The 80’s renaissance takes another step on Neon Neon’s electro-rock debut. Largely in part to the current re-discovery of electronics after the alternative/pop era of the last fifteen years, synthesizers have taken on a cheeky label similar to the undersized t-shirts with 80’s icons found in every nook and cranny of indiedom and beyond. The trend continues further to the point of exhaustion on the duo’s Stainless Style, which throws around synthetic dance/rock beats like it’s an anniversary party of MTV’s good ol’ days.
From the laser-induced opener "Neon Theme" to the Casio-driven, closing self-titled track, the album is extremely reminiscent for the people who were around 25 years ago, and a book for dummies for those who weren’t. Stainless Style is more than an homage to the era – it’s essentially an encyclopedia of beat-creation, synth-moves, and vocal deliveries of the original electronic age.
It’s fun, though, to get a glimpse of how energetic it was, though – especially in this era of war, political stress, and economic tumult in America. The galloping "I Told Her On Alderaan" more than drops a hint at Star Wars in an appropriately polished, nerdy style. Tracks like "Trick or Treat" and "Sweat Shop" mix a little ghetto-tronic hip-hop sound into Stainless Style, giving it an even looser vibe. Track titles like "Michael Douglas" and "Luxury Pool" further sum up the 80’s over-the-top, hedonistic style personified by Neon Neon almost as much as the duo’s name itself.
Soon, the window of opportunity closes for the group of indie musicians who were young around 1985 to ironically express their childhoods, so this gets the job done right. If you aren’t in that category, this won’t mean as much to you. In fact, Stainless Style goes beyond bridging the gap to 1985, it cuts the bridge’s ropes and stands there waving back at 2008.