Sometimes it’s impossible to get out of the house – between whiskey shots, playing 90s hits, and friends were processors could use a massive overhaul – sometimes the cards are simply against you. So by the time I managed to get my ass over to Yugong Yishan, Fat City and Chui Wan had already played leaving only headliners Snapline, who where debuting their new album (or reworking of an old album) Phenomena, to satisfy my needs.
There’s something cold and detached about Snapline that’s at once off-putting and endearing at the same time. When singing, Chen Xi, who sounds like a cross between Ian Curtis and Dan Boeckner, half looks like he has tourettes, desperately trying to contain himself but nevertheless unable to keep his body from moving to the beat. And what slivery slick beats have Li Qing and Li Weisi cooked up.
Having replaced a lot of 2010’s boiling-point guitar rapture with even more low-key looping and synthesizers, this version of Snapline sounded like a sedated version of their previous selves.
It’s an interesting approach, and works great for their album, but at the same time, watching them live, I was itching for the three of them to engage the crowd, to wild out just a little, give me something to chew on. Granted by the end of their set they were warming up, and Li Qing picked up her guitar more and more, but man, post-punk needs a lead guitar like I need that Back To The Future Chen Xi was sporting.