Some praise for “the Art of Murder”

”Great Stuff! expect lots of sludgy and meaty grooves and a lot of references to Hannibal Lecter!.” –I Heart Noise

“Veteran Oakland, CA singer/guitarist Conan Neutron has hit pay dirt with The Secret Friends. This follow up to 2015s debut The Enemy of Everyone bellows forth with, chianti-swilling swagger. Tunes such as ‘Eat The Rude’ ‘The Census Taker’ and the closing ‘Chair of Antlers’ with its Wings ‘Jet’ like shout-along chorus give a Thunderous thrill! The Art is a Blast!.” – The Big Takeover

” …Rare is the band that attempts to pull off this sort of thing, rarer still is the band that succeeds. The best part about Neutron and his pals, is there’s no tongue in cheek, hipster, nudge-and-wink, ironic retro-rocking going on, this is just some seriously solid, goddamn rock and roll, that we find ourselves listening to like crazy” –Aquarius Records

“Here’s what’s more crucial: this thing is tight, with a seamless collection of the most tasty hooks, and the best delivery possible. The best in rock, and I mean that. Think about it- from Alice Cooper, to UFO, to KISS, to the Misfits, to The Melvins, to Tilts- there is a type of rock music where everything just fits, perfectly- where the production, the songwriting, the performance, heck even the tuning all just come together perfectly- that sense that everything is exactly what it’s supposed to be- this record has it. There’s nothing extraneous – no 3 bar solos that have to be in another key, because they won’t fit, otherwise, nor jazz fake out drum bits, nor yodeling, nor throat singing, nor funk odyssey- it’s all mighty, mighty solid rock. It’s beyond genre- again, like the sadly departed Tilts, this isn’t cheap nostalgia for the dearly departed music from when I was 15- instead, it’s trying to take the materials at hand, now- indie rock, stoner rock, sludge, noise, punk- and infusing it with a healthy dose of what made that “classic” rock classic to us, when we were 15. Heroic harmonies on the chorus, heart-stopping riffs, and the tightest fills that can be mustered. I have listened to it about 10 times in a row, now, and I don’t skip a track, and I don’t wanna miss a second of it. I have been late getting back from lunch because I don’t want to stop listening mid-song to anything, here. Just mind-blowingly solid- and top notch throughout. Sincerely- if you like big, loud, tight rock music- not pop rock- not metal, not punk, not alternative- hard rock music- with melody, and balls aplenty- I cannot suggest anything else- get this, now! I mean, sure, I dig all kinds of music, so, if you’d rather catch up on Merle Haggard’s music, by all means- that’s a good endeavor- but when you want rock music, you really must start here. I realize that the worm that destroys you is the temptation to agree with your critics, to get their approval, but you cannot

SW014 – Conan Neutron & the Secret Friends “The Art of Murder”

SEISMIC WAVE WORLD HQ is proud to present the second record by Conan Neutron & the Secret Friends – “The Art of Murder”

Conan Neutron is a guy; Conan Neutron & the Secret Friends is a band. It is a band featuring Dale Crover of the mighty Melvins on drums, Tony Ash of Trophy Wives and Coliseum on bass and the production skills of the iconoclastic and enigmatic Toshi Kasai. The Secret Friends bring forth a wiry and adventurous rock ‘n roll that is equal parts Kyuss, Cheap Trick, fugazi, Black Sabbath, Queens of the Stone Age and DEVO with perhaps Mean Streets era Van Halen mixed in.

Neutron, a rock ‘n roll lifer has spent the last 16 years making records and touring in such bands as Replicator, Victory and Associates and Mount Vicious, making uncompromising, sometimes challenging and daring rock music to anybody that is interested. This record The Art of Murder is the second that he wrote and arranged himself, and the second recorded by the band now known as “The Secret Friends”

The Art of Murder, was fully fleshed out and recorded at the secret Melvins HQ – Sound of Sirens. Tracked, mixed and produced by Toshi Kasai (Helmet, Melvins, Foo Fighters), Mastered by Bob Weston of Shellac, and with Artwork by Rick Froberg of Hot Snakes/Drive Like Jehu fame. Buzz Osborne of the Melvins shows up to lend his distinctive and authoritative vocals to Avid Fan and Chair of Antlers.

Following up the well-received Enemy of Everyone, this Art of Murder is directly inspired by the Hannibal Lecter series of books by Thomas Harris. Red Dragon, Silence of the Lambs and Hannibal and the fascinating interpersonal dynamics between the characters within. As well as some of the other associated material around the characters of said stories.

For those familiar with Conan Neutron’s oeuvre it has the Replicator muscle, the Mount Vicious weirdness and the V and A pop sensibility. For those that don’t, this is a record made by some smartass with sideburns that features one of the greatest living drummers. No big deal.

Live performances continue to be a like a comet sighting. Infrequent and rare, but there will be some shows, and more recordings to come. However, we urge you to give this record your FULL ATTENTION and to TURN IT UP.


This record was written and mostly arranged leisurely between November 7th, 2014 and March 7th 2015 by Conan Neutron. Tracks were given final arrangements and recorded at Sound of Sirens studio in Sun Valley, CA between May14th-18th, 2015 by Toshi Kasai. Mixing was done at Sound of Sirens between June 12th- July 28th. 2015 by Toshi Kasai.
Mastering was done at Chicago Mastering Company by Bob Weston: September 2015
Art and layout by Rick Froberg
This record was directly inspired by the Hannibal Lecter series of books by Thomas Harris. Red Dragon, Silence of the Lambs and Hannibal and the

SW-013 Conan Neutron & the Secret Friends – The Enemy of Everyone (Neutron/Ash/Crover)

Conan Neutron is a guy, Conan Neutron & the Secret Friends is a band. It is a band featuring Dale Crover of the mighty Melvins on drums, Tony Ash of Trophy Wives and Coliseum on bass and the production skills of the iconoclastic and enigmatic Toshi Kasai. The Secret Friends bring forth a wiry and adventurous rock ‘n roll that is equal parts Cheap Trick, fugazi, the Cars, Black Sabbath and DEVO with perhaps Mean Streets era Van Halen mixed in.
Neutron, a rock ‘n roll lifer has spent the last 15 years making records and touring in such bands as Replicator, Victory and Associates and Mount Vicious, making uncompromising, sometimes challenging and daring rock music to anybody that is interested. This is the first record that he wrote and arranged himself.

The Enemy of Everyone was fully fleshed out at the secret Melvins HQ – Sound of Sirens September 11th-15th, 2014 during a brutal heatwave, Vocals for Fight Math were done at Antisleep audio, Oakland, CA by Mr. Eugene Robinson on October 8th, 2014. Those were tracked by Mr. Scott Evans. Mixing was done at Sound of Sirens between October 10th-15th. 2014 by Toshi Kasai.

For those familiar with the ouvre it has the Replicator muscle, the Mount Vicious weirdness and the V and A pop sensibility. For those that don’t, this is a record made by some smartass with sideburns that features one of the greatest living drummers. No big deal.
The Enemy of Everyone is a nine song jaunt with songs that range in theme, but largely have to do with being annoyed at things. There’s also a song about accidentally selling your soul while on a drinking bender, and whatever it is that Eugene Robinson is singing about.
Oh right… the inimitable and formidable Eugene Robinson of Oxbow lends a hand with the vocals to FIGHT MATH.
There will be some shows, and with any luck much, much more to come.

You can pre-order the record direct from Seismic Wave at bandcamp, and it will be available through PRF distro and other outlets soon enough.

Victory and Associates – Better Luck Next Life pre-order

Check out the brand new album: Better Luck Next Life by Victory and Associates. Produced by Toshi Kasai (Melvins, Tool, Tweak Bird, Hurry Up Shotgun) these are 10 songs to entertain and delight as the medicore miseries of the world threaten to overwhelm. Pre-orders for 180 Gram double Gatefold vinyl and CDs available now!
Digital download sales available immediately.

Victory and Associates is a rock band from Oakland, CA. Comprised of vocalist/guitarist Conan Neutron, bassist/vocalist Evan Gritzon, lead guitarist Shane Otis, and drummer Jacob “Mouse” Menough. This is their second full length record, following up 2011’s “These Things Are Facts” and last years “Plausibly Wild/Wildly Plausible” double A side single. Victory and Associates formed in early 2010, starting a mission to create true and honest rock and roll trying their best to prove that punk rock is a mindset as much as a strict genre classification, and that big rock does not have to be dumb to be good.

Victory and Associates simultaneously embrace the glorious and the foolish in rock and roll. Where rock ‘n’ roll not only includes the Rolling Stones, Black Sabbath and Led Zeppelin, but DEVO, the Melvins and the Buzzcocks. There is much more to be said in the idiom of rock ‘n’ roll and Victory and Associates will darn well say it.

There are no four letter words in any Victory and Associates songs, but there is diversity. The booming “We’ll Have to Be Our Own Heroes”, blasts out of the gate with a desperate energy and a message of self empowerment. Sorry, the people that were going to save the day decided they had better things to do. The lush Everything’s Amazing (Nobody’s Happy) is the peppiest song about first world entitlement/taking the marvels of our modern world for granted that you will hear all week. It’s also the only song we can think of that’s directly inspired by a Louis C.K. comedy bit. The spacey and inexorable groove of For Serious is quite literally a song in defense of sincerity itself, a concept that’s been hijacked by utter idiots, fools, wastoids and shameless marketeers.

Better Luck Next Life is a rock record containing ten songs of disillusionment, disappointment, frustration at diminished expectations and hope. Always hope. Even as it seems like hope itself is disappearing on the horizon. Party, right? look – this is not strict cookie cutter genre music and every song doesn’t sound exactly the same, but this IS for real… this is FOR SERIOUS. These are songs directly inspired by the singularity of disappointment, closing one’s self off to new experiences, the TV show “Party Down” and the harsh realization that at some point you need to pass the torch to others to carry on. High-minded concepts married to huge riffs, hooks and an undeniable sense of fun. It is dark, battered, exhausted but never defeated

Produced by Toshi Kasai (Melvins, Federation X, Liars, Tool), these ten songs are aimed right

Victory and Associates Pacific Northwest Dates

Nov 21st, Portland, OR – The Know w/Beach Party, The Cut 45
Nov 22nd, Seattle, WA – Chop Suey w/Helms Alee, Qui, TACOS!
Nov 23rd, Bellingham, WA – The Shakedown w/SEMINARS, Rookery
Nov 24th, Eugene, OR (tent) – W/ Fight Stories…

Victory and Associates midwest tour dates

August 8: Chicago, IL @ Burlington w/ Thoughts Detecting Machines (Rick Valentin of Poster Children), Blackout Dates
August 9: Normal, IL @ Firehouse Pizza w/ Thoughts Detecting Machines
August 10: Kenosha, WI @ 1146 at the Red Olive Lounge w/ TROPHY WIVES, FoWlMoUtH
August 11: Milwaukee, WI @ Franks Power Plant w/ Trophy Wives, Volunteer
August 12: Madison, WI @ High Noon Saloon w/ Trophy Wives, Soundless
August 13: Minneapolis, MN @ Hexagon Bar w/ Gay Witch Abortion, Trophy Wives
August 14: Dubuque, IA @ The Lift w/ Trophy Wives, Young Indian…