New Music: Hedgehog, Howie Lee, Birdstriking/Gate to Otherside

Hedgehog刺猬 – Sound Of Life Towards . . . 生之响往

Hedgehog, one of China’s most influential indie rock bands, return with their first release in four years, and quite possibly their last. While far from being the band’s most profound release, there’s no denying their continued knack for crafting lyrically rich, melody-driven indie rock anthems that speak to an entire generation. In many ways, their latest is an encapsulation of the band’s many modes – from pop delights to grunge breakouts, enraged social critics, boisterous party animals and for once young adults who are for once finding themselves on the other side of the mirror.



Howie Lee – Natural Disaster自然灾害

Howie Lee, the cutting edge electronic producer whose hands seem to be in every single pie at the moment, leads listeners are a thematic and rich musical journey on his latest LP out on Do Hits. While in the past the artist has dabbled with creating larger than life cinematic tracks that ignite the imagination, this is the first time it feels as though the artist is gearing up for a full on symphony. Ambitious in its scale, stunning in its command, the album overwhelms the senses, introducing us to a world where the past has wholly collided with the future, as traditional sounds that span all of Asia (and then some) intertwine with our technology-obsessed, military peddling present, presenting something of an modern day allegory for where our world is headed.



Birdstriking鸟撞x Gate to Otherside – Bird to Otherside

To celebrate Record Store Day last month, Maybe Mars cut loose this wonderful little split between two of 2017’s most talked about bands. Featuring six tracks of ‘gloriously reverb-soaked overflow’ from last year’s Holey Brain by Birdstriking and Dragon Bus Terminal by Gate to Otherside, it’s a surprisingly robust B-sides release. I’d almost swop some of these bad boys out for other tracks on the original LPs – particularly the xxxxxxxx-led Standing on the North, a Swansea Football Club-inspired cover of ‘Indian Summer’ by Beat Happening (which strangely enough is now about the renowned club and its former manager, Garry Monk) as well as Otherside’s Underground Sun, which has been a favorite of mine since I first caught them back in 2014 (hence why it was probably left on the cutting floor in the first place). All in all, a fine addition to each of these bands’ already strong catalogues.



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