Neon Zoo | Heaven Sin

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Electronic: Industrial Electronic: Industrial Moods: Featuring Guitar
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Heaven Sin

by Neon Zoo

A diverse sound with elements of industrial beats and rock-based guitars and moments of beautiful, ambient melodies reminiscent of Massive Attack. Lots of dirty, fuzzy electronic pumping beats and a ghostly, gothic air.
Genre: Electronic: Industrial
Release Date: 

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1. Heaven Sin
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5:27 $0.99
2. Get You
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4:42 $0.99
3. Monster
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5:14 $0.99
4. Within
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0:02 $0.99
5. Darkest Dance
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5:11 $0.99
6. Unspoken
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5:35 $0.99
7. Love Me
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6:24 $0.99
8. Slave
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5:17 $0.99
9. I Am The Sea
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2:56 $0.99
10. Fly With Me
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5:42 $0.99
11. Insanity
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5:32 $0.99
12. Alive
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5:44 $0.99
13. In The Silence
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3:14 $0.99
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ABOUT THIS ALBUM


Album Notes
"Heaven Sin is bound to be one of the alternative anthems of 2005" Kaleidoscope magazine

Neon Zoo's sexy, innovative blend of electronic beats, guitars and velvety vocals are set to take the alternative scene by storm. Their story began when accomplished musician and songwriter, Rick Alexander, decided to start pushing musical boundaries. With a love of dance and all things techno, and a solid background in guitar-based rock he began to create a new, addictive genre and make it his own.

Soon, the perfect team were in place to deliver a sound that combines the energy and drive of alternative rock with seductive vocals and massive dance floor highs.

But the sound of Neon Zoo is not their only attraction. Rick is determined that the band's live performances are visually enticing. This is no faceless dance act or shoe-gazing band. Instead, Neon Zoo is in-your-face sexy and full of attitude.

Neon Zoo formed in 2004. The first show was in May 2004 and have been playing live continually since. Late in 2004 the recording began of debut album Heaven Sin, the title track of which appeared on the cover cd of the Winter 04/05 edition of Kaleidoscope Magazine.

The debut album Heaven Sin was released through Forked Tongue Records in April 2005. This was produced by Mike Uwins of Darkwave band Manuskript. Mike also plays guitar in the Neon Zoo live shows.

2005 already sees Neon Zoo playing Dudley JBs, Nottingham Rock City, Devonshire Arms in Camden, London, Bedford Esquires, The Corporation in Sheffield, the Lumous festival in Finland, Carnival of Souls and Whitby Gothic Weekend. Neon Zoo are attracting a lot of interest from radio and club night djs who are adding them to their set lists.

Additional songs, demos, remixes and the video for Darkest Dance are available from the website www.neonzoo.com, and the myspace profile at www.myspace.com/neonzoo.

Also, there is a remix site for Neon Zoo tracks - featuring exclusive, dark remixes and new song demos - check it out at www.myspace.com/neonzooremixed.

Rick Alexander - Vocals
Baz Ducksbury - Guitar
Richard Edge - Bass
Jonathan Hooper - Samples
Mike Uwins - Production, electronic drums and additional guitar

Press Reviews

"Heaven-Sin has a lot going for it... this is a band who clearly have histories elsewhere, they play with maturity and a multitude of influences and they apply their samples with a freshness not so often heard...If you missed them at their recent gigs in Camden, Nottingham Rock City and the Lumous Festival in Finland, kick yourself. Good things are to come."
Rocksound Magazine

"Heaven Sin is a lavishly packaged album that revels in the technology that was used to create it. There is a solid sense of power behind each of these songs, and a depth and complexity of sound which is mesmerising...in truth this record is a vast slab of developed and evocative soundscapes all given voice by Rick Alexander's darkly touching vocals."
Sandman Magazine

"A new and exciting band from the Midlands (UK). This is the title track from the band's debut album, and one which is bound to become one of the alternative anthems of 2005."
Kaleidoscope Magazine (Review of cover mounted track, Heaven Sin)

"It's about time we heard a decent industrial rock band. There haven't been any good new ones to tear the world apart in quite a while. But now Neon Zoo have been unleashed and come with an album entitled Heaven Sin, chockful of electronic samples, fuzzy pumping beats and a ghostly, gothic air."
Black Velvet Magazine

"Rather decent, lush, restrained, intelligent darkwave electro-goth-rock for people who like things like Inaura or maybe a not-so-hard Nine Inch Nails. They do it rather well. Nice Artwork too."
Organ Magazine


Reviews


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Graves Concern EZine

Solid songwriting and an edgy but accessible sound
Like Love & Rockets' later material, Neon Zoo are almost more gothic by
association than by actual sound; again like Love & Rockets, they seem more
influenced by the Beatles' psychedelic period and the early UK acid house
scene than by Bauhaus or Joy Division. Still, there's enough darkness here
to keep narrow-minded purists happy. Title track "Heaven Sin" features some
crunchy guitars along with a throwaway line about vampires, and the
electronic beats of "Slave" are nicely heavy in an industrial sort of way.
"Darkest Dance" is also a decent listen, incorporating pop guitar hooks and
infectious beats into a gothic rock framework; its only sour point is the
occasional silliness with the vocal effects. It's the more genre-bending
stuff, though, that really stands out on this debut album; "Insanity" is
existential spoken word set to a progressive house beat, "Get You" is equal
parts gothic rock and Blur-inspired British pop, and "Unspoken" is as laid
back and tripped out as the Stone Roses at their best. Although the rhythm
is all programmed - Neon Zoo don't have a live drummer - the arrangements
are very organic. Apart from the aforementioned house-influenced songs,
this is more rock music than dance music, with the epic guitars of "Alive"
and the more subtle tension of "Love Me" standing out as particularly good
examples. These guys may wear a lot of black, but this album will appeal to
Primal Scream fans as much as death rockers. With solid songwriting and an
edgy but accessible sound, it'll be a shame if Neon Zoo doesn't acquire a
broad cross-section of fans.

Insomnia Magazine

Vital to your collection, a sheer work of genius
"Rarely have I come across such a unique, varied and well delivered album as this one from Nottingham's Neon Zoo. This album really has it all, ranging from the ballsy opening title track Heaven Sin to the very haunting and atmospheric Within. The album is flowing with creative ideas from start to finish and is packed with infectious grooves that at the very least will get your foot tapping along from song to song as you sing along to the irresistibly catchy vocals. Neon Zoo deliver a truly excellent album with Heaven Sin, one that should not be overlooked. This band definitely isnt afraid to experiment with different sounds and deserve ten out of ten for pulling off a collection of music that is vital to your collection, a sheer work of genius".

Jonny

"A solid debut and a couple of possible scene anthems"
This is the debut album from scene newcomers Neon Zoo. They formed as recently as 2004, yet have already managed to record their debut album and manage a respectable number of live performances in the process, including a slot at the Whitby Gothic Weekend in November 2004. The album was produced by Mike Uwins, better known for his work with Manuskipt, the UK's top (and probably only) gothic boy-band, so much so that virtually everyone I know ignores his surname and refers to him almost exclusively as 'Mike from Manuskript'. All of this thus begs the question - are Neon Zoo a goth band? For that matter, what exactly IS a goth band? And does it matter?

Maybe we should bypass the temptation to pigeonhole for a short moment and deal with the task at hand, namely trying to describe succinctly as possible exactly what Neon Zoo sound like. There's an interesting mix of styles at play - guitars vary from ear-wrenching virtuosity to jagged riffology, whilst the vocals alternate between a resentful snarl and a seductive drawl. The beats are programmed, but don't actually sound overtly 'synthetic', although a liberal quantity of keyboards fill out the remainder of the available frequencies. It's an industrial rock variant of sorts, sitting somewhere between Zeromancer and recent Girls Under Glass, though it does have a character all of it's own, which is critically important in these days of soundalike terror-EBM and 'trapped in a time warp' post-punk 'revivalists'.

The album kicks off with it's two most prominent songs, with the title track 'Heaven-Sin' a decent shot at penning a self-defining anthem, a dynamic rock number with huge riffs, a decent 'I Don't Care For Anywhere' sing-a-long chorus and a bubbling electronic undercurrent. Better still is the following track 'Get You', which features a catchy lead guitar and a hefty dose of Hammond Organ, giving the whole song the feel of a 70s rock anthem from a paralell universe where instrumental masturbation was replaced with seething, industrial-age fury.

There's a few other guitar-heavy tracks scattered across the CD, though these songs aren't exactly indicative of the album as a whole, however. There are a few predominantly electronic songs on offer, for example. The throbbing bassline and effected vocalist of 'Darkest Dance' allow the guitars to play the role of fine detail rather than brute force for once. 'Insanity' is the other obvious 'dance' tracks, with a bubbly loop and synth pad giving the song an unexpected psy-trance feel. It's not quite up to Goa standards, but it was an interesting experiment. Or accident. I'm not sure quite what they were thinking of at the time.

The remaining songs hover somewhere between these two extremes. The dirty electro-stomp of 'Monster' features some interesting texture and effects (including at least one Reznor-esque 'is that a guitar or a synth?' moment), as does the minimalistic melancholy of 'Within'. The melodic guitar pop of 'Unspoken' is probably the closest they get to sounding like Manuskript (given the link between the two bands, I guess it was inevitable at one point!). This isn't to say the song is a bad one, of course, even if it isn't a personal favourite.

They don't hit the sweet spot all the time, however. A few of their songs come over as being slightly turgid, largely thanks to a tendency to over-repeat the song title in the lyrics. 'I Am The Sea' is an unnecessary three-minute addition to the tracklisting, whilst 'Love Me' strikes me as an awfully cliche lyrics in a song that could have achieved so much more, never really getting out of second gear. 'Alive' is slightly strong, but the lyrics 'I Feel Alive Now You're Inside' comes across as being a little bit forced for a line that gets repeated so many times.

It's still a generally successful debut from Neon Zoo. Electronic rock has enjoyed favourable times in the UK of late, with the likes of Fætal, the much-missed Earth Loop Recall and a host of other promising acts caring more for their quality of output than arbitary genre boundaries. Neon Zoo have approached the sound from a slightly different angle, and have for the most part managed to avoid the usual traps. There's still a bit of sorting out to do with some of the lyrics, and I reckon they could have spaced the harder-hitting tracks across the album more, but aside from that, 'Heaven-Sin' is for the most part recommended.