When you spend all summer in the desert listening to the collected works of Elton John, life becomes a bubble of pop culture guilt and fashion contradictions.
But it is also the perfect preparation to help you understand the intricacies of **Neon Blonde's debut, Chandeliers In The Savannah, a record so beautifully obscure and obscurely beautiful that it draws from a modern day pool of blood that once drew Beefheart's Trout Mask Replica.
And in vocalist and Blood Brother Johnny Whitney (who is here alongside BB drummer Mark Gajadhar), there is a voice as uniquely piercing and annoyingly recognisable as ol' Reg's.
As far as side projects stretch, this is no Grohl-esque Probot or Oberst-led Desaparecidos, where the (commercially viable) instigators chose to disregard their previous formulas to experiment. Chandeliers In The Savannah is as equally obtrusive as previous Blood Brothers' offerings, particularly during the Second Nature/ThreeOneG days, but it allows them to promote even more noisy nasal grazed punk parlance, with a slight seminal nod to glam pomp and piano pulling Bowie-isms.
Whitney is also offered a chance to showcase his vocal range without relying on the syringe seeping safety net of Jordan Blilie's hardcore guttural yelp and gives them more time to smash up and burn acoustic guitars on weekdays.
Where 'Chandeliers and Vines' tinkers with melody and strings behind tales of mountain love, jealousy and cable television, it sits between the screaming otter and clubbed seal noises of 'Crystal Has Never Turned On Me' and the headbanging-against-bruised-and-broken-brickwall noise of 'Princess Skullface Sings'. Ending the project, 'Wings Made Out Of Noise' combines the suitably louche laptop disco fade out with blank words and out of tune guitar hooks fitting for such warlocks of the alt-noise cause.
"You know she's faking because everyone's gotta make a living..."
It's a vulgar display of beauty and it's worth following.
Download 'Headlines' here.