Westmeath’s Neon Tetras are going on indefinite hiatus and ‘Cloudy With A Chance Of Rain’ – the follow up to 2013’s ‘Sit Down Sky’ – is possibly their final farewell release. Always steadfast in their determination to wring every last ounce of energy from their live performances, in the past they’ve been hampered by their songs being derivative and lacking in originality. As their third collection of songs, as well as their last, you would expect Neon Tetras to go out with all guns blazing.
Bullocks As Big As Elephants may sound like something you would hear from farmers at the Delvin Cattle mart but its stodgy riffs make it the ideal song to be heard blaring out of Massey Fergusons up and down the country. To everyone else it’s a mundane song that threatens to kick off but never does.
The feeling of banal extends to The Wind Will Change where not enough variation is evident from the previous track. It lacks urgency and it comes across half-hearted. There is a change for the better in Diving For Two In The Ditch (Bitch), which is the most condensed song on the EP, packing in dynamic turns and changes of pace. It stands out as the best track on the record and when Neon Tetras keep it snappy and focused it produces their best results. Alas, this is temporary and it’s back to the over-long Rever Fay which meanders aimlessly along like a drunk looking for a coal bunker to lie in.
Unfortunately the lessons haven’t been learned and ‘Cloudy With a Chance Of Rain’ displays the same impassioned yet unoriginal mix of grunge/post rock previously served up before. You couldn’t doubt Neon Tetras’ honesty or commitment to their craft, but it lacks the inspiration necessary to truly capture the imagination. If this is their swansong it is in rather limp fashion that they bow out.