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O Pioneers!!! - Neon Creeps (Cover Artwork)

O Pioneers!!!

O Pioneers!!!: Neon CreepsNeon Creeps (2009)
Asian Man Records

Reviewer Rating: 3.5
User Rating:


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

Some punk bands' albums don't have release dates so much as release periods. First, the record leaks online, then the band starts selling advance copies at shows. Then a few indie stores and web merchants start carrying it. Finally, somewhere, somehow, some way, an official release date (heh, neon) .
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Some punk bands' albums don't have release dates so much as release periods. First, the record leaks online, then the band starts selling advance copies at shows. Then a few indie stores and web merchants start carrying it. Finally, somewhere, somehow, some way, an official release date (heh, neon) creeps in for all the mom-n-pop corporate giants to hop on.

Such is the case for Neon Creeps, the latest and greatest from Texan trio O Pioneers!!!. The record's release has been delayed a few times, so much so that by the time the official release date passes by, I'll have been sitting on this legally purchased folk-punk gem for close to two months, thanks to the magic of online commercialism.

So, will Punknews be stoked? Yes sir and/or madam, Punknews will be totally stoked on Neon Creeps. Guitarist/vocalist Eric Solomon's voice keeps getting better. Here, he comes off like Chuck Ragan, meaning his pipes are strong and gruff, with a dash of the sexies. Dude twists and shouts like a chain-smoking coal miner. I hope he grows a sweet beard. The other members, Aaron Ervin (drums) and Zak Klaine (bass), give their best performances with O Pioneers!!! yet, which doesn't actually mean anything since they're both new. But they're still good, sleek and assured. Old drummer Chris Ryan is out, which will please fans of steady time-keeping. This new version of the band also boasts 100 percent more bass.

Thankfully, this solid band of merry gentlemen has some great tunes to serve up. "Chris Ryan Added Me on Facebook" harshes on the ex-member's mellow, but if you ignore the title, you have a relatable, deliciously biting kiss-off to a former friend. It's bitter like a Morrissey song (or at least a Jesse Lacey one). Which is fitting, since another standout is "My Life as a Morrissey Song," a 57-second blast of self-doubt in which Solomon tries to analyze the emptiness within his soul before opting to just get the eff over himself. It makes a logical jumping point to the next track, "Stressing the Fuck Out." With frantic repetition of the phrase "Everything will be alright," "Stressing the Fuck Out" is in the running for Positive Jam 2009.

Of course, sometimes the songs could stand to have a little more lyrical variety. Opening number "Saved by the Bell was a Super Good Show" tries to get a little too much mileage out of the word "drama" (42x), running on fumes by the time its three minutes are up. I'd love to see him work "disagreement," "quarrel" and "existential dread" into the song. Actually, "quarrels" would work syllabically. So would "squabbles." And "baubles," but that's not really relevant.

The repetition trick does work to some songs' advantage, though. Solomon taunts Ryan on "Facebook" by ending almost every sarcastic line with "just like in high school," liberally spritzing the song with disdain and condescension. The same goes for the closing track "Cool Kid City," in which Solomon cleanses himself of scene politics, hipster douchebaggery and that all-encompassing drama from the first track. Neon Creeps, in that sense, is like a loose concept album about growing up but still loving the music. Learning to let go, earning independence and such. If you dig Hot Water Music's vocals, Against Me!'s early tunes and Dillinger Four's song titles, then you just might be able to mildly tolerate Neon Creeps.

 

 
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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.
mevsall (February 23, 2009)

I really like the repetitive chanting of the same word or words in several of the songs.

"DRAMA!"
"JUST CALM DOWN, EVERYTHING WILL BE ALL RIGHT!"
"ETC."

SilentStorms (February 17, 2009)

After reading the 3rd paragraph, I felt a wet and sticky substance hit my face. It was Jelone's sploog from jacking off to these guys. I took 3 showers and I still felt gay.

Pure jokes though, I just don't dig these guys in the least.

deadelectromix (February 14, 2009)

Dante3000

jacobtheserf (February 14, 2009)

Technically, infinity percent more bass, which sounds way awesomer.

whaleface (February 13, 2009)

i dig it :-)

inagreendase (February 13, 2009)

Jeff, I'm pretty sure the "mildly tolerate" comment was sarcasm. And I don't think being a little snide towards Chris Ryan invalidates Jelone's pure enjoyment of music.

Also, 10-4Eleanor, no one in this thread has said anything bad about this album...

writethatbitch (February 13, 2009)

holy crap this new stuff sounds great.

Also, awesome review. I LOLed at least twice.

givemenewwave (February 12, 2009)

I'm into this record, but I really think Black Mambas was a way better record. There was something about just a guitar and drums that made it rule so hard, but I can see why you'd want a bass player. Regardless, half of the score is for the record, and the other half is for the fun I'm going to have when I see them in Philly on 3/2.

quoteunquoterecords (February 12, 2009)

Good point, sir. I greatly respect the opinion of Mr. FF Woody Cock.

10-4Eleanor (February 12, 2009)

Fuck you guys, this album is fucking awesome. It sounds fuller and more intense than any of their other recordings. O Pioneers!!! isn't a great band because they are incredibly innovative or superb musicians, they are a great band because Eric is honest and passionate about the things he says in his songs. Haters be damned!

ffwoodycock (February 12, 2009)

"Maybe it's just me, but I think we really need to start enjoying listening to music more instead of thinking of catty ways to say shit. You know, like people who actually LIKE music."

maybe you should try making music and see if we LIKE it. Im highly doubtful.

quoteunquoterecords (February 12, 2009)

This is the first record where O Pioneers! are totally owning their shit. This is also one of the douchiest reviews I've ever read. Might be able to "mildly tolerate"? Chris Ryan doesn't play on it which will please any "fans of steady time keeping?"

Maybe it's just me, but I think we really need to start enjoying listening to music more instead of thinking of catty ways to say shit. You know, like people who actually LIKE music.

ashtraymonument (February 12, 2009)

garrett should grow back his moustache

but still keep the chops for ultimate awesomness

i'm just saying.

inagreendase (February 12, 2009)

Meh, I'd give it the same score... it is their "best," but they never were that great to me.

I haven't even heard this album yet and can say with confidence that it's the thread's most accurate statement. Cuz, you know, opinions can be accurate.

ffwoodycock (February 12, 2009)

"hope ffwoodycock isn't serious, haha"

don't you worry, Im not. thank you very kindly for the concern, though.

donezo (February 12, 2009)

"The new drummer's name is Garrett Carr and I don't know that bass player's name." - inaccurate.

xshoutoutx (February 12, 2009)

By far O Pioneers!!! best release thus far. (That's saying a lot from a band who has released more music than numbers allow to express)

... Garrett Carr and his divergent manly facial-hair awe me with beauty!

10-4Eleanor (February 11, 2009)

Aaron and Zak are not in O Pioneers!!! anymore. The new drummer's name is Garrett Carr and I don't know that bass player's name.

warmchords (February 11, 2009)

I'd never really listened to these guys, but this reviewmade me want to. Maybe it was the allure of a "dash of the sexies"...I don't know. But I'm checking out the myspace link and so far its striking me as pretty great

ashtraymonument (February 11, 2009)

i hope ffwoodycock isn't serious, haha

SporadicPunk (February 11, 2009)

This album is great. The 'Chris Ryan' song, has nothing to do with Chris, those guys are great friends. The reason that Chris stopped playing in the band was because he was too busy working at his recording studio to tour.

Anyway, this is my favorite album of the year so far. It's going to take a lot to top it. Although, Propagandhi's will probably kick my face.

Ravnos (February 11, 2009)

This review has misled me and I demand compensation.

pacoco (February 11, 2009)

score is for dash of the sexies

ffwoodycock (February 11, 2009)

"none of the songs are about any of the drummers.
in fact chris ryan recorded the whole record. The only songs he played on were on the asian man 7", the announcement 7", and the anchor 7".
none of these songs are about him at all."

what do you know?
score's for the record.

ericheartsu (February 11, 2009)

none of the songs are about any of the drummers.

in fact chris ryan recorded the whole record. The only songs he played on were on the asian man 7", the announcement 7", and the anchor 7".

none of these songs are about him at all.

deadelectromix (February 11, 2009)

V Honestly? Have you heard Against Me!'s acoustic EP?? That shit is ALL about Kevin Mahon.

Ravnos (February 11, 2009)

Are most of the songs on this seriously about the old drummer? That is a bit ridiculous.

mikexdude (February 11, 2009)

Meh, I'd give it the same score... it is their "best," but they never were that great to me.

Drunken3rd (February 11, 2009)

2008. Nerd.

Drunken3rd (February 11, 2009)

Was "Stay Positive" the positive jam of 2009?
Good review fair score.

ThisKidsAlright (February 11, 2009)

I just couldn't get into Black Mambas, but I really really like this.

baldsteve (February 11, 2009)

I'm against that first song title, fuck that show.

Enjoyed this record.

mattramone (February 11, 2009)

This is their best album to date and one that will almost definitely make its way into my top ten of 2009.

ashtraymonument (February 10, 2009)

why such a low score? this album is fucking amazing

i put it on my 2008 list because that's when I got it...#3

they're sound has evolved from against me! worship to something of their own. the lyrics are more simplistic than Black Mambas, but they still strike the same chord with me.

this is gonna go on my 2009 list too

Blackjaw_x (February 10, 2009)

I've said this before, but this is O Pioneers!!! best album to date... in theory. However, it for some reason has the least replay value, probably due to the "sameness" of most songs. They're all solid songs, but I mean if one is solid they all have to be. Anyway, it did go on repeat for about a month on my mp3 player, and will probably get another couple weeks in my car stereo, and we'll see what happens from there.

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