Judging from their music Neon likes to keep things relatively simple. I’m going to do the same and make this easy on you and me: Neon = Power Pop. What, not enough? Fine, I’ll try to do my job and provide an actual informative review, but just this once.
Neon is a three-piece that hails from the antipodal continent of Australia. I’m told there is some beautiful scenery down there; but let us not forget that Mad Max 2: Beyond Thunderdome was filmed on location in Silverton, Australia. This was apparently the filmmaker’s idea of a post-apocalyptic wasteland and incidentally, the hometown of singer-guitarist Josh Bitmead. According to Josh, this had a very formative effect on the music he produces today. Jamie Gurney adds his talents on the drums, while the lovely Britt Spooner sings backup and plays bass.
Now I must confess, power pop is not really my thing. I find it irritating. It all just sounds so generic and high school. However, in order to be fair, I must keep an open mind and listen to the entire album. So I did, and I admit that these guys are kind of infectious. They are quintessential power pop, but I found myself nodding along to the beat. Josh makes for a good screaming singer. I particularly liked the harmonies on the choruses and I enjoyed the simplicity.
You don’t have to listen to the album for long before realizing that these guys are perfectly pre-packaged for MTV with their catchy as well as “crunchy” guitar riffs and loud and simple chord progressions. The song “New Direction” would be a perfect addition to Total Request Live. And last but not least, it’s a good-looking group.
For me, after twelve songs, it all sounded a little repetitive. I told you I’m not a power pop guy, what do you want from me? I do like that they know exactly what it is they do. They are absolutely up front about what sort of music they play and their influences; which include Cheap Trick and the Knack. In other words they aren’t pretentious dicks like I am. They are young, talented and with time I think they could mature into a really good band. If you are a person who enjoys music labeled as “power pop,” then check this out.
Ian Nelson owns and operates the swanky vintage clothing store Rare Bird with his brother Tristram. Rare Bird is located on 13th Street between Marion and Downing, a few doors away from Gabor’s. How convenient. Their number is 303.830.0216 and their open late on Friday’s and Saturday’s. How convenient. Can we say, a vintage rock concert t-shirt and vodka tonic?