Neon Indian: VEGA INTL. Night School (Mom + Pop) Review | Under the Radar - Music Magazine
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Neon Indian

VEGA INTL. Night School

Mom + Pop

Oct 16, 2015 Web Exclusive Bookmark and Share


Funk's always been at the heart of Alan Palomo's work. The Neon Indian vanguard may have spent the past six years convincing us he's some sort of psych pop freethinker, but the facts speak for themselves. His 2011 LP Era Extraña was laced with deep lying grooves and warped skewering melodies, while his early VEGA efforts were busty bass heavy gyrations. This is a man who knows how to drop a funky line.

VEGA INTL. Night School finds Palomo embracing his inner George Clinton with greater frequency than everat least sonically. His third album as Neon Indian is a grizzly splendor of spindled guitars and futuristic synth lines, while vocally he reaches for an intone that could reasonably pass as Prince in braggadocio form.

It's a soulful, confident, and aurally flirtatious listen. During the album's finest moments, Palomo executes songs like "Annie" and "Slumlord" with the poise of someone who can pull off jaunting calypso rhythms as easily as he can a sludging acid dirge like "Dear Skorpio's Magazine" or the sloshy '80s tint of "News from the Sun (Live Bootleg)."

Production-wise, these songs are heavenly and full-bodied. The machinated beats of "Techno Clique" prod and pound with clinical precision, while "The Glitzy Hive" spins giddily like a whirling, ecstasy addled carousel ride. Yet for all this polish, occasionally songs such as "61 Cygni Ave" can feel disjointed, like half-baked filler crammed with synthetic ideals, yet lacking in substance.

But a few disappointments shouldn't distract from the record's overall excellence. VEGA INTL. Night School is, for the most part, a more accessible and fascinating record than any of Paloma's output to date. Turns out a little more funk may not necessarily be a bad thing. (www.neonindian.com)

Author rating: 8/10

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Average reader rating: 9/10



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