Ace of Hearts Records today announced the release of "The Neats, 1981- 84, The Ace of Hearts Years". Re-mastered by legendary indie producer Rick Harte from their original studio recordings, the effort is a journey through a period fans and critics alike agree were the bands' most expressive years.
With this release, tracks only available on first pressing vinyl have now been artfully compiled into one fluid, organic format that preserves the essential feel and timbre of the original recordings.
"These tracks came out even better then I anticipated, which was a nice surprise," said Harte, founder of Ace of Hearts. "I am really happy with the end result and I think Neats fans will be, too."
From touring with international acts like R.E.M., to sharing the stage with the likes of Mission of Burma and The Lyres, The Neats were deservedly recognized as innovators in a constantly evolving music landscape. Along the way, they created a memorable piece of Boston rock history and forged an unparalleled sound that pureed post-punk pop with psychedelic garage rock.
Eschewing the sonic assault and art-rock leanings of label mates Mission of Burma, the Neats developed a more garage-influenced approach. Their sound is steeped in jangly, heavily accented guitar rhythms, evocative of other '80s indie mainstays like Husker Du and "The Minneapolis Sound" mob.
The Neats' body of work crystallized all of the iconic elements of the 1980's indie-college oeuvre: a do-it-yourself, anti-production aesthetic; clean, shimmering guitars out front in the mix; low-fi, unassuming drumming underneath. Singer Eric Martin's moody, brooding vocals, delivered in an earthy baritone, are somewhere between Iggy Pop and Ian Curtis.
Often compared to bands like The Dream Syndicate, Echo and the Bunnymen, The Feelies, and The Clean, The Neats combined a diverse style with creative songwriting and charismatic performance. They crafted singularly appealing music, at once subtle and inspiring.
Throughout, The Neats display the unmistakable brand of the Ace of Hearts catalogue: idiosyncratic, uncompromising artists who, despite a devoted fringe following, never developed the broad based appeal their music warranted. Like Burma and the rest of the Ace of Hearts fold, their impressive output only furthers Rick Harte's unrivaled reputation as an indie producer and tastemaker.
Look for The Neats to support this release in a series of live concerts. The CD is now available at the Ace of Hearts website www.aceofheartsrecords.com and is being distributed nationwide.