The Hormones 荷尔蒙小姐 – 荷尔蒙
There were many directions Chengdu’s The Hormones could have gone with their first full length LP. Amidst prominent lineup changes and the band’s brush with mainstream stardom, it’s a relief that their debut retains the all-female band’s hard-edged influences. Production-wise this is one of the best sounding albums to come out this year, with disorienting laugh tracks, tender trumpets, menacing beats, and a greater emphasis on the fractured guitars, all the while keeping the spotlight on Xiao Xue’s haunting, impassioned, and vulnerable presence, as she carries us through each track. Renewed and more mature, The Hormones prove they’re just getting started.
Nein or Gus Mas無高潮 – Nein or Gus Mas
For those looking to scratch that math rock itch and fall face first into a mound of emo angst, I give you the slyly named Nein or Gas Mus out of Guangzhou – a trio of scrappy young adults who know exactly what they’re selling and then proceed to sell the ever living hell out of it. It’s a snappy, animated collection of technically dexterous and charmingly bashful songs that hit you like a cherry bomb (and sometimes even sneaks on your soft side). Perfect for those summer mood swings and a hell of an introduction.
Zaliva-D – Sky Singing
Jump back into the void with Zaliva-D’s latest reckoning – Sky Singing – a deviant and invigorating concept album from the Beijing based electronic and visual duo. Consisting of members Li Chao (music) and Aisin-Gioro Yuanjin (visuals) the release off of SVBKVLT drops listeners into a sinister world of tribal music crossed with cold industrial sounds. It’s bewitching, tense, and rides the edge between unsettling and hallucinatory – where there’s always something just out of frame looming ominously over the dancefloor. Terrifyingly fun.