Gig Recap: The Molds, Salty Tomorrow, Solid Liqui (2021.04.04)

The Molds, Salty Tomorrow 明天的盐, Solid Liqui 固体李逵 – Yuyintang Park 育音堂音乐公园 2021.04.04

Swung by Yuyintang Park last weekend for a succulent offering of post punk, psych rock, and crusty surf rock – a sold-out showcase featuring some of my favorite live acts at the moment as well as the long-awaited return of one of Beijing’s most famed underground acts.

Caught the tail end of Solid Liqui’s set and what can I say – the gaunt Shanghai post punks continue to impress, and have only sharpened their edges over the past year. From the spot-on visuals and finely curated video clips to the way the band jumps back and forth between their more prickly arrangements to their more melodic side effortlessly, their live set is one of the best around today. Let’s get an album already! 

For over a decade Beijing’s The Molds has achieved a cult-like status in the underground scene for their apathetic rustic surf rock sound that unfolds at a leisurely pace. And for a while, it seemed like the band was done with frontman Liu Ge relocating to Australia more than a year ago. Well, after a little quarantine to dust off the cobwebs, the band reunited and from the looks of the sold-out crowd, they’re gonna be just fine. There’s something oddly charming and alluring about the band’s strung out psych rock which oftentimes chooses atmosphere above catchy singles – soundtracking their own dusty worldview. Better yet, this was the first time I saw the band trading off vocal duties and wholly sharing the stage, giving each member its due. Something tells me we’ll be seeing these rustic cowboys again soon. 

But really, I was here for Salty Tomorrow – the Hangzhou post punk band I’ve been enamoured with since I first stumbled upon their Netease page a year back. They seemed to relish the bigger stage and sent the remaining crowd into a frenzy. There’s something ecstatic and exuberant about their mix of post punk unease and pensive indie rock. Never too sweet, never too sour – its pop sensibilities only refine and sharpen its off-kilter and momentum-building arrangements – allowing the songs to swell into a whirlpool of catharsis. Simply put, Salty Tomorrow are my jam – and I suspect they’re going to have a hell of a year. 

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