Monday, 18th June 2018. 1:59:01am ET
Reviews CD Reviews Gothic Neon Zoo- Heaven Sin


Artist: Neon Zoo
CD Title: Heaven Sin
Label: Forked Tonque Records
Reviewer: Matthew Johnson
Date: 11-19-05

 

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Like Love & Rockets’ later material, Neon Zoo are almost more gothic by association than by actual sound; again like Love & Rockets, they seem more influenced by the Beatles’ psychedelic period and the early UK acid house scene than by Bauhaus or Joy Division. Still, there’s enough darkness here to keep narrow-minded purists happy. Title track “Heaven Sin” features some crunchy guitars along with a throwaway line about vampires, and the electronic beats of “Slave” are nicely heavy in an industrial sort of way. “Darkest Dance” is also a decent listen, incorporating pop guitar hooks and infectious beats into a gothic rock framework; its only sour point is the occasional silliness with the vocal effects. It’s the more genre-bending stuff, though, that really stands out on this debut album; “Insanity” is existential spoken word set to a progressive house beat, “Get You” is equal parts gothic rock and Blur-inspired British pop, and “Unspoken” is as laid back and tripped out as the Stone Roses at their best. Although the rhythm is all programmed – Neon Zoo don’t have a live drummer – the arrangements are very organic. Apart from the aforementioned house-influenced songs, this is more rock music than dance music, with the epic guitars of “Alive” and the more subtle tension of “Love Me” standing out as particularly good examples. These guys may wear a lot of black, but this album will appeal to Primal Scream fans as much as death rockers. With solid songwriting and an edgy but accessible sound, it’ll be a shame if Neon Zoo doesn’t acquire a broad cross-section of fans.

Visit the band at www.neonzoo.com.


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