Hometown: Broken Hill, New South Wales, Australia
2003, A Man EP (Transcopic)
2005, Hit Me Again (V2)
Oz’s own Neon will take you on a magic tambourine ride: The three-piece sounds like the Dandy Warhols snorting sand dunes in southeastern Australia. Singer Josh Bitmead, drummer Jamie Gurney, and bassist Britt Spooner craft psychedelic revival rock laced with ’70s and ’80s power pop. Neon wants us to want them: They pay homage to Cheap Trick by covering the ’70s classic “He’s a Whore” on the Hit Me Again EP, recently out on V2 records.
Fun Facts: Lead singer / songwriter Josh Bitmead must have spent a lot of time staring at the desert sun when he was a child; he grew up in “Broken Hill,” also known as “the capitol of the outback.” Songs like “Dizziness” reflect the heat haze of Bitmead’s impressionable youth (“Dizziness makes the world go ’round,” Bitmead’s plaintive whine tells us). The auxiliary players on Neon’s upcoming self-titled full-length debut, recorded at LA’s infamous Boat Studio, are nothing to scoff at: Drummer Dale Crover from the Melvins played a drum riff on one track and Pat Smear of Nirvana and Meat Puppets fame lent the band some gear. But the blokes and birds in Neon never stray far from their Australian roots: they played over 30 dates in the US with fellow countrymen Jet, the Vines, and the Living End as part of last spring’s Aussie Invasion Tour.