Hit Me Again”, single “Dizziness” and the sludge-drive of “All I Want” are full of wicked little hooks, and supple bass from Britt Spooner (although it – funnily enough – sounds distinctively like that of producer Steve McDonald, from legendary power-poppers Red Kross, or at least it’s got his supple nature stamped all over it).
In addition to the steady drumming from Jamie Gurney and Josh Bitmead’s perfectly monotone sing-song voice, it makes for a damn enjoyable little nugget of alterna-rock. Only power ballad “Into Your Eyes” fails to hit the mark, coming off as ponderous compared to its boisterous rock counterparts. But that’s a rare lowlight on Neon – for the most part the thrills come fast and furious on this debut.
It helps that McDonald has done a bang-up job in the production chair, giving this self-titled debut a crisp, clean but still rockin’ sound. “Hit Me Again” aims for the stars, and there’s a plethora of material on Neon that’s gonna be just perfect for radio sing-alongs; Neon could be your new favourite band. With a long-time coming international deal now in the bag, it seems likely that this three-piece are set to embark on a long-term strategy to fame and fortune. -reocities.com
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