Time to plug away – lotta new releases looking to make a splash this week and next – let’s take a look at the latest from noise rock veterans Street Kill Strange Animals, folk rock outfit Low Wormwood, Shanghai crap rockers Hu Jia Hu Wei, and of course the boys over at KTR.
That’s side A to the latest 7’’ vinyl release from Genjing Records who, for you vinyl-freaks, are looking to release a 7’’ every month from here on out. Hot stuff. This month they’ve got noise rock outfit Streets Kill Strange Animals with ‘Through’. The two-tracker is a great reminder that SKSA have only just begun to strut their stuff – simply great stuff. While the title track ‘Through’ is a busting fuzz packed rousing number that accumulates into a sizzling maelstrom of noise by the end of the 6 minutes, ‘The Bridge’ is a hell of a slow burner, one that slugs along like a lost Blind Melon single, albeit with Lang Mei’s barely audible, haunting voice guiding the somber piece. Pick up a copy this Saturday at Jingweir’s Voulme 2 Launch Party or snag it online here. And if you happen to be out of Beijing, catch the band on their nation wide tour.
Lanzhou-based folk quartet outfit Low Wormwood has been riding waves of acclaim since their 2011 Maybe Mars release Lanzhou Lanzhou connecting with the youngins across the nation with their blend of earthy rock and roll, touching lyrics, and all-togetherness. Heck, they even went on to win the 2012 Chinese-Language Media Best Band Award. Their latest, The Watcher, which was officially released two weeks ago, looks to continue kicking up dust with crunchy country invoking, humanizing, jams – give it a listen. Been wrapping my head around this one all week – one thing’s for sure – it’s a grower. While Liu Kun’s dry monotone voice (a given with most folk outfits) takes a while to get used to, it’s evident the care and patience that was put into the album. Rife with imagery invoking the daily routine that is modern day China, the band successfully brings life to the struggles, joys, and pecuilarites of the majority. The nine-track album kicks off with the charged crunchy ‘Speed Up The Train’ which sounds like Ma Tiao in his younger, more determined, days – and while the album has more somber affairs on their mind – when they hit, they hit hard – with standouts being the title track ‘The Watcher’ (trumpets for the win!) and ‘Go Across Shibulongkeka’. And gotta love the reggae, sports-minded track ‘Maradonian Soccer’. Read up on this piece over at TimeOut for some more background on the album. Purchase it here.
Pairs’ frontman Xiao Zhong is new stranger to crap rock – the idea that why use eighty percent of your brainpower on concept when instead you could use eighty percent of your brainpower on execution. Nothing gets left in the recording studio. It seems Xiao Zhong has taken that mindset and instilled it upon spazz rock outfit Hu Jia Hu Wei who just released their album last weekend – entitled ‘My Way or the Hu Jia Hu Hu Wei’ is a collection of riffs, shredding guitars, and distorted jams, recorded in one four hour sitting. Yeah, a bit of a mess, but like most impromptu jams, there are nuggets of awesomeness to be found (love the riff in ‘Thugs in the Scallop Industry’ and the second half of ‘Shandling’)) but a part of me wishes they padded it some more. Grab it for free here. The release sparked some pretty hilarious high school drama amidst the Shanghai scene that I wouldn’t touch with a ten-foot pole. Oh Shanghai. Catch Hu Jia Hu Wei at Dos Kolegas November 9th.
To close out this weeks releases’ are the latest batch of drone, lo-fi blues, and electronic wankery from Kitchen Table Recordings. First up, there’s Noise Arcade with ‘somewhere else’ and ‘test patterns’ – the former being some of the artists’ best work thus far. Next, more heavenly drone from the duo Cloud Choir – ‘lost memory’ and ‘undiagnosed’, the latter of is the group at their unsettling best. Finally, the face of KTR, Richard Doran has released ‘I LIKE TO WATCH’, a collection of ‘stripped back’ raw foot stomping blues as well as ‘No Not Nothing’, a collection of ambient driven tracks. Where KTR finds the time to sleep – beats me.
Check back next week from the latest from Buyi, Los Crasher, Hanggai, and more. Out.