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Neon & Gold
Artist: Dan Wallace 
Label: Torito Bravo Music
Length: 14/55:14

Neon & Gold  touches on the Beatles' psychedelic phase, the lo fi white boy rapping of Beck, and King's X drummer Jerry Gaskill's solo work. It's billed as indie pop rock, and that works as well as any for a classification, as the disc would fit in comfortably alongside your Shins or Death Cab for Cutie CDs. 

"Fell" is a plaintive tune, right up to the point of the U2-like guitar break. "Ladies, Gentlemen" is a bit more whimsical, and "Pindrop," a story of perseverance, may be namechecking Wallace's old band. "Maybe" and "Before We Sleep" evoke the '60's and make you wonder what type of drugs the writer is using. "Sonatina" contains an Italianate sound. 

I would be remiss in not pointing out the splendor that is "Le Neant" which is either a love song for the end of the world, or a love song for the end of a relationship. Either way, it is a poignant, heart-rendering tune that is a fitting choice to close the disc. 

Wallace's work here has a disjointed feel, but that may well be the effect he is attempting to convey. He is a talented writer, and is able to draw a listener (or reader) into his own skewed vision of the world in which he dwells. Neon & Gold draws the distinction between the cheap and easy versus the stuff that lasts.

Brian A. Smith 
30 January 2007



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