Maybe Mars celebrated their eleven year anniversary with a relatively low-key gathering at Yue Space, where three of the label’s flagship bands – Chui Wan, Alpine Decline, and Birdstriking – got down to business. Nowhere near the scale that the label pulled off last year but instead a more intimate affair. One of the first pleasures of the night – was the return of Alpine Decline, who managed to get some time off to make the trip from their new home base of LA. They’re a band that’s been wildly consistent and prolific in their album output and it was great to finally hear some of my favorite songs off their newest Return to Desolation Lake, which dropped earlier this year. It was my first time also to catch the new Chui Wan lineup, which now includes some of Maybe Mars newer employees. It’s a bit disheartening to see Liu Xinyu and Li Zichao missing from the group (Wu Qiong and Wen Zheng filling in), but it’s good to see the band streamlining their sound more and more – it definitely feels like they’re aiming to deliver a more compact, digestible version of themselves. Curious to see how that’ll pan out. Finally, Birdstriking, once again proving they’re one of the scenes most vital bands. Wiser perhaps, but they still have the sharp wit and primal angst that originally made them one of the most cathartic rockets out there and one of my favorite live acts period. Mosh pit season it was. Happy anniversary Maybe Mars!
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