Label: Fader/Static Tongues Release date: 16/09/10 Website: Myspace Buy: Amazon Neon Indian is the brainchild of a one Alan Palamo. His debut album, conceived in sunny Texas, is about to be released to a European audience in the wake of US critics (mostly) splurging all over its release across the pond. As with any band whose flag is flown on the Pitchfork and is at the spearhead of a ridiculous new genre tag, a backlash is inevitable at some point. Until then, however, we can just enjoy this record. Neon Indian’s signature sound is a fuzzy, hazy, slightly psychedelic mishmash of synths. It’s so contemporary it sounds like it could easily be from the early 80s and for the most part it’s pretty chilled out. The songs of the album proper and the remixes laid out for the EU release all have a slacker charm, an arresting playfulness and a sincerity to them; as though, presented with a broad range of musical possibilities, Neon Indian has simply decided to chuck the whole lot in, like a kid mixing some kind of magic potion in his parents’ bath. For the most part, it hits home with an off-kilter sparkle. 'Deadbeat Summer' is fiendishly, dastardly catchy, and 'Terminally Chill' is one of those songs you could easily listen to for an entire hazy afternoon'. Psychic Chasms as a whole flits from electro beat to utterly whimsical chorus, to hook laden verse, to bizarre middle eight. From sci-fi disco to lo-fi blissed out, it’s all the while underpinned by some very assured song writing, though Palamo does often try and obscure that fact with some pretty grating harmoniser effects. It’s a kitsch amalgam of sorts. There is so much going on at any point, and so much pan, phase or harmoiser applied to any number of the synths, that it can feel borderline nauseating. The outro to 'Psychic Chasms' is the worst offender by far, but if you can stomach it, I have to say, it's a pretty unique array of sounds and textures. Still, the melodies are wistful, songs are want to take a thrillingly unexpected turn at the drop of a hat and it’s easy to be swept up in the surging sugar rush. Despite one horrific guitar tone in particular, and irrespective of the hype, Psychic Chasms is a debut many can only dream of. It’s garish, so overloaded it can make your head swim, but the majority of the record is awash with great ideas that are well executed. The remixes add to an already excellent package and for your money (or your bandwidth, you fiend) you’d be hard pushed to find a more electric happy hunting ground this side of a tab of acid.
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