Mercader 梅卡德尔, The White Paper 白皮书, The Jade-Breaking Plan For Liberty 唯利玉碎计划, LUR:录耳 – Mao Livehouse 2021.11.10
With weekends becoming a waking nightmare of uncertainty with touring bands canceling and regulations changing by the minute, more and more promoters are betting on hefty midweek showcases and newly minted promoters 1895 Oasis did not disappoint with a two-city tour featuring some of the indie rock scene’s most electric bands. Bands that go for broke every time looking to shake audiences at their core, and in some cases bands that could easily fill a venue on their own.
Kicking off the night were Xi’an cold wave post punk duo Lur: – who have been having a hell of a year – and while I think I’m had my fill of them this year (three times at Mao and counting) I’m happy that they’ve been making waves with audiences out there. And while not having a drummer on board will always handicap any act, I’d just love to let these cats loose in a club already.
My first outing with Jade-Breaking Plan For Liberty, out of Chengdu, whose whirlwind sound owes as much to the grunge movement as it does to progressive rock – it’s an old school sound that sports some serious blues guitar licks (it also helps there is no bass here among the three) and even managed to twist itself further with a full-on post rock finish that frankly came out of nowhere. They’re the real deal – a hefty, sexy explosion of guitar-driven lunacy that flips the script each and every song.
Beijing post punk outfit The White Paper has come a long way since sweating it out at Temple Bar on a Thursday night. The band who blew up onto the scene last year after their earnest impassioned stint on the Big Band have continued to subvert expectations, finding room for both tender golden melodies and for their sharper, synth-happy descents into darkness.
It’s a fine balance, and one that gives their more aerobatic tracks of bombast a sense of fun, even if the band lacks the true edge needed to put them with the best of the best. Nevertheless, The White Papers have proven themselves to be killer entertainers.
Closing out the night were Guangzhou juggernauts Mercader whose guitar-heavy melodies, and crooning anthemic vocals bring to life their jarring mix of post punk, no wave, and indie rock, with a sneaking, gritty Canto-pop vibe lurking underneath that can turn on a dime.
It’s been years since I’ve lost seen them and holy shit, do they know how to get the blood pumping. There’s something beastly about how the band attacks each song, with Zhao Tai snarling and growling over philosophical anxiety, guitars bend and buzz and synths piercing the air. It’s both manic, darkly fun, and feral – reminding me at times of a more lethal and down and dirty New Pants or Talking Heads.
All in all, a wicked wild Wednesday night that packed a hell of a punch.
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