Gig Recap: AIRSFX, Sunken Square, White Ink (2021.07.02)

AIRSFX, 下沉广场, White Ink 白墨水 – NEO Bar 2021.07.02

Was in a pretty bad funk last Friday – fatigue from a week of baby-rearing; existential nonsense, and the usual thoughts that occupy someone who’s always waiting for the other shoe to drop. And then AIRSEX, who had battled their way through traffic from Nantong, kicked off their set and all was right in the world. The cobwebs cleared away and whatever weight I was holding was freed. That’s free therapy folks (well almost free)!. 

Even with a bottle of Sapphire gin slowly disappearing during their set – AIRSEX feels are a full course meal of music, feverishly pogoing from jagged new wave to pummeling 80s street punk with the swashbuckling energy of someone with nothing to lose. Yet through all its gleeful mayhem, the band is tight as ever – convicted in their path and the power of rock and roll. With a debut release on its way, I expect AIRSEX to be one of the year”s biggest surprises. 

Snarky, playful, and scrappy, the young emboldened White Ink leaned into their volatile and twisty alt punk sound – even finding time to confronting through song the party of uni kids having a birthday or sorts indifferent to the show happening three feet away from them. There’s a wily quality to the bands that rings true even as their adolescence is always on the surface – will be a shame to lose them come next month when they journey back to the US to continue their studies.

The evening closed out with a set from Sunken Square aka 下沉广场, who clearly follow their own arrow. It pushes right up on the edge of punk and metal – most apparent how they throw themselves into their instruments, leaning into riffs with head-banging aplomb – but twists into something more in line with blues or psych rock, retaining a melodic core that never buckles. It’s great stuff and I expect we’ll be be hearing a lot more from these cats in the next year. 

Once again, thanks to all the bands who came out and to Neo Bar. 

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