Neo Cons - Neo Cons [7-inch] (Cover Artwork)
Staff Pick

Neo Cons

Neo Cons [7-inch] (2011)

Deranged Records

Neo Cons is a four-piece which includes half of San Francisco's Neighborhood Brats, but where the Brats deal in a more straight-up punk rock approach, tinged with elements of the classic Dangerhouse era, Neo Cons take a considerably different, albeit one that also seems to have its foundations in a sound more noticeable for being from the '80s.

The six tracks on this release are much rougher and contain a rawness to them that hearkens back to the early days of hardcore when bands didn't care too much for production values. They were more concerned with having something to make their mark in the world of punk. For me, it's that no nonsense approach that makes this seven-inch such a hit, with the band blazing through the songs as Jason Halal's (ex-86 Mentality) straining voice competes with the guitar, bass and drums to thrust across the lyrics.

There are moments in a couple of songs where I hear bands from the days of yore, with "Overstimulation" sounding very much like early DOA, "Don't Touch Me" bringing to mind early period (but slightly faster) GBH, both in the buzzsaw guitar and the vocal delivery, as well as just a touch of Minor Threat's cover of Wire's "12XU," although blink and you'd miss that latter bit. Despite the influences I hear in this record, it doesn't come across as a nostalgia trip and this band is certainly one that is doing something relevant to the current times. It's also got that sort of slightly manic Brutal Knights feel to it as well.

The one other thing to point out is that although bassist Jasmine Watson (one of the two Brats in the band) doesn't feature much vocally on this EP, when she does get involved it's like the yelp of an angry little dog. That's by no way a criticism as it's good to have those few interjections that add something different to the mix.

I'm actually finding myself extremely stimulated by this and have played it around a dozen times in a row at the moment and expect to keep going for a while longer.