Neon Trees
Habits


3.0
good

Review

by J. Ponton EMERITUS
March 17th, 2010 | 42 replies


Release Date: 2010 | Tracklist

Review Summary: A catchy deviation of The Killers without the majority of that band's problems.

To paraphrase the music that Neon Trees create: imagine if The Killers removed all the crap that started to enter their post-Hot Fuss efforts – Brandon Flower’s ego, pretentious tries at cool indie rock, and the negating of what that band should have stayed with throughout their career: dancing indie pop and glamour – and throw in a healthy dab of 80s alternative influences via pioneers U2 and Depeche Mode that's coupled with the more recent modern smart-rock crafting of The Strokes and Bloc Party for a final product that glistens and hits immediately. Sound appealing? It might to some, especially to those that want their electro pop fast, up front, and devoid of any real depth or substance. But stuff like that is okay; it’s just fun music to turn on from time to time and sing along to while driving throughout the day. You know, something you don’t necessarily have to let your peers know you actually enjoy.

That last statement might cause many music listeners to turn away, but the truth of the matter is that Neon Trees aren’t for everyone. The band was first invited to open for The Killers on their late 2008 tour in North America, and since then they have seen a steady climb to a place where they can finally get their name out there. Just give a listen to first single “Animal” to envision where this band from Utah could be headed with debut mini-album Habits: beginning with a simple drum beat and singer Tyler Glen’s tale of foreboding relational instincts, the song erupts into the most immediate chorus hook this side of Van Halen’s “Panama” – slight exaggeration used – that one might hear if they were to hand pick a one-hit-wonder single from the 80s. Though this may be the most obvious display of radio-minded drive on Habits, each of the eight tracks presented on this mini album bring the hooks hard and fast, destining themselves to be chart winners that might actually last a month on the alternative charts (tops, that is).

Fifth track “1983” brings the specific decade of influences to the forefront of attention; working with macho tactics to court the girl of interest, Tyler Glen uses a yearning yet unobtrusive vocal style to rope us into the song's poppy, dancing beat, largely amounting to a situation where we’re following the song’s catchy flow, instead of the lyrics voiced. Don’t expect to find any profound and deeply thought-out phrases here on Habit; Neon Trees opt to obey their so-called stereotype limitations by penning head absorbers, instead of clever lyrics. That’s really okay, though, because the world of music marketing revolves around such songs as the moving All That You Can't Leave Behind-recall found in closer “Our War” and the finger-snapping sex innuendo of “In The Next Room”. Someone has to keep the labels alive and fighting; what better band than electro-pop rock Neon Trees to take up the torch, combining a profound set of influences with in-your-face catchy agendas that just really can’t be ignored – unless you turn your radio off, of course. Sure, Habits’ songs may be limited in the areas of lyrics and depth, but they’re better than a fair portion of what’s already out there on alternative radio today.

Recommended Tracks:

Animal
Our War
1983
Sins Of My Youth



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user ratings (103)
Chart.
3.2
good

Comments:Add a Comment 
Ponton
Emeritus
March 17th 2010


5820 Comments


In case someone is interested:

http://tinyurl.com/yjsro35


Digging: Gates - Bloom and Breathe

Foxhound
March 17th 2010


4570 Comments


Good review. I have high hopes for this album.

Ponton
Emeritus
March 17th 2010


5820 Comments


Thank you, it's very solid stuff. I wish the album was longer though

Metalstyles
Staff Reviewer
March 17th 2010


8393 Comments


nice review. I have a feeling you will soon be staff or at least contributor here too.

Ponton
Emeritus
March 17th 2010


5820 Comments


Thanks, man. I think I'm pretty far from sputnik-staff quality, though, and many of the contributors seem to be far above anything I can do right now.





Metalstyles
Staff Reviewer
March 17th 2010


8393 Comments


nanana man don't be underestimating yourself. I've read many many reviews on this site and I can confidently say you are at least, at the very least, contributor standard.

Ponton
Emeritus
March 17th 2010


5820 Comments


Thanks, man. I really appreciate the kind words.

When and if the mods pull from the apps for new positions, its going to be a tough one. There's a lot of great writers to choose from, and I'm certainly not the best.

thatoneguy726
March 17th 2010


1637 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Haha! These guys were the guest band at my junior high's battle of the bands four or five years ago. Now they're on a major label and touring with 30 Seconds to Mars.

Metalstyles
Staff Reviewer
March 17th 2010


8393 Comments


When and if the mods pull from the apps for new positions, its going to be a tough one. There's a lot of great writers to choose from, and I'm certainly not the best.
out of curiosity, who do you think are the best then haha?

Ponton
Emeritus
March 17th 2010


5820 Comments


Haha, I had a feeling you would ask that. I think I will have to hold my opinion for now, though
I'm guessing they may pull again in august, like they did last year, but im not sure. Its a ways off if it is.

Plutonio
March 17th 2010


474 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

WO-OAH i want some MO-OAH WO-OAH WhaddAHHH YOU waiting FO-O-OAR?

This is my guilty pleasure of 2010. Though I disagree with your Killers analogy... I'd say more of The Takeover UK meets The Strokes and Phoenix.

Observer... you need to check out Thy Mighty Contract.

Plutonio
March 17th 2010


474 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Lol at the SFFS album in the "members also liked"... mos def coz of me.

Ponton
Emeritus
March 18th 2010


5820 Comments


I will definitely look into it. Thanks for the rec, plutonio.

I agree with you on the strokes influence, too

thatoneguy726
March 20th 2010


1637 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

I'm going to buy an album today, but don't know what. I'm thinking it's between this and Paramore's Brand New Eyes... anybody familiar with both?

thatoneguy726
March 20th 2010


1637 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

...or Broken Bells.

Ponton
Emeritus
March 20th 2010


5820 Comments


I'd go with Broken Bells.

NeutralThunder12
March 22nd 2010


8742 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

catchy!!

Twelvetribes230
April 29th 2010


110 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Really enjoyed this CD.

Tiberone
June 16th 2010


34 Comments


Heard these guys on the radio today, didn't sound half bad.

Not sure why you feel the need to shit all over the Killers in the opening paragraph of a review of a different band, not sure that's really called for...

PandaNuts
June 28th 2010


129 Comments


Besides the constant bash on The Killers (A perfectly fine band, in their own right) this is a pretty okay review.

Just try not to hate on other bands while writing for a review. It takes away the focus.



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