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  Hit Me Again  


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Sometime in the late 90s, i fell into my own little world of indie rock and electronica, and lost touch with the types of things that get radio play. Every once in while, someone will mention a "radio" band to me, and Neon are one such band. They are Australian and apparently are lumped in with the current wave of Aussie modern rock bands. This movement includes someone called The Shins (who i have vaguely heard of), but skips over The Dirty 3. Whatever. This EP is their debut, and it is a solid, if not particularly challenging, little disc.

It starts out with Hit Me Again, which is a catchy song. The drumwork here is great: the drummer really pummels his kit. Overall the song sounds like Black Rebel Motorcycle Club trying to cover Nirvana. That is, they have that Nirvana speed and verse/chorus structure down, but the vocalist and the guitarwork sounds more BRMC. Anyway, it's a good combination.

Next up is Dizziness, which doesn't add anything to their overall sound. That is, it sounds remarkably like Hit Me Again, only with different lyrics, etc. Not bad either, but not really distinguishable.

The third track is the demo version of He's a Whore, and this is actually a pretty cool song. The guitarwork is less slick, making it sound even more like BRMC, and the drums are flat and somewhat in the distance. The voice also is a little harsher, and i like it without the slickness of the heavily produced "final" tracks. Overall, on this song, Neon sound almost like The Kinks, and it's a pretty good sound for them.

The final audio track here is the demo version of Million Suns. This is their "power ballad", and the guitarist even strums away furiously on an acoustic guitar. It's, well, underwhelming. I think that the ballad might have worked better in a highly polished state, more like the first two tracks.

Finally, Neon end their little EP with a video for Dizziness. In the video, you see that the band, despite being Australian, look like average scruffy indie rockers (except for the bassist, who is some head banging, long haired, Aryan girl). Apparently the look is ubiquitous, who knew? Anyway, in the video the camera circles the band as they play in a warehouse somewhere. The effect is supposed to be dizzying, i guess, but i find it almost nauseating. The camera never stops moving, and it really bothered me after a while. I wonder if that was due to watching the video on a tiny little window on my laptop monitor? Anyway, the video really annoyed me….

Overall, the Hit Me Again EP is nice modern rock. The music is slickly produced, but underneath is a slight feel for the late 60s British rock bands: Stones, Kinks, etc, and of course, their followers: Cheap Trick, Oasis, BRMC. It's really not a bad EP, but it does nothing to distinguish itself from the mass of music in this sort of revivalist genre.

Still, the band have some chops, and with time might be able to develop into something really worthwhile. For now, i have to say that this is EP is fluff, probably important to teenagers, but not exactly something most people will really get into. However, they are young, and i say give Neon some time to develop. Who knows what can happen?

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