Gig Recap: Dirty Fingers, Kṣitigarbha, Domino Trigger, D.C (2021.04.23)

Dirty Fingers脏手指, Kṣitigarbha 地藏, Domino Trigger推骨牌的人, D.C – Modern Sky Lab 2021.04.23

TransMiB – the new Modern Sky adjacent label – strutted their taste-making skills with a hard-edged, imaginative lineup featuring bands that not quite fit into any neat box genre-wise and yet embody the music they perform, dangerously alluring in their pull and magnetism. 

The night kicked off with a set from Domino Trigger, who have been spending the first half of the year refining and rewiring their twisty grunge-filled psych rock sound, one that’s simultaneously both brooding and riotous. And while they were forced to switch out their guitar at some point, they managed to maintain their cool. A part of me wishes I could catch them in a dingy derelict basement venue. My kind of vibes. 

Holy shit – forgot how fun Division Control aka D.C are. I haven’t seen the Tianjin based post punks in four years since putting them on a bill back in Beijing. Bombastic and without an ounce of nuance, but there’s no denying the kinetic energy they bring to their sets. Broadly invoking a grocery list of of post punk greats, much of the band’s charm lies it their high-wire gusto, led by its devilishly madcap frontman. Excited to see how they fare with their new label motherlords. 

Shanghai punk rock stalwarts, Dirty Fingers, whose sweaty scruffy Balkan punk evoking sound ignites upon contact seems to be dipping into their more melodic side more and more. By no means a determent – in fact, I don’t think they’ve missed a step since tapping into their new rich rhythmic direction and emotional through-line – striking a mood that’s volatile, raw with a touch of bittersweet romanticism. Oh – check out their new LP set to drop tomorrow – it’s really something. 

The night closed out with the always deliciously delirious prog psych outfit Kṣitigarbha, who seem to have no issue pushing their sound into the stratosphere or into the hellish underworld depending on their mood. And yeah – the big stage fits them quite well – allowing their new visuals to work their magic while the band got comfty. After seeing them countless times this year already I’m still shocked at how many surprises they can still throw at listeners.

All in all, a brawling unruly night of tunes and proof that Shanghai has plenty to give listeners looking for something a little sharper to spike thier drinks with. In the case of me, a fine bottle of Jinjiu. 

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