Neon Blonde - Headlines (Cover Artwork)

Neon Blonde

Neon Blonde: HeadlinesHeadlines (2005)
Dim Mak

Reviewer Rating: 3.5
User Rating:

Contributed by: Matt_WhelihanMatt Whelihan
(others by this writer | submit your own)

Plenty of musicians have taken a shot at electronic music. Artists like Bob Mould and Conor Oberst have dedicated whole albums to the endeavor, while others, like Pedro The Lion's David Banzan and Ben Gibbard, have created whole new projects as a result of the pursuit. So you might be asking yoursel.
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Plenty of musicians have taken a shot at electronic music. Artists like Bob Mould and Conor Oberst have dedicated whole albums to the endeavor, while others, like Pedro The Lion's David Banzan and Ben Gibbard, have created whole new projects as a result of the pursuit. So you might be asking yourself, who's next? How about Johnny Whitney and Mark Gajadhar of the Blood Brothers.

On Neon Blonde's debut EP Headlines, Whitney and Gajadhar take electronic music and twist it into something sick and new, much like the Blood Brothers do to hardcore. Each song seems grounded in familiar points but is soon uprooted by strange and violent interjections.

The EP opens with an almost Trent Reznor-like, industrial beat before Whitney's signature whine and a creepy organ kick in. "Headlines" could almost pass as a more stripped down song from Crimes as Whitney quickly runs through his numerous vocal personalities. He will scream, taunt, threaten, and sass you before the song is over. Just when it seems like the song has no more surprises, horns kick in that sound like a mix between Radiohead's "The National Anthem" and free-form jazz.

"Barbados Nights" comes next with its Casio programmed beat that is filled with handclaps and maraca shakes. The song's synths and guitars are faded into the background and sound like an 80's pop hit from an alternate dimension. Whitney's vocals are distorted and delayed, making his already insidious voice even more abrasive and dangerous.

The EP than takes a drastic turn in sound for "Savannah Nights." Here the band is suddenly more freak folk than dancey, scream-filled electronica. The augmented acoustic guitars and bits of ambient noise play out like something from a Neutral Milk Hotel song while Whitney's layered vocals sound like a mix between David Bowie and a mental patient ranting from the corner of a padded cell.

A remix of "Headlines" by Jay Clark closes out the release. The opener suddenly becomes a more hip-hop-flavored closer, thanks to a speedy hi-hat heavy beat. Clark also takes the horns from the end of the track and samples them throughout, and adds more layers of sound by cutting noises and new instrumentation in and out.

While the songs on the EP are great pieces of music made up of interesting compositions, the short running length and fact that one of the four songs is a remix of another detract from the release a bit. Still, it seems like this EP is not really meant to stand on its own, but merely serve as a preview for the band's upcoming full-length.


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Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not respon sible for them in any way. Seriously.
Anonymous (January 9, 2006)

Amazing album. There's not one song I don't like.
The electronic sound is great with the screamo.

Anonymous (September 12, 2005)

Jordan's side project is called Head Wound City. Cody from the Blood Brothers, Justin and Gabe from the Locust, and Nick from the Yeah Yeah Yeahs form the rest of the lineup. Their album comes out on Nov. 8th but will be available at threeoneg.com before that.

Anonymous (September 4, 2005)

neon blonde pubes.

Anonymous (September 4, 2005)

Cool Artwork YO!

Anonymous (September 3, 2005)


Anonymous (September 3, 2005)

pitchfork is gonna eat this shit up. Fuck Pitchfork.

Anonymous (September 3, 2005)

I saw THE NEW LOWS on thursday Night in NYC. These guys put on one hell of a show. Download their FREE EP @ www.thenewlows.net The price is right.

Anonymous (September 2, 2005)

bazaan's side project is called Headphones. As much as I love pedro the Lion, Headphones is a big let down. Just imagine Pedro the Lion with keyboards replacing guitars and probably some of the WORST chord progressions this side of the mississippi. Only 4 songs stand out from the the whole EP: "Shit Talker" "I never wanted you" and "Pink and brown" and "Slow car crash." And Neon Blonde is great.

Anonymous (September 2, 2005)

jordan's outings with nick zinner and someone from the locust (i'm pretty sure) is called head wound city. they're really cool. check it brotha!

Anonymous (September 2, 2005)

This is pretty good. 2 of the songs are really good and the other isn't bad. Can't wait for the full length -- should be SWEET! Anyone know the name of Jordan's side project?

stricken (September 2, 2005)

what is Bazan's electronic project.. this i want to hear.

stevejonestherealbones (September 2, 2005)

i think imma gonna skippa thisa EPa....but ill probably give the full length a listen...when is it out by the way?

- jones the bones

- stevejones8770@yahoo.com

Anonymous (September 2, 2005)

i think this is feckin' sick. i love his voice, i could just eat him up!

Anonymous (September 2, 2005)

This is a really good band.

skaboom (September 2, 2005)

Hmm, maybe my comment would be more relevant if Chandeliers was on this EP. Maybe it's labelled wrong on my itunes.

skaboom (September 2, 2005)

It's...ok. They really did try to emphasize the "funky" sound and the music part of that experiment worked very well, but the vocals seem to distract from that. Obviously, in BB, the vocals and lyrics are a huge part of the overall sound, and it seems like NB tried to use that same heavy vocal emphasis. In this case, I can't really say I like it. At some parts, like the beginning of "Chandelliers" its pretty cool, but he can't really stop himself from screaming over what should be non-screaming parts.

maverick (September 2, 2005)

EP's sketchy at best, but the full-length is quite a bit better.


Anonymous (September 2, 2005)

Wow, you happen to leave out radiohead in the first paragraph on successful rock artist doing electronic music. Good job!

inagreendase (September 2, 2005)

Eh. This EP's (single, whatever) gotta whole lotta awkward on it. The dance elements just don't blend that well.

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