NEO NOIRE is a brand new band formed by rock and metal masterminds Vocal/Guitarist Frederyk Rotter (Zatokrev, The Leaving, Crown) and Vocalist/Guitarist Thomas Baumgartner (Ex-GurD, Erotic Jesus, Undergod). The lineup of the swiss rock outfit is completed by bassist Franky Kalwies (Ex-Disgroove) and drummer David Burger (Ex-Slag In Cullet). It was in the autumn of 2016 that the band played their first live show and put the finishing touches on their debut album ‘Element’ which is set to release worldwide on May 5th, 2017 via Czar Of Revelations. The album was recorded at MyRoom Studios with Raphael Bovey. ‘Element’ has already drawn mass attention from fans as well as the media. NEO NOIRE mix a variation of styles on their debut outing including alternative, post/psychedelic rock and metal. They don’t only include these styles but they bridge the gap between them. NEO NOIRE want to truly bring back the golden age of music and have been at times compared to Smashing Pumpkins and Jane’s Addiction without the gaudiness these bands were trapped in.
“Walker” is the first offering from NEO NOIRE, and the track starts out with a thundering groove. The riff change through the song is energetic and headbangingly rhythmic. The vocals then kick in which is a clean vocal approach and has this incredible median pitch. The soft delivery of the vocals can’t really be put into words. Less than halfway through the first track I’m blown away. Holding onto long notes and hitting some high notes gives the song an incredibly addictive flow. The chorus sings out “We are hell bound” and if that’s where this band is headed they can certainly take me along for the ride. As if the track couldn’t get any better we get an instrumental break down and some solo guitar work. Next up is the invitingly titled track “Shotgun Wedding” which starts out with a snare drum beat and then delves into a distorted down tuned guitar riff. The vocals take a turn on this track and are slightly more harsh but still very clear. On some portions you also get an echo of the vocals which adds another layer to their complexity. The rough and gravely vocals really bring a rawness to their sound. Like the song before you get an instrumental breakdown which is full of technical guitar prowess. “Shotgun Wedding” has true radio power in the rock world. I could easily see this song becoming a staple on heavy rock stations. Then the song ends with the same heavy riffage it all kicked off with. The self-titled track “Neo Noire” keeps showing the bands rougher interior. This song is where you really hear that 90’s vibe. Although it feels more in the grunge genre than alt rock. This track really shows off every member of the band, vocals, guitars, bass and drums are all prevalent sounds that shine bright from beginning to end. The finale of the album “Infinite Secrets” slows things down with a bassist Franky Kalwies leading the charge. The softer vocals are welcomed back into the fold on this track. There is the mesmerizing vocal tone carried throughout the lyrics on this track. He will begin singing in a soft tone and it gets gradually rougher near the end of the delivery. Changing tone and staying fluid within one track can be difficult but to do so within each delivery is a feat with in itself. NEO NOIRE is by far one of my favorite new bands of the year. One of the top 5 albums I’ve heard this year and I expect big things from this band. Expect this to be on various best of lists when the year winds down to a close.
Follow NEO NOIRE on Facebook here. Make sure to check out their teaser for “Shotgun Wedding” there as well.