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Neon Fixation
Artist Rick Altizer
Label KMG Records
Length 11 tracks /41.34 minutes

It's difficult to tell whether the title of Rick Altizer's sophomore release is a comment on contemporary culture or his own love of flashy electronic guitar effects. Altizer's power-pop sound has changed little since his debut somewhere in the region of All Star United, but with more fuzz on the guitars. Unfortunately, the result is patchier than the previous release and again lacks lyrical focus.

Producer Adrian Belew (King Crimson) returns to lend a hand on six of the album's eleven tracks, and they turn out to be heads above the rest of the album. Altizer handles the vast majority of the playing himself and it would appear that solo production is a step too far. "I'll Say Yes," which is perhaps unfortunately (after recent controversy) based on the story of Cassie Bernall, is intended for use in youth rallies but is lacking in substance. While it is fairly catchy, this is not as positive an attribute as it is in songs like "Disco Ball."

The last project's downfall is in the lyrics department, and while there has been some improvement here, the overall impression is that they could do with some more of the sharp wit that characterizes a band like All Star United. As it is, there is little of particular note here.

Once again Rick Altizer has given the impression of being a versatile musician with a lot of promise, but fails to realize it as a result of the album's weak points. We can but hope that his third album will see his talent emerge more clearly.

James Stewart 11/24/1999


 

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