Las Vegas-based nuclear doomists DEAD NEON have recently released a video for the track “Downwinder” off their self-titled debut album.
Dead Neon is the primitive nuclear doom metal project of Las Vegas poet Jarrett Keene. Inspired by a morbid tour of the Nevada Test Site with only Goatlord’s Distorted Birth and Leonard Cohen’s The Future loaded on a half-broken iPod, the music of Dead Neon conjures a dreadful world ravaged by atomic conflict, where survivors inevitably succumb to radiation, starvation, each other. A writer by trade, Keene taught himself guitar in the months following his test site visit, shaping crude yet corrosive riffs designed to evoke the din of warheads and dirty suitcase bombs slamming into the Strip at twilight. In February of 2010, he conscripted friends from Vegas’ mutually exclusive deathcore and indie-rock scenes-Jaq (bass) and Jessie (drums), respectively. The trio recorded directly into a Korg D888 in an abandoned warehouse behind a topless megaclub off Tropicana Avenue, resulting in a raw, full-length slab of blackened sludge-punk minimalism. Having earned a Ph.D. in English from a university in the metal-rich state of Florida, Keene composes lyrics that possess the depth of literary verse without sacrificing the dark sensibility inherent in aggressive music. Dead Neon’s self-titled debut (released on 100 limited-edition cassettes by Vegas crust-punk/black metal label Ecophagy Records on September 15, 2010) contains a few surprises, like spoken-word intro “Advisory (Go to the Boneyard!)” and the album’s final blown-out-dashboard-radio-at-earth’s-end folk anthem “Ride the Light.” But mostly Dead Neon just bashes you on the skull with a ferocity that has no rival. This is the perfect soundtrack for driving a post-apocalyptic desert highway overrun with mutants.