Railway Suicide Train 卧轨的火车, GuanXiaotian管啸天 (Bandai Namco 万代南梦宫 2020.09.26)
Hangzhou’s Railway Suicide Train swung through Shanghai last weekend as part of their vast nationwide tour in support of their magnificent and dense new LP ‘Continent’ out on Ruby Eyes Records. And yeah this is a band that packs a lot into their music. Almost too much at times. But damn do they know how to strike a mood, capturing a humid musky sound shaped in poetic sway and feverish psychedelic rock and roll.
And mixed with the band’s current enchantment with world music and the tradition minority sounds that have been rising out of the nooks and crannies of China, it made for a hypnotic showcase (these new flourishes even find their way into the band’s earlier indie pop-leaning songs). It’s crazy to think that these cats are only in their mid-20s – but hey know what they’re doing. Wherever they wanna head next I’m in.
Support came from the Guan Xiaotian, known for most as the lead singer of Dirty Fingers. His solo project is described as a freakish chamber pop music along the lines of Jane Birkin & Serge Gainsbourg, but all I can say is there’s something beautifully surreal about hearing the songwriter in a David Lychian bar lounge setting (a setting made all the more unsettling by the VJ projection of a faux green-walled motel room fitted with A/C) complete with accordion and double bass. Color me intrigued.