Local label Maybe Mars threw a showcase last month at Yugong Yishan to both introduce their new roster, welcome some old friends, and bid farewell to one of Beijing\’s finest bands to kick up dirt here. So yeah – mixed emotions all around, particularly when you\’re ending with a set from the abrasively magnificent Ex-Punishment, out of Hong Kong, who you might remember as the more accessible noise rock outfit The Yours. Besides a new name, the band has completely repackaged their sound, and there\’s nothing quite like it – harsh industrial punk that\’s shacks you by the neck.
That\’s Lau Jun from fellow Hong Kong post punk outfit David Boring, and as you can see there\’s more than enough (devilish) charm and energy – you\’d almost wished some bands here might take a cue or two. The evening also saw the return of white+, their first show of the year, after a reality show stint for frontman Zhang Shouwang, as well as the introduction of Shanghai shoegaze psychedelic rockers Dream Can, led by a trio of girls with attitude and chops – they fit nicely in (maybe too well) with Maybe Mar\’s cataloge and it\’ll be interesting to hear their debut whenever it surfaces (the band was in Beijing recording it). Finally, it was bon voyage fro Alpine Decline here in Beijing, a band that I\’ve grown to love since being introduced to them back in 2012. Thoughtful, transcendent, somber yet playful indie rock that felt like a product of it\’s time and more importantly, environment. Really one of a kind. Don\’t think there was a dry eye in the house when the \’The Aftertaste of Gold\’ came on. The indie rock duo (who were accompanied by Yang Haisong on bass for the past year) will be heading by to the West and we wish them the best of luck in all their future endeavors! More picture below.