The sophomore release from Johnny Bertram And The Golden Bicycles is an overwhelmingly strong, indie folk disc with hints of power pop thrown in to spice things up. Although not a total downer, there are very few truly upbeat tracks thrown in with the rainy sound of the Northwestern band. “Out Of The Darkness” is a catchy and bright song that takes the dampness out of Neon City brought on by the dry “Wave. ” Bertram shows off both his and the band’s ability to switch feels quickly without losing power throughout the release. The title track is a prime example of this, with its country vibe that is reinforced by twangy guitars.
Neon City takes on a spooky feel, both lyrically and instrumentally in “Miracle,” with its haunting organ synth. It is hard not to get up and groove to the bass heavy and eerie jam. In an effort to clear the air and cool down Neon City after the previous track, Beltram And The Golden Bicycles starts off part B with “Mistake,” a tune with light guitar tones and simple harmonies. Most of the pieces on Neon City blend into one another, except for “Relax.” The sultry, second to last number ties the album together with sensual vocals, slamming guitars and potent drums.
Johnny Bertram And The Golden Bicycles have a familiar sound that is comforting and entertaining—two ingredients that help make up a classic release.