Like what, me worry? Not The Neumans, that's for sure! The hottest act on the scene today, The Neumans are the latest in a long line of superb garage punk groups from Southern California. They are proud and worthy heirs to the throne held at various times by the likes of The Unclaimed, The Tell-Tale Hearts, The Pandoras and The Gravedigger V.
I have had the pleasure of seeing the Neumans twice in person and can’t wait to get back to California for more! Some of you won’t have to travel that far since they are scheduled to tour later this year, which includes a visit to Europe. We feature them regularly on the Fringe Factory Radio Show and I think I need to stock up on spare copies of their records for when our current stack is played out! Their initial release, a three song EP, has sold-out through two pressings and they have been thrilling packed sweaty clubs filled with caveteens of all ages across the region with their Occam’s Razor less-is-more fuzz-n-Farfisa approach, fueled by Vox, natch.
In May of 2013, they were even given the honor of appearing at the Ugly Things 30th Anniversary Weekender in San Diego, sharing the stage with Johnny Echols, Mark Lindsey and Gelnn Campbell (from the Misunderstood). Those are some heavy names to be rubbing shoulders with! The Neumans and their luscious manes have also been featured in all the biggest teen zines, including a feature in Bananas #8.
Let's meet this wyld and wooly gang:
Rex Beaton and his 10 pounds of hair, handles lead vocals most of the time. His VOX powered thundering bass lines and lurid screams send shivers down the spines of all the wahines within range. Just don’t loan him your fur vest, whatever you do!
Billie Telephone is Rex’s rhythm section mate. His cavemannish good looks and charming smile bely his true savage nature. He is a real wild man on stage, pounding the skins as if he’s a long-lost descendent of Viv Prince!
Mick Jaguar's parents knew what they were doing when they bestowed the suave moniker on the Neuman’s debonaire lead guitarist. Usually found in suit and tie, even at the pool, his VOX-on-VOX fuzz will hit you like an electric screwdriver to the brain and you’ll want to stick your head right INSIDE his amp to get a closer listen. He also handles lead vocals on several numbers.
Brian Martinez provides bigger than life lead vocals and harp on several numbers and his red VOX Teardrop provides the swinging rhythm guitar that keeps the crowd dancing all night long. His quiet demeanor gives way as the night progresses to reveal the true savage beast of the Neumans!
Gravel Beaton provides the Farfisa for the group’s trademark fuzz-n-Farfisa sound. She is the groups true beauty and on stage she dances up a storm behind the keys and her backing vocals will have you shouting out YEAH YEAH YEAH along with her!
The Pandoras were once described as having melted down their Seeds, Standells and Music Machine records and injecting them right into their veins. One might say the same about the Neumans, but add the likes of The Gruesomes, The Cynics, The Sick Rose and The Crimson Shadows to that vinyl cocktail you begin to get the picture. This record is perfectly distilled 200 Proof garage punk, but the Neumans are not merely Kopy Kats. They’ve come up with 12 of their own nuggets to add to the pebble pile.
Drop the needle into the groove of side one of this groovy little platter, turn the hi-fi all the way up and you’ll be doing the frug, jerk and stomp to the point where your neighbours will be singing and shouting along with you!
The hits include:
I Don't Mind – Grounded on a blistering and unrelenting pounding fuzz riff, Rex plainly states his indifference to his love’s sometimes indifference cuz he needs her love so bad and then the band goes on a rave up that culminates in a scream by Rex that rivals Michael Kastelic in the annals of Self-Induced Brain Hemorrhage!!
Gimme Your Love – Mick takes a turn at the mic and DEMANDS your love and, you know what? You wanna give it to him!! And after that blistering red-blooded solo, the rest of are ready to as well!
Dark Are the Shadows – Gabby takes lead vocals with Brian and Mick in this moody exploration of the darkest corners of the back shelf of your mynd. Everyone has their own dark shadows….just keep yers to yerself if you know what’d good for ya! DIG? The Neuman’s debut and self-titled LP on Screaming Apple Records, garners the rarely earned maximum Five Kleenex Boxes rating on the Psnot Pscale. Don't delay and order today!
- Richard Ward / The Fringe Factory
1. stroke of midnight
2. I had a little girl
3. put me down
4. gimme your love
5. whats wrong with you?
6. I don't mind
1. dark are the shadows
2. you'll be sorry
3. you will see
4. fuzz filled dreams
5. so long
6. sad, lonely and blue