Solefald - _Neonism_
by: Pedro Azevedo (
"The hard will be harder, the passion will be more passionate, the ecstatic more ecstatic." Thus wrote Cornelius about what he expected the successor of _The Linear Scaffold_ [CoC #29] to be like when I interviewed him for CoC #30. I wonder what happened in the mean time, because _Neonism_ isn't any harder, more passionate or more ecstatic than _The Linear Scaffold_; quite the contrary throughout the vast majority of the album, actually -- and that's not just because of the disappointingly inferior production. What's worse is that I often get the impression that Solefald didn't even especially strive to achieve those objectives I quoted before with most of the material on _Neonism_, which often just completely lacks direction. They have excellent moments during "Fluorescent (The Total Orchestra)" and "Proprietors of Red", reminders of the music they used to make, but then they have atrocious tracks like "CK II Chanel N.6", "Omnipolis" and some of "Third Person Plural", and some things can even sound rather silly at times. "Speed Increased to Scaffold" and "Backpacka Baba" are two good examples of the sort of weirdness one can expect from Solefald producing reasonable results, but almost everything seems to lack the intense emotion that was present on _The Linear Scaffold_ and never get anywhere as good. There, the unexpected weirdness was present, yet the results almost always seemed great or at least something great would follow soon. That doesn't happen with _Neonism_; often emotion-lacking misguided weirdness dominates most of the tracks, producing poor results. Solefald should have been able to focus their hugely varied musical influences and talent into interesting music far more consistently than they have done here, especially taking _The Linear Scaffold_ into consideration. It really is a grief to listen to that debut of theirs and compare it to most of _Neonism_, which overall isn't in itself a bad album at all, but really, -really- pales in comparison to its predecessor.
(article published 10/12/1999)
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