Neon Escape
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Neon Escape

Ferndale, Michigan, United States | SELF

Ferndale, Michigan, United States | SELF
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The wheels were set in motion in the Fall of 2008 when Neon Escape started writing songs and working on an amazing musical collaboration. They emerged onto the Detroit scene in the summer of 2009 bringing their unique breed of music with the results of a steady growing fanbase. Formerly known as Effigy this group of incendiary musicians have taken the 70s sound of progressive and classic rock and reinvented it into their own fantasia of epic sound and production. Cameron Glass is the voice behind the machine that is Neon Escape with Randy Roberts and Dan Rose on guitars, Alex Drazin on bass, and Mario Perry on drums.

I honestly can't remember the last time a band from Detroit jumped off the page at me so vividly and there's a lot of great bands out there. However, Neon Escape sounds like nothing else that has come from the Motorcity in some time. Their new album We Won't Wait Any Longer gives testament to the explosive vocal and instrumental talent of this group. We Won't Wait Any Longer starts off with provocative guitars, high-energy drums, and Glass's vocals demanding your attention. Throughout the twelve tracks on this album you can hear influences such as Rush, Queen, ELO, and Yes. The musical structures that they use on some of their songs almost have an orchestral feel to it. The ebb and flow of the album moves in waves of heavy progressive rock to slower symphonic ballad like pieces. One of the tracks among many great ones that really stood out was the title track "We Won't Wait Any Longer" it has a definite Queenesque sound and a perfect symmetry of melodic keys, drums, and guitar interwoven for a spellbinding musical effect . This band is also lyrically sound with mature and poetic lyrics. An example of this is on the track "Changing like the Weather," with the lyrics "Changing like the weather, moving like a breath across your skin. Step inside a moment, where the reel to real for us begins. You were like the summer, always warm and bright I let you in." The whole album is a brilliant piece of work that showcases a band that has no limit to their potential.


This is definitely a band to watch tell all your friends! Their album is due to be released in a few months from now. Get a sneak preview here http://neonescape.com/. - Detroit Music Examiner


Hailing from Detroit and sporting a sound freshly squeezed from the 70’s, ‘Neon Escape’ (formerly known as ‘Effigy’) bring to the table their debut album ‘We won’t wait any longer’, a heavily influenced yet stylized collection of songs that, nostalgic merit aside, offer something relatively fresh and worth listening to.

From the out start the album is attention grabbing, immediately cementing the bands patented use of sounds from previous decades as well as the outwardly spanning epic nature of each individual track. Perhaps the phrase ‘toned down’ might be requested in one or two numbers, but in an age where music either has to be extreme either in composure or lyrics (power metal bands could sure learn one or two things from Neon Escape on how to be intense without sounding silly) it’s refreshing to see a band recapture what made bands of the 70’s so memorable: subtle grandeur.

The influence from bands such as Queen or Rush are undeniable in Neon Escape’s work: from the guitar that flutters between hard and grinding to the cavalcade of sustained vocal notes that inhabit every chorus; the album is a colossal plateful of progressive guitar sounds caked in a classical style that is both constant yet nicely varied. There are snippets of songs that sound unmistakably like they’ve been borrowed from well known AOR anthems, and this is both good and bad.
You might raise an eyebrow when certain songs have portions in them that sound like they’ve been directly taken out of other songs, and there are some tracks you could almost mistake for other songs of that (or other) eras e.g. the song ‘Across the sky’ feels very Eric Johnson-esque, whilst the song ‘Fire and ice’ is a dead ringer for the Survivor classic ‘Burning Hearts’. However this doesn’t drag the album down by any means. There’s plenty of the bands own unique input, allowing them to take the familiar hard rock sound of the decade and reinvent it, essentially creating a power ballad collection for the modern music listener.

In the individual band members there’s definitely a need to highlight one or two members. Vocalist Cameron Glass’ singing may on initial impression strike you as bland, but stick with it and you’ll be rewarded with a plethora of vocal work that not only perfectly complements the music it is sung over but also brings forth the energy and fantastic composition of each piece. As mentioned a key strength is his well sustained notes, but along with this is the (shamefully admitted) quintessential tinge of unique feminine tone made popular by Queen and rendered beautifully in each track, that isn’t overpowering yet immediately strikes you as ‘that-kind-of-voice’. If only to nitpick there’s no single song that demonstrates his capabilities over any other, and it still feels that (with a little variation) there is a lot in his voice that could be explored, but hopefully we’ll see this in subsequent releases.
The guitar work is also superb and perhaps the outstanding feature of the whole album’s 70’s sound as a whole; being absurdly original yet unmistakably familiar. It’s an essential component both to the required AOR sound but also to setting the band apart. In particular the last minute of the opening track ‘Neon Escape’ so fittingly acts as the poster piece of the awesome six string work on offer.

Another aspect that simply cannot be sidestepped is the production on the album. It’s superbly mixed down, with the levels down to a tee. The editing on Glass’ voice in particular stands out, allowing it to command the well constructed mesh of music accompanying it. Track placement is nicely varied, allowing the album to work as a whole. The more intense and hard sounding tracks such as the opening ‘Neon Escape’ and ‘Skyscraper’ starting things off, after which it goes into more mellow territory rising slightly up again in aggressiveness for ‘Fire and Ice’ and ‘Everyone Shout’ (the most hard rocking on the entire album) before once again diving into calm waters (accomplished well with acoustic laden track ‘Ivan’) before finishing things off with one more dosage of hard rock. The album is wildly energetic when it needs to be and satisfyingly soothing before the rawness gets overdone.

Mind you the individual song structure doesn’t vary much and not every track holds up on its own but some songs are excellent standouts, such as the titular track ‘We won’t wait any longer’ (a no doubt lighter-waving-crowd inducing anthem) or ‘Across the Sky’, each highlighting the particular strengths of the band but offering different aspects of their particular sound.

Lyrically the songs are nice, with the overall theme being ‘retrospect’, or perhaps ‘introspective’, invoking plentiful amounts of singled out imagery, such as in ‘Ivan’s chorus: “See the bird that flies, it’s touching the sky, the moment that you need is on its way” in a song about wanting to escape emotional turmoil is excellent. A good example of good lyrical poetry within the music is in ‘Early bird’s pre-chorus: “Spend the time on a telephone line there must be some understanding, out on the road further from home losing touch with communication” which speaks for itself in bringing forward the songs meaning, and generally each song’s writing stands out as solid.

Neon Escape’s debut album ‘We won’t wait any longer’ is a solid offering of 70’s goodness for a modern music audience. Their steadily rising fan base is testament to their potential, and it would be surprising if this album missed out on some major recognition, if not for being great music then at least for being a successful send up of a type of music perhaps not quite remembered by younger audiences. It may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but it certainly will be the right sort of listener’s cup of black tar heroin. - Mewbox


If you haven’t yet heard of Neon Escape, then get thee to their website and have a listen!

Their new album, We Won’t Wait Any Longer, is packed with rockin’ guitar riffs and awesome vocals, of which remind me of Freddie Mercury mixed with Ronnie James Dio.

The album kicks off with Night Lights, which reminds me so much of Triumph’s popular song, Lay It On The Line. Don’t believe me? Check out the song here and let me know what you think.

Guitarist for the band, Dan, gave me a few of their influences for their music. He said, “Influences…hmmm. If you asked everyone individually, you’d probably have a fairly unique range of influences. You’d probably wind up with: Genesis, Electric Light Orchestra, early Smashing Pumpkins, Paul McCartney, Queen, Hum, Yes, The Carpenters, Led Zeppelin, Police, Opeth, Imogene Heap, and the list goes on and on….”

If you love the eighties as much as I do, then you’re going to want to check out this album. It’s only ten bucks and it’s definitely worth it. Again, you can listen to the whole album, streaming here. - Mewbox


VIDEO - Fox 2 News


THE LOWDOWN: After a year of working diligently in the shadows, fresh-faced Ferndale band Neon Escape is ready to release its first album, which carries the impossible-to-misinterpret title "We Won't Wait Any Longer." Synth rock, prog rock, regular old arena rock -- all of these could describe the content of one "Wait" song or another. The quintet was formed just last year, but displays an obvious technical precision, along with a penchant for surprises -- whether it's recording in a basement shower or working the sound of a hair dryer into a tune..... - Detroit Free Press


Discography

We Won't Wait Any Longer

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"I honestly can't remember the last time a band from Detroit jumped off the page at me so vividly and there's a lot of great bands out there. However, Neon Escape sounds like nothing else that has come from the Motorcity in some time." -Detroit Music Examiner (FIVE STARS)

"Looking for a '70s throwback with modern flair and a singer with all the panache of a heavier-toned Freddie Mercury?" -Real Detroit Weekly (FOUR STARS)

"...This is the fresh, young face of Detroit rock...and they're doing a great job of carrying the rock torch." -WDET, Ann Delisi

"Their new album, We Won’t Wait Any Longer, is packed with rockin’ guitar riffs and awesome vocals, of which remind me of Freddie Mercury mixed with Ronnie James Dio." -EARSUCKER

"Their steadily rising fan base is testament to their potential, and it would be surprising if this album missed out on some major recognition." -MEWBOX

The voice just stops you in your tracks. It's that rarest of sounds. A wail as jagged as a howling wolf's, shot out of a popstar lit sky. Lush doesn't begin to describe its melodic clinch, intoxicating to the animal spirit. Neon Escape's sonic universe is made of potent combinations like this, with a sound that fuses alt-pop's cutting-edge tendencies to prog's symphonic peaks, indexing state-of-the-art rock - both classic and experimental - for extra kicks. This is pure audio voltage, spiking the ball of stadium rock on an unsuspecting generation, who wouldn't know the catalytic squall of "We Will Rock You" outside of a game or that Led Zeppelin's "Whole Lotta Love" was once the theme on "Top of The Pops." Imagine Queen's entrancing yearnings soaring through the rock power stations of Yes and ELO, augmented by the bait-and-switch beats of Queens of the Stone Age. Dialing the virtuosity way up, riding tidal-wave guitar sustains and pounding toms out to sea. Neon Escape stretches the limits of a pop hook to fit rock's barbaric yawp and redefines critical mass for the 21st Century.

Hitting Detroit like a B-52 in the summer of 2009, Neon Escape burst out of their hotbox smoking with genius, taking everyone off guard. No one could have predicted the radical alchemy they'd have together, though each is a prodigious talent in his own right. Irrepressible frontman Cameron Glass's evolution as a singer has been as heady as it has genetically blessed, charmed as he is with primordial charisma and a voice so smooth it loves you back. Guitarists Dan Rose and Randy Roberts's synergy is deep-seated too, owing to the fact they have been playing together since cutting class in junior high. Their drive, technique and insane musicality is the product of that brotherhood, carrying them into their twenties with a fierce determination to make their musical mark. Fates collided serendipitously when a stroke of luck put Dan in the audience at one of Cameron's shows a couple years back. Whereas lesser musicians might have been dumbstruck by his sheer wattage, Dan recognized his jaw dropping when it hit the ground and set his sights on that voice the way Mickey Mantle must've eyed the ball.

Inspired by that moment of clarity, Dan and Randy set about creating a musical kingdom befitting Cameron's crystalline roar. Ambitious and without pretensions they cast their melodic nets wide and deep, emerging from dusk to dawn sessions with Neon Escape's nascent magnum opus intact. Diving into the project, all three immediately sensed how far their telepathic chemistry could take the music. They found rhythmic spirit in former gospel drummer Mario Perry and bassist Alex Drazin, whose coal-and-ice combinations set the tempo at a rolling boil. In no time they were off to the races. The bang of their kinetic impact on the Michigan scene has resonated exponentially; an ardent fan base has assembled en masse and the band's horizons blaze hotter than ever one year out. According to Dan: "Our goal is to make music with staying power. Songs that stick around long after we are gone."

Pure, raw rock and roll emotion is king, in all its amaranthine splendor, on Neon Escape's debut "We Won't Wait Any Longer" out now online and available in stores August 13, 2010. Co-produced by the band with Ian Mereness of R Kelly and Jay-Z fame, the album's twelve tracks are a stylistic tour de force, alternating from dazzling to dark, from jagged symphonies to rousing anthems. Its course is a many-splendored thing: the progressive arrangements, the climactic guitar riffs, the rhythmic turns on a dime and the emotive vocals lending credence to every utterance. "Night Lights" kicks things off audaciously, fueling the record's fire-eating designs with a rapturous attack, insinuating punches to come. The title cut "We Won't Wait Any Longer" is as gorgeous as it is stratospheric, its melody rising and falling with the poignant wail of a vocal, capturing the lyrics’ mixture of existential confusion and mercy in time perfectly. The unique arrangement, with ambrosial strin