Neon Bastard - Meikhaus (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review

Neon Bastard

Meikhaus (2010)

Robotic Empire

It's hard to associate the term "neon" with legitimate hardcore nowadays, but perhaps New Zealand's Neon Bastard can make a fair exception. The band's promising and expansive yet economical full-length, Meikhaus, is noisy, lumbering and experimental hardcore languishing in fierce, mid-tempo drives that cross-pollinates Black Flag's later, abrasive edge with Cursed's vicious snarl and Unbroken's jaunty pulse (...sort of).

A word of caution: That probably sounds incredible on paper, and Meikhaus may not live up to those expectations. But it seems fair to draw those comparisons (though they're probably not exactly the band's influences), as Neon Bastard certainly have a loose, wild prowl about their process anyway that largely seems to just work. Grindier tendencies infiltrate "Cock Rock" and "Mangy Feline", while Meikhaus's longest, "I'm Your Bastard" finally gives the band a chance to stretch their legs with some naturally faster tempos and a thumping, swaying, back-and-forth finish.

"Don't Tread on Me" is another solid example of the flailing, brutally noisy urgency of this record, which is essentially a main draw to Meikhaus in the first place. Needly, noody riffs fly across "Pushah", but the band's sense of humor prevails aurally in "Big Dogz"...with dog barks. For real. The band's noisy edge only becomes really noisy with the very last second or two of closer "c.2023": It's literally just an unsettling, piercing noise, so you may want to brace for that.

Neon Bastard remain fierce and unchained throughout the course of this album and it's a trait that keeps Meikhaus vague but enjoyable. Fans of experimental, loose hardcore: take note.

Steven Tyler
Mangy Feline
Mad Fucking