Gig Recap: Lotus Root, Splash Juice, Navel (3032.12.01)

Lotus Root 藕, Juice Splash 飞溅果汁, Navel 幻痛区 – Yuyintang 2021.12.01

Been eager to pop into a ‘New Face Underground’ showcase for some time now – the Yuyintang series that’s been giving the spotlight to new and emerging bands – a grab bag of aspiring acts if you will. One thing you can always could on for these kinds of showcases is fresh blood both on stage and off – with the venue being noticeably crowded for a Wednesday night – a mix of supporting friends and university kids doing anything to keep away from exams. Tonight was a mixed bag – yet one that featured bands with some untapped potential. 

Things kicked off with instrumental trio Juice Splash – loose yet taut free jazz crossed with a slice of prog rock and a splash of math rock. While not groundbreaking in any way, it was nice to see a band feel their way around their set. It’s clear they’re skilled musicians (you might notice one of the Shanghai Qiutian members on stage) and you can sense them shedding (or reappropriating) their learned skills for something funkier, more imaginative, and more spirited. The possibilites are endless and in that regard I look very much forward to what they cook up in the future.

Meanwhile, Navel leans more toward the bombastic tendencies of the post punk genre, with a lead singer giving it his all on the mic and the band throwing in as many facets as possible into each track. A bit muddled on the surface, I think there’s a lot of interesting elements at play here, particularly in its instrumentation and melodic drive. ,时长01:14It may take some tightening of the screws and some shedding off of the fat, but Navel are off to a good start. 

Speaking of finding the lean musicality of post punk (and grunge and cold wave for that matter) I was quite impressed by Lotus Root – a name I’ve seen pop upping up on bills these past few months. Lots of root note chugging and the fifth chord plunging, there’s a ‘meats and potatoes’ no-frills drive to their music that I find refreshing. Even when they bring in things like the keyboard into the mix, it’s restrained and never takes away from the rhythm framework of their sound. Clean, defined, earnest with its emotions only surfacing for maximum impact, Lotus Root are definitely a band I’ll be keeping my eyes on come 2022. 

Be sure to check out the next New Face Underground showcase at Yuyintang!

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