If you were asked to describe why you love rock music, what would you say? My hunch is that Leeds rockers Neon Dolls’ depiction of themselves as “loud guitars, distorted bass and thunderous drums and an awesome singer” would be bang on the money.
The five-piece have honed an infectious sound that draws on the indie-rock meets Britpop influences that emanated from their hometown and Manchester in recent years. They began life as an entity when Mike, Tom and Sean were introduced, through a mutual friend, to the band’s now departed South American bassist Fernando around a year ago then added a second guitarist in the form of Leam.
We had a chat with Sean to find out more, and he told us: “Listening to our favourite bands when we were young and watching videos and going to their gigs is what made us pick up a guitar or start singing. After that you eventually end up wanting to start your own band and do your own thing, we all love music and the feeling we have when we’re on stage is great and you can see that in our live shows and how we interact with each other and the people.”
Neon Dolls will be bringing out their new EP Black in September, and we’ve had a sneak preview ahead of its launch.
The EP kicks off with Creep Inside, which opens up a big choppy guitar riff that flows into reverby vocals through the verse, which leads into a big catchy chorus followed by the same hooky riff that continues through the second chorus. That’s followed by a fast-paced, extended guitar solo with driving drums and guitar chords in support before dropping into chunky guitars and a bridge into a final rendition of the chorus and ends on the opening riff.
Next up, Invincible opens up with big drums and reverby guitar then a mini bass solo and a big Oasis-like guitar solo that flows into echoey vocals. The second chorus is followed by another cool guitar solo with driving drums and bass in support then the return of the previous riff before the return of the repeated vocals “Now I feel invincible” as the song winds to a lively ending.
The EP closes out with Nasty Habits, which begins slower with lone drums then a meandering guitar lick that leads into a laid back opening verse. It bursts into life with a a smash of guitars and drums with the repeated vocals of “Da da da da” then drops down into the laid back verse again. There’s another big solo, which drops down into just light drums and bass before building gradually into a final rendition of the busy chorus.
On the topic of what they write about, Sean explains: “Nothing specific, we write from a personal point of view and what we experience in our day to day lives (family, friends, love, hard times) we don’t like writing about things that we don’t experience ourselves if you know what I mean.
On the EP, Sean told us to expect: “A much rockier and heavier sound to our original sound from two years ago. We’ve evolved into a rock band more than the indie sound we were trying to achieve in the beginning.”
Sean’s last comment to us was one that I wholeheartedly echo: “Put your phones down, go out, watch live bands and support local bands!”
Black is out in September, and will be followed by a tour taking in Leeds, Manchester, Sheffield, Newcastle and Liverpool. Check out all their upcoming gigs here.