Gig Recap: Qunxiang, Solid Liqui (2021.09.24)

Qunxiang 群像, Solid Liqui 固体李逵 – Yuyintang 育音堂 2021.09.24

Post punk bands are a dime a dozen these days – a cesspool of shrieking guitars, potent basslines, and cryptic brooding lyrics – so to stand above the rest it really comes down to conviction. Do we, the listener, believe every pose dripping with disdain or every hairpin turn? Do we get swept up in the emotions at hand? That’s a tricky question but one thing is clear – Qunxiang from Chengdu have conviction in their blood. 

Formerly The Passenger, Qunxiang lean more into the genre’s ethereal and cerebral aspects, finding pleasures in the twisty malice and foreboding atmosphere, which the band members capture like lightning in a bottle. Not dissimilar to bands like Hiperson or Siouxsie And The Banshees, it resonates most deeply in its lyrical fragility and its beguiling vocals courtesy of singer Ma Ji. There’s an intensity at hand – in its sharp as a knife high-wire instrumentation as well – that fits its fraught emotional turmoil like a glove, allowing in many ways for the band to forge its own path and engage with the audience head-on. A killer set indeed. 

Shanghai’s own radical post punk deconstructionists Solid Liqui were on hand supporting and just leave much chaos and musical intricacies they pack into their songs – a Jenja tower of sharp guitar lines, hypnotic backing vocals, punchy bass grooves and almost indifferent musings sung-through wailings. It’s wonderfully off-kilter yet never forgets how to twist itself back into something melodically pleasing.

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