Long time no see ye. Since I last caught Skip Skip Ben Ben, they’ve released their latest album Sacrifice Mountain Hill to critical acclaim, set off on an epic tour, and even opened for shoegazing legends My Bloody Valentine. So to say I was excited to see the indie darlings at Mao Livehouse in their element again was an understatement.
You know when Zo from Hedgehog is jumping on stage with his guitar you’re gonna be in for a treat. Check out more from Skip Skip as well as footage from ‘rock till the last drop of jingjiu is gone’ Bedstars, and new punk duo After Argument.
Headed by producer and P.K 14 frontman Yang Haisong and Zaza of Eyes Behind, After Argument is shot of punk attitude that invades the eardrums – it’s relentless in its approach, as songs bleed into one another, tempos are thrown out on a whim, and Yang’s voice assaults.
Like a lot of punk, it’s a bit messy, a bit all over the place, and reckless. One thing’s for sure, Zaza on drums is a force of nature – she’s the foundation for pretty much every song and she does not hold back.
I think with some tightening, After Argument can find their place in Beijing’s punk scene.
The Bedstars haven’t cleaned up one bit since I last saw them – but one thing is for sure – they know exactly what they’re doing. I haven’t seen a band take command of their sound this well in some time.
Beyond the loopy, goofball punk rock energy they spew every time they’re on stage, a rarity unfortunately in the music scene here, their songs are as catchy as ever – leaving audiences with a collection of furious, humorous, and ruthless, tightly wound numbers that hit on target every time.
Not too many bands get a crowd worked up like the Bedstars. And if they keep it up, they’re gonna be a hot commodity in the next couple months.
And of course, it wouldn’t be a complete night without Skip Skip Ben Ben showing the fans that they are well and strong.
This was definitely a more patient Skip Skip, as a lot of her songs moved at a slower pace, giving the buildups more time, and allowing the guitar chords to breathe. It threw me off at first, but really it presents a band that’s not afraid to evolve.
Juxtaposed with Ben Ben’s sublime, enigmatic lyrics the songs still pack quite the punch when necessary – this is thanks mainly to the chemistry on stage – all three continue to make every beat, bass line, and note count. Welcome back Skip Skip Ben Ben.