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Posted: September 10, 2013 in New Indie Music

Neon Lushell

modern purveyors of filth and degradation (in a time of peace and understanding)

Silber Media, 2012

Review by Kent Manthie

This album is a sonic thrill ride that reminds me a little bit of Throbbing Gristle. It explores new textures of sound, new boundaries that have heretofore been unused, thought, maybe, too outre, for example. But Neon Lushell has perfected it. I have actually had this CD sitting in my computer this whole time and I’ve, for some reason, just not gotten to it, keep passing it by and not even thinking about it when all of a sudden, one day, I was flipping through my collection of new indie music and I came across this one CD with a cover of this drawn face which was the identity of an archetype. This one was the one that embodies that silent, frowning, unhinged-seeming guy who works where you do. He’s kind of creepy and it isn’t good to be caught alone in the same small room as you.

That was the vibe I got off the face that exuded this CD. So, at the time, the state I was in, mentally, emotionally, whatever, I just, threw it all away – that is any coherent, cognitive “selection” process, I just grabbed the mouse and clicked on this album and instantly started playing it. I quickly saw that the name of what I’d just, so whimisically just grabbed out of the ether and started playing it.

The sonic intensity is one thing that grabbed me and kept my attention, other factors included a sort of hypnotic-manic freak-out. The second tune has this William S. Burroughs-like character who’s sampled voice is repeated over and over again to say “I pulled out all my teeth…and made a necklace out of them” and behind that is an electronic rumba backing this ethereal chanting going on. It’s quite a liberating trance-lose yourself thing going on here. On “Sammy’s Rap (featuring Dustplanet)”, the song is a wicked, boozy dirge that has a vocal with a Tom Waits voice and it presses up close. The next tune, “Cellar Door” has the vocal that sounds like Nick Cave. A dark, ominous baritone eerily revealing something or other. Then the album goes on like that for another 9 songs, including “Grave Bells” a haunting tune that recalls British post-punk underground heroin dens. “Everyone Died, I Survived” is a morbid tale of abandonment by death of one’s only friend and connection to the outside world and how that haunts her to a point of madness. This is a really amazing work that I really screwed up and didn’t get to sooner, it is surely something that should be more widely heard, although it’s good that it’s not, like, really huge, like Idaho or Wisconsin huge, you know? By then it’s turned into a trend, co-opted like so many once-indie artists for that big paycheck, which, of course, is tempting. It’s a hard choice to make. I don’t regret not having to make it.

I really do dig “Everybody Died, I survived”, it’s kind of a confessionary, repetitive loop or something – repeating the song title over and over again to an insane beat, then near a minute in it morphs into something different, a cacophony of melodies with a tinny-sounding voice singing under all the sound. It recalls those terrible wrecks where there are hundreds of dead crash victims, yet there seems to be a few of them that got out alive – make for some vivid memories that wouldn’t go away easily if at all. This music has the edge of that kind of manic paranoiac psychosis.

Neon Lushell is no stranger to the “experimental” world. He’s all over the netlabel scene and putting out stuff here and there. I want to do this to show any possible connections to a grapevine to put Neon Lushell on – tell your friends about him, share a tape or CD with them. Expand the fan base without any advertising or spending money to sell records (that is, unless you consider a tour a way to market the current album -which it sort of is). –KMNeon Lushell CD cover

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Comments
  1. Knob Records says:

    She had an infinite range, from a chthonic growl to dog-whistle high notes.
    Shake, as called by his friends, is a multi-instrumentalist, singer, songwriter, and producer.
    And Woodstock 2 years later drove the nail with the board.

    • kmanthie says:

      Hi, KNOB RECORDS.
      Thanks for the comment – I encourage anyone, anytime, to write in and leave comments – compliments, criticism, people pointing out errors made in particular reviews or whatever…
      I take it, from reading the one someone from Knob Records sent regarding the review I wrote for Neon Lushell’s quite interesting (and one of my favorite titles for a CD) album. It’s been a while since I wrote this review, but I do recall the album and I thought it was a unique and interesting experimental album, with some catchy, yet dark hooks, with some wigged out FX, etc. One thing, though – I don’t quite get what you meant by the last line – “And Woodstock 2 years later drove the nail with the board.” – maybe that’s an inside joke or something. Anyway, thanks again for commenting and have a good day – tell a friend too, to check us out and/or send any feedback. Love to hear from readers!!
      Thanks, Kent M

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