Riding on their sparkling wave of electro rock Californians Neo Geo have been sending out larger and greater musical ripples, drawing to them a rapidly growing fan base and an equally eager showering of praise. Since their beginnings in 2008 the Fullerton quintet has played many high profile shows and venues as well as a highly successful appearance on the 2010 Warped Tour which they will repeat with another 15 dates on this year’s tour. All bringing a bigger and stronger following to their door which with the release of their debut self titled album should make the flood of interest become a torrent.
The sound of Neo Geo is not particularly groundbreaking or in many ways original but they do add a vibrancy that many other counterparts have lost or never had. There is the unavoidable comparison to Paramore and yes it is too easy to bring them up as a comparative sound but it is undeniably there. Neo Geo also has flavours similar to bands like Flyleaf and Evanescence plus at times a spice of The Birthday Massacre but it should be added that they do use it all to make music that is easy to get along with and very satisfying to keep returning to.
The one aspect of their music that ensures Neo Geo have their own ‘spot’ is their use of electronic and keyboard sounds and the way they shape their music into a very enjoyable and at times infectious listen. Opening track ‘Touch’ is an immediate example, it is catchy, incessantly addictive and the synths swirl around and within in neatly. It is obvious to see why it is a favourite and the track many are attracted to despite a slight predictability about it and there being much stronger songs elsewhere the album.
As well as the flowing keys it is the voice of Rainy Terrell and her matching soaring vocals alongside the synth sounds of Ryan Walter that elevates the songs on to a need to listen level. With the slower more emotive tracks like ‘Tonight’ and ‘Masquerade’ she excels, her voice dragging out emotion which has a very personal feel.
The best tracks on the album are the vibrant and driving ‘DT Killer’ and the mesmeric ‘The Metro’. The first is a rapid pace guitar driven track, guitarist Jesse Suave adding a My Chemical Romance like tinge to the sound. The second of the two songs and probably the strongest overall flows with an incessant driving rhythm from bassist Andy Cole and Nick DiBiasi on drums. Combining they bring a hypnotic sound neatly replicating that of train on tracks thus making the song’s journey very compulsive. Vocally here Terrell carries a Gwen Stefani vibe and overall with the choppy guitars there is a definite and agreeable No Doubt feel to the song.
Neo Geo has produced an album that flows extremely well and delivers great electro rock pop songs that are incisive and inviting. Though it does not bring anything stunningly exceptional from what already established and the rising amount similar girl fronted rock bands do, there is more than enough to suggest there are plenty more ideas and even a unique sound waiting to spread its wings further ahead.