Xinxiang, Henan punk outfit Pumpkins, founded in 2009, have been slowly making their ways into punk fans’ hearts, and their latest hilariously titled sophomore album is the perfect love letter to old school punk as well as acting as an encapsulation of the band’s years on the grind. A hot mess of rollicking punk spirit and sweat, it’s loud and dirty, fast and sincere, and stuffed full of rowdy and ready jams that never overstays its welcome. And while the production is crisp and lean, there’s a looseness, scrappiness, and most surprisingly, an earnestness beneath the ramshackle exuberance, sticky hormones, and dashing pandemonium. Punk music made with craft and love.
Brooklyn/Beijing based producer Alex Wang returns with his latest technology-minded piece of electronica – ‘0%’ – a sleek, abrasive and nightmarish dystopian-building work that combines elements of industrial music, noise, ambient music, sci-fi. Released on Los Angeles Zoom Lens label, the chillingly alluring soundscapes conjured here don’t simply suck you in – they embed themselves into your brains. Through Wang’s expert use of modular synthesizers and contorted vocals dropped alongside ear-shattering beats, the producer has turned modern China into a burial ground for technology’s ghosts. And they’re none too pleased.
Young and wistful; steadfast and delicate – these are markers of shoegaze music, and up and comers Long Travel, the newest band to join the ranks, capture it with ease. The Chengdu university students keep things simple and swift on their bubbly debut EP. While the staples remain – copious amounts of jangly guitar chords and walls of noise – the band seems much more interested in turning out head-bobbing melodies injected with vigorous rhythm and charm – perfectly characterizing the fleeting adolescent and romantic beguilement of the young lads – or as they put it, ‘the embarrassment of existence’. Something we can all get behind.