Neon Knives - Mind Control

Neon Knives bares only a passing resemblance to the band it formed out of, Now in 3D. The similarities pretty much begin, and end with the lead vocals, and lyrics. While the synth is still present, it acts as more of an accentuating instrument than one that's in the forefront. The approach is maybe a little more stripped-down, and raw this time; if crust-pop punk wasn't a genre before, I think it's going to be one now. This band's pop sensibility is often buried under an overdriven hardcore punk riff, but it's still there, driving the music forward and keeping the listener's attention.

This 4-song e.p. opens with the title track, which sets the tone for the following songs. Garage rock, and proto-punk are clear influences here, while somehow still occasionally bringing to mind early AFI or perhaps even The Misfits. This is no horror punk ripoff band though, this band is broadcasting directly from their own planet. A planet filled with black & white televisions broadcasting static-y signals of DIY punk from across the universe. The thick echo on the lead vocals give it a feel of being not of this world, or at least of this decade. The backing vocals often sound both menacing, and fun, providing much of the energy to the choruses.

“Chinese Hearts” is a speedy blast of synth-fueled punk, recalling Now in 3D's somewhat campy, sci-fi, b-movie charm. However, Neon Knives brings a much harder edge than their previous incarnation; a cutting, vibrant edge that will make you bleed fluorescent. “Knife in the Night” is a 96 second burst of catchy punk with a blasting, near-freak-out of a chorus; just a fun listen all around. The “Mind Control” e.p. zooms by in about 8 minutes, but it leaves you wanting to hit play again, and again. A great teaser for their next effort, which is already on its way. This is a perfect soundtrack for driving entirely too fast, and living life to the fullest.

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