A five piece from Bolton, Neon Sounds present a canny mix of Ben Folds piano and scratchy garage guitars. Lead track, 'Forbidden Fruit', comes across like something from a lo-fi musical. Dramatic hammering piano chords rise and dive as the vocals waver above. The guitar sounds ill, so trebly if it moved any further up the spectrum all you'd hear would be white noise. A shame really because this is essentially a very well crafted pop song. In effect, David Sneddon after three lines of coke and half a shandy.
This is followed by 'Do You Remember', more energetic piano chord bashing with quiet-loud dynamics and some wah guitar. There's an irking little jazz influence coming through though, I'm just waiting for Jools Holland to voice over "It's all in the blend" by the third minute. Third track, 'Never End', thankfully provides some temporary respite. I say temporary because it starts out like Aqualung but soon enough jumps into ragtime piano again.
If you're constantly bombarded with new music you soon find yourself liking things not because they're nice - but because they're different. The extreme result of this is finding yourself enjoying all the songs played on a John Peel show. However, for those not quite on that edge (like myself) the fact that a band can get together and not shout about pain or whack out some half arsed overdriven riff under the guise of garage rock is enough to make you sit up and take notice. Better still Neon Sounds appear to haven taken on the front of the most mainstream of artists (David Gray and the aforementioned Mr Sned) and subverted the genre with a bit of energy and wit. Neon Sounds are more likely to appeal to music students and dinner party darlings than the average sk8er boi, but still - better them than Simply Red.
7Andy (quirk) Thomas's Score