NEON TREES are an American rock band i’d never heard of even though they’d gained attention after supporting The Killers and having a hit with a song called ‘Animal’ in 2010. Maybe you’re a latecomer like me. If so, let’s now say “welcome” to ourselves because their album Picture Show is damn fine for our ears. Mixed indie rock and Robbie Williams and you’ll get something close to their sound that’s sometimes alternate yet mostly radio friendly.
First impression is solid. ‘Moving in the Dark’ is made for singing and jumping, a good combination of rock, electronics, “aahs” and sing-a-longable breakdowns. ‘Everybody Talks’ isn’t as dynamic but it’s accessibilty and catchiness makes it deserving of its status as early single. ‘Mad Love’ heads closer to pop and totally arrives there with ‘Weekend’ and ‘Lessons in Love’. I don’t mean pop rock like Jimmy Eat World. I mean Billboard pop, the kind i’d normally hate, but NEON TREES pull it off like a smile on a rainy holiday.
The CD booklet gets cool status, a poster for every track that is as Eighties as Pretty in Pink or The Breakfast Club. It let’s us know that band member, Elaine Paige, is a hot lass and that the band has brains (scattered lyrics include “wide-eyed and hopeless“, “never trust a city when your blood’s gone cold” and “we are fast youth going nowhere”).
If radio music bubbled and danced as consistently as this, i may be tempted to tune in again.