Neon Indian
Vega Intl. Night School


4.0
excellent

Review

by wtferrothorn USER (36 Reviews)
November 29th, 2015 | 118 replies


Release Date: 2015 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Off of the coastline and onto the dancefloor

It’s evident from previous releases that Alan Palomo has a talent for building atmospheres within his albums, even if the songs themselves don’t link together conceptually. With 2009’s Psychic Chasms, heavily reverbed vocals and nostalgic analog synths were thrown through a lo-fi filter to create the perfect soundtrack for waking in the early morning, high as a kite on the beach in the '80s. However, the haziness of an experience like this translated to the record, which seemed to pass by inoffensively, like a gust of wind. 6 years later on Vega Intl. Night School, Palomo's infatuation for analog synths is as strong as ever. The difference now is that instead of an early morning coastline, the scene has moved to a neon-lit nightclub that reeks of sweat and alcohol in the best way possible. The thick synths warp and swirl across funky, hard-hitting grooves throughout the entire record. This strong improvement is only upholstered by the much more engaging songwriting for the majority of the LP. The first half of Vega Intl. is a gauntlet of catchy synth funk and synth pop tracks that flow perfectly through each other, yet are distinct enough to justify their existence as separate pieces. Whether it’s the tropical, reggae-inspired “Annie”, the retro “Dear Scorpio Magazine” (it’s got a Prince-esque guitar solo and a sax solo in the same song; how could It get more '80s?), or even the superb extension of “Slumlord”, “Slumlord’s Re-Lease”, Neon Indian does not hold back on the jams. When this album hits its stride, almost no other pop album this year rivals it.

The slow jam of the album, “Baby’s Eyes”, opens with a waterfall of synths, sounding like a transition into some kind of dream. Consider this the moment where all the fruity cocktails finally catch up with you, making everything seem as if it were a confused blur. The next two tracks, “C’est La Vie (say the casualties!)” and “61 Cygni Ave” may still be as funky and warped as the rest of the album, but there’s one crucial detail left out that bites these two tracks in the ass majorly: the hook. The weak hook on “Cygni” and the almost nonexistent one on “C’est La Vie” leaves the listener with nothing to grasp onto, resulting in these inheritably twisted synths grooves feeling like sloshy, dizzying messes (especially “C’est La Vie”). Luckily, the closer “News from the Sun (live bootleg)” acts as a recovery from that sonic hangover. The bright, funky bassline and comparatively sober synths on this song along with the most celebratory chorus of the record carries you out of that Night School and out into the shining sun, figuratively and literally. While it's back end had some rocky moments, at least 2/3rds of Vega Intl. Night School is Neon Indian's catchiest, funkiest, and most eccentric album yet. But if you're looking for the guy that helped you get your daily dose of Chillwave back when Chillwave was still a thing, he's long gone.



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user ratings (222)
3.8
excellent


Comments:Add a Comment 
wtferrothorn
November 29th 2015


5849 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

"Slumlord/Slumlord's Re-Lease": https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l0wPHAau1ts



Thanks to JohnnyOnTheSpot for proofreading this review. Was really surprised this hadn't had a review until now.

Gyromania
November 29th 2015


32270 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

oh coo, this has a review now.



good work, i agree with you fully

Frippertronics
Staff Reviewer
November 29th 2015


19415 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

beat me to the punch by a country mile dude, pos

wtferrothorn
November 29th 2015


5849 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

thanks man. What's your favorite song off this?

Frippertronics
Staff Reviewer
November 29th 2015


19415 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

probably would have to go to C'est la Vie or The Glitzy Hive



the whole album is sleazy 80s nightclub pop excess and I dig it hard

Lord(e)Po)))ts
November 29th 2015


66859 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

thnk u for reviewing this

wtferrothorn
November 29th 2015


5849 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

As you can tell from the review, didn't really dig C'est La Vie, but The Glitzy Hive is probably my favorite off this. That or News from the Sun



and it was my pleasure, potsy

Lord(e)Po)))ts
November 29th 2015


66859 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

News from the Sun is one of my least favourites. C'est La Vie and Glitzy Hive are somewhere in the middle. best songs are Annie (one of my fav songs of the year), smut!, dear skorpio, slumlord, baby's eyes, and cygni

SharkTooth
November 30th 2015


14183 Comments


this needed a review tbh

Lord(e)Po)))ts
November 30th 2015


66859 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

yah

Anthracks
November 30th 2015


6697 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Easily the sleeper of the year and my AOTY so far

Digging: Cryptosis - Bionic Swarm

Lord(e)Po)))ts
November 30th 2015


66859 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

~george clanton thraaacks get on iit~

Anthracks
November 30th 2015


6697 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Yeah I just have one album left to listen to from my 1968 list then I'm catching up on this year before 2016 rolls in.

ParanoidAndroid96
November 30th 2015


1393 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

thought this was pretty good, but not much else

JWT155
November 30th 2015


14765 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Took me a few listens to get into it but this album has some bangers on it, album sounds great live as well. 61 Cygni Ave is my jam.

PappyMason
November 30th 2015


5702 Comments


Need to get on this.

granitenotebook
Staff Reviewer
November 30th 2015


1097 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

nice review. quick thing: you mention the album title in the last paragraph and it's missing a "/" in the "[i]"

wtferrothorn
November 30th 2015


5849 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

heh, thanks for pointing that out! fixed it

Gyromania
November 30th 2015


32270 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

annie is too good

DoofusWainwright
November 30th 2015


19991 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

I'll give this another shot. I downloaded Annie and Slumlord and they've grown on me a bit



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