Race to Neptune Abandon Fashion
You might not know it, but one of America’s greatest untapped music scenes is quietly tucked away in Colorado, dead center between the east and west coasts. While there have been plenty of acts that have come out of the Centennial State, few artists have ever been able to bring the Colorado musical identity with them. Undaunted by the isolation of their scene, Fort Collins’ own Race to Neptune aren’t just emerging from Colorado, they’re championing its fuzz-drenched rock n’ roll sound for all of the world to enjoy and come to appreciate in their new extended play Abandon Fashion.
Abandon Fashion is old school rock n’ roll that is heavy enough to break most millennials’ speakers but relevant and modernly stylized as to not feel dated or regenerative in the slightest. Anyone who isn’t familiar with what Colorado rock really sounds like gets a four course introduction right here, starting with the dynamic virtuosity of “Mortal Melody” and ending with the freewheeling title track. Where some scenes are born of a reimagining of another’s ethos, this is distinctly insular and removed from its closest contemporaries on the west coast and given a platform all its own in Abandon Fashion.
For being a modest four track extended play, this record has all of the sprawling design and tenacity of a full length LP, from its wandering riffs to its carefully synchronized bursts of energy. Race to Neptune are one part punk rock, one part psychedelic and another part vintage heavy metal, and if you think that the aforementioned combination can only render grungy alternative rock, the brill-influenced stoner rock of “Departure” should be enough to set you straight. There’s so much to take in with Abandon Fashion that it’s twenty or so minute running time can quickly turn into hours of repeated listening before you know it.
This EP really makes me want to see this band live, which historically has always been a good measurement of the quality of any given record regardless of length or genre. Race to Neptune has got quite the sterling reputation for their live performances, and although I wasn’t aware of their storied shows prior to hearing Abandon Fashion, I definitely could have guessed as much based on the raw power that is so organically distributed in this record. It isn’t often that you can tell that about a band from a studio recording, but very little about Race to Neptune is what you’d call “typical.”
2018 needed a really great rock record to add a little bit of vibrancy to a year that has otherwise been dominated by quaint pastoral artists and electronica-influenced DJs who have little interest in the straight instrumentation of a garage band. Race to Neptune has come through and delivered precisely what we’ve all been craving in the form of Abandon Fashion, and I couldn’t be more thrilled with how well it turned out. I can’t wait to see and hear what they come up with next, no matter what enigmatic shape it takes on.
Trace Whittaker approved by Anne Hollister