et’s start here: Neon Hunk’s Smarmymob is a mediocre album, that is in regards to what I wanted it to do. The two ways that I wanted the album to function were, in order of importance, to make my head swim due to complex manifestations of unholy noise music and/or make me get out of my well worn chair and dance alone in my room. Neither of these things happened for any extended period of time, unfortunately.
Let's go here: Neon Hunk is a two-piece group composed of Mothermaster (synthmo and voco) and Mossmaster (drumsack and vocomo). The sound follows the group's composition nicely: a synth line is presented in each song and then the drums typically dutifully pound out the exact same rhythm or produce a slight variation thereof. Often, the synthesizer is overdriven or played in, what is typically regarded as, an annoying register. The songs- perhaps sketches would be a more apt description here- last, in most cases, less than two minutes, exploring a simplistic melodic theme and then discarding it. In fact, the whole album is over in less than 21 minutes- for 17 songs. This is, though, the point of this type of music. It is, at once, unapproachable yet decidedly leaves you wanting more. In Neon Hunk's case, however, it seems as though it is more due to a lack of ideas. By the last song on the album, little has said- but a lot has been restated.
Over here might be more interesting: where the group does succeed, though, is in its time and place. Right now, the noise music that Load Records acts and like-minded artists are producing is going in very interesting places. While Neon Hunk and Pleasurehorse’s latest offerings are listens that are grueling and oftentimes not enjoyable they can never be accused of being uninteresting. Where groups like Pink and Brown and Lightning Bolt succeed in large part is in their far greater visceral and melodic sense. Live, Neon Hunk and Pleasurehorse do, undoubtedly, contain the visceral ability of a Lightning Bolt. Their music implies it. And to get Lightning Bolt’s live experience recorded properly it took three records. Here’s hoping that for Neon Hunk and other up and coming Load Records acts it happens soon, as well, before the kids move on.
Let’s end here, though: It’s hard to recommend buying Neon Hunk’s Smarmymob. But it’s hard not to recommend that you be aware of their existence, either.