Reviews O Pioneers!!! Neon Creeps

O Pioneers!!!

Neon Creeps

With their Asian Man debut, Neon Creeps, O Pioneers!!! is trying to make a name for themselves while upping the ante on stupid punctuation in band names. What I hear is a sloppy three-piece punk band with hints at a more minimal and sometimes folk-punk style. I call them a three-piece, but the band is clearly Eric Solomon’s baby, as there has been a rotating rhythm section since the band’s inception in 2004, with turnover as recently as the recording of this record.

My first thoughts on the opener, “Saved by the Bell Was a Super Good Show,” was a sloppy, No Idea beard punk. At times, Solomon’s voice reminds me of North Lincoln with a bit less vocal melody to it. However, the record quickly slows down and simplifies. After some guitars that remind me of …Trail of Dead on “The Architect of Disney World,” things shift with “Dead City Sound.” The song sounds like The Riot Before, including its name, but it loses a lot of energy on the breakdowns. Where it differs from The Riot Before is that when the band turns toward a minimal sound there is a focus on the bass and drums, whereas the comparing band tends to use a lot of guitar and strong vocals. Unfortunately, I don’t find the content of O Pioneers!!! to be nearly as interesting and it doesn’t work very well with such an approach. The delivery in “9 A.M. Everyday” and “I Have a Major Weightlifting Problem” is dreary and repetitive - fitting for the depressed lyrics, but it’s not easy on the ears either. Several of the songs are sung in a tell-it-as-it-is manner that doesn’t really offer any insight. In these, Solomon’s approach is simple, relatively ugly (his voice isn’t exactly pretty), and to the point. They’re also my least favorite tracks. Things are a little more interesting when they vary their approach, as in the first two songs. The middle is too samey and has trouble maintaining its energy. When you hit the surf-garage intro to “I Told You So,” the tempo is striking after several lackluster tracks.

The lyrics contain a lot of references to moving on, social pressures, managing stress, and that old “I’ll never fit in” theme that appealed to me when I was a Bouncing Souls-listening teenager. The song titles do the long-winded, humorous-but-relevant thing.

Generally speaking, I like O Pioneers’ sound in smaller doses but Neon Creeps is too redundant. Considering the price, this album wouldn’t be a bad purchase, but it’s far from essential and I hope for more consistency in future releases.

6.8 / 10Loren
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Asian Man

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