Across numerous micro-projects, the home-recorded mania of Minnesota’s Msr. Connie Voltaire centers on punk smeared with smarty-pants petulance and uncontrollable “problem child” id. As Neo Neos, Voltaire’s most prolific and formidable alter ego, the line between clenched detractor and doe-eyed convert get blurrier with each new dispatch. The kind of sensory-overload gunk that Voltaire specializes in is obviously maddening, but it can be gripping as well. Could a Neo Neos album offer up any substantive answers?
In a devilish con, much of NN’s glory stems from its bizzaro-brilliant critique of the freak scene, recasting today’s ‘tweener punk/wave/HC as truly haphazard noise, a messy no-fi babel employing near-edgelord levels of antagonism and bedlam. Terms like “blown out” or “cacophonous” or even “muttonheaded” barely begin cover Voltaire’s strike, yet raving hooks are discernible amid the chaos. The whole trick-bag is inverted as well, with rhythm and bass throb being more prevalent than any requisite guitar screwing. Hell, the album opens with a galling instrumental that somehow serves as a nose-thumbing dissection of modern-day punk tropes, a theme carried throughout the program, always guided by Voltaire’s spasms and helium yowl.
Neck Chop is pleased to publish Neo Neos’ newest news as part of our year-end operations. Jucy Lucy not included. - Mitch Cardwell