Maybe Mars dropped three split 7’’ vinyl records last week (on top of their two-track release from Xi’an’s Fazi earlier this year) and they’re a fine treat – a collection of B-sides and new singles from both the label’s old guard and new guard. While the double-shot of frenzied poetic tumblings from esteemed post-punk godfathers P.K. 14 are a most for P.K.14 loyalists, the real goods come in the form of new tracks from Yang Haisong’s other musical project – noise dream pop duo Dear Eloise (the best of the bunch), current Nanjing post-punk crooners Streets Kill Strange Animals (great to have new music from them), and jittery Beijing post-punk up and comers Lonely Leary (who knock it out twice here). Dig in.
Shanghai’s Dirty Fingers – one of the punk scene’s most genuine and relentlessly busy bands – tossed aside this ramshackle and brilliantly deranged EP – which pits the Shanghai outfit with some of Beijing’s finest punk characters, including photo-surf rockers The Molds and Zhao Kai of Bedstars. Like a laid back jam session, there’s a simple charm and understated attitude laid bare in the three tracks – which touch on the nonsensical annoyances and pleasures of life filtered through loose and subdued guitar melodies and lo-fi kicks – perfectly matching the lifestyle that has embodied the underground punk band since their humble beginnings and in turn, has made them one of the country’s most endearing. Sneakingly seductive stuff.
Genjing Records is back in the split business with a heavy, head-banging worthy split between Beijing hardcore band SHAS and Shanghai metal band Alpaca. And while each band only provides one track for each side, they’re beasts – bone-crushing, terrorizing ten-minute plus tracks full of mammoth guitar riffs and pummeling drums. Beijing’s SHAS (short for Stinky Humans Abuse to Persist) paint the sludge on lean and thick, dragging listeners through the dirt, while Shanghai’s Alpaca brings a more old-school Southern swamp blues mentality to their layers of feedback and down-tuned guitar and bass tones. For those looking for rock and roll that doesn’t mess around – look no further.