Omnipotent Youth Society 万能青年旅店 – Inside the Cable Temple 冀西南林路行
Ten years after their game-changing debut, the seasoned Shijiazhuang rockers have returned with their much-anticipated follow-up Inside The Cable Temple. While it’s impossible to capture the magic or blunt force of that mammoth wide-reaching release, their lushly detailed, intricately assembled follows-up continues showcasing the band’s melodic heft as well as their penchant for rich lyricism that empathically captures the lives on the fringes of society as well as the issues affecting society at large. Jazz riffs crash into exploding delay pedals, rustic guitars slide up alongside rambunctious trumpets – instrumentally speaking, there aren’t many bands that strike with as much graceful virtuosity as they do. The afterglow has perhaps faded but there’s no denying their vigor.
在首张专辑《万能青年旅店》发行十年后，这支经验丰富的石家庄摇滚乐队带着他们期待已久的续集《Inside The Cable Temple》回归。虽然不可能捕捉到那张巨大的、具有广泛影响力的专辑的魔力和钝感，但他们的后续作品继续展示了乐队在旋律上的力量，他们对丰富抒情的执着，以及对社会边缘的生活和影响社会问题的捕捉。爵士乐重奏撞上爆炸的延时踏板，质朴的吉他与奔放的小号并驾齐驱–从乐器上来说，没有多少乐队能像他们一样拥有如此优雅的演奏技巧。也许余温已经褪去，但不能否认他们的活力。
Jiulian Zhenren 九连真人 – Ah-Min 阿民
Jiulian Zhenren, the Hakka rock trio from Heyuan, Guangdong (who made a bit of a splash earlier this year on The Big Band) release their debut Ah-Min – a sprawling, rollicking rock and roll by way of world music album that’s bold and proud. Named after its leading fictional figure, the twelve tracks follow the young protagonist and his journeys and struggles growing up in rural southern China – a seeming wasteland chock full of hard liquor, seedy characters, and sin. Leaning into their rock chops whilst also paying tribute to the traditional sounds emerging from their region through vibrant instrumentation (the suona makes its presence known early on) as well as their born Hakka tongue, it’s a hell of a good time, though one whose bombast does eventually wear thin.
Low Wormwood 低苦艾 – Famous Trademark 驰名商标
While it falls short of capturing the esteemed Lanzhou’s band deeply felt folksy gruff that propelled them to stardom, the band is in fine form on their sixth LP ‘Famous Trademark’ – which finds the band reflecting om both past and present, finding the interweaving states of mind in constant flux. The title of the album references a change encounter with copyrights litigators and how that surreal ordeal came to paint the world around them in a different light – giving much of the LP a rugged and nostalgic charge – giving their heavier and more brooding songs an extra oomph. Of course, there are plenty of romantic detours, an obligatory reggae jam, and even some Bruce Springsteen evoking anthems (with the 80s synths left in off course) that threatens to drag it down, but for the most part, it’s vintage Low Wormwood.