"Dead Neon"

By Dr. Abner Mality

The idea of Las Vegas as a nuclear wasteland is kind of appealing (and given the vast amount of foreclosures out there, probably warranted) and apparently that's the concept behind Dead Neon. It's the creation of poet Jarret Keene, who has dubbed his self-made micro-genre "primitive nuclear doom".

All well and good, but really this sounds more like a primitive nuclear DEMO. Recording quality is EXTREMELY bare bones...I mean, it really does sound like something recorded following a nuclear holocaust using broken equipment. I'm guessing that's part of Keene's concept but he's not the one reviewing the stuff. Very harsh guitar sound, thumping super-simple bass riffs, dust-dry drumming and a twisted, electronically distorted vocal approach like the spoken word diatribe of a lunatic combine to form the Dead Neon sound. The band's approach is frankly TOO simplistic for me. Not that I need huge epic sounding doom with choirs and fancy tricks, but this level of songwriting and sound quality doesn't merit a financial investment in these difficult economic times. It would be better posted online as free sound samples.

I like Keene's vocals, which are truly demented, and his lyrics are morbidly compelling. The dude seems to enjoy himself with Dead Neon and you can tell. But with all the musical choices out there these days, I'm thinking Dead Neon's glow is going to be outshined.