Big releases coming at ya this week – including the much anticipated return of yaogun torch-bearers Miserable Faith, the newest member of the Maybe Mars trope, Hong Kong-based noise rockers The Yours, the newest Genjing Records vinyl from Snapline, and of course a heck ton of releases from electronic renegade Noise Arcade. Give it a listen.
Long standing alt-rock outfit Miserable Faith, considered by many (including BeijingDaze) as one of the quintessential Chinese yaogun bands, have returned with their first full length studio album in six years, a follow-up to the widely loved The Music Won’t Be Stopped. The band has been veering further into folk rock territory in the past few years and it’s front and center on their latest May Love Be Without Worries (愿爱无忧) – a thirteen track record which finds the on a spiritual road trip through China’s vast, diverse landscape. The album starts off strong – ‘Tashi-Delek’ and ‘Hallelujah’ make good of their reggae inflections, injecting warmth and forward-moving longevity to songs overlying themes. And though Gao Hu’s voice doesn’t quite retain the anguish of their earlier work, there’s enough noteworthy flourishes scattered throughout the rest of the album – from the piano/horn tail end of ‘A Boat Floating in the Ocean’, to the gypsy guitar and accordion work on ‘A Beautiful New World’ – production-wise it’s top notch, though part of me wishes producers would take more risks with bands of this ilk. However, it’s the lyrics people come for and well, it’s chock full of the band’s usual meandering existential open road lyricism that their known for. Overall, May Love Be Without Worries is gonna be a huge hit one way or another and I’m detecting it’ll be an album that grows for those who haven’t had a chance to check out Miserable Faith – give it a twirl.
Indie music revelers Maybe Mars are expanding their reach further out with the latest addition to their lineup – Hong Kong noise rock outfit The Yours. The nineties-dressed indie rock which references everything from Sonic Youth to The Horrors, has been emerging as one of HK’s sole inspiring indie acts since their chipper catchy as hell 2012 debut The Way We Were. That was enough to have Maybe Mars snacth them up and get them in the studio with Yang Haisong to record their second full length album Teenagarten (yes you read that right). And while their latest is grittier and rougher around the edges, with distortions bleeding into one another whilst maintaining a post punk pulse that invigorates, the band retains their youthful aggression. In fact, it’s pretty much eleven tracks straight of vigorous pent up fury that comes at you fast. And boy, do they make it look easy – head over their bandcamp to give it a listen and check out the band come September 19th at XP.
Half man-half pedal, the Groucho Marx of drone, the Don Quixote of electronic mayhem – Noise Arcade returns to our fair city as well as with his latest – tour mixtape – which as you might guess is a special tour mixtape encompassing a taste of the chaos Michael Cupoli unloaded upon audiences on three week tour of China, South Korea, and Japan. Sounds like it was a hoot. Expect the second half containing Gameboy popping blues stomping Guiguisuisui’s take on the trip to be released soon. Oh, and while we’re at it – gran Noise Arcade’s past three releases including spinning in circles, perceptions of change, and siting in public. Man just doesn’t know when to stop, and I wouldn’t want it any other way.
Last we got the first of many new releases of Genjng Records – Nevin and company have been busy busy bees this summer – so much that they’re even forgetting to hold release parties for their newest 7’’ vinyls. Heck, I stop by Indie Music Store the other day and stumbled upon three new releases that I figured wouldn’t be out till September. The first of the lot is Snapline’s Paper General, which gives the minimalist post punk trio a chance to revisit their old material which is drenched in that old-timey analog noise sound. I swear, Chen Xi is an Andy Warhol version of a mad scientist. Amongst the repetition of the synthesizers, you eventually begin to take Xi’s, repeated over and over again, rants as prophecy. It’s insanity at its most sane. Jump in the cool-aid over here and stalk around Indie Music Store or XP for a copy to toss onto your record player.