New Releases: The Fuzz, Life Awaits, The Life Journey, CFI Records


Indie pop to swoon to, post hardcore tunes to pump your in angst to, post punk foot stompers to shake loose to, and ‘environmental improvisation’ to scratch your head to – it’s an eclectic batch of new releases this week with the latest from The Life Journey, Life Awaits, The Fuzz, and CFI Records.

Xi’an post punk ruffians The Fuzz, return with their sophomore release, The Root of Innocence, off of Maybe Mars. While much of the band’s sound derives from the Manchester post punk scene, it’s all done so masterfully here, elevated by Liu Peng’s frenzied, fanatical voice and a keen sense of melody and rhythm. It’s propelling, and while the some of the songs threatened to get drowned in it’s own aesthetic (i.e sameness), there’s a resonance within their lyrics, a restless youthfulness that’s downright infectious and shakes you loose. Rip into it over on xiami and bandcamp.

Hardcore and emo go head to head on the powerful and impassioned self-titled debut from post-hardcore outfit Life Awaits, out of Beijing. Three tracks of affecting melodic hardcore rock that’s not afraid to wear (smear) its heart all over its sleeve and bare its soul. ‘I’m not afraid to reinvent, I’m only afraid of losing again’ Bai Yu sings on the closing track ‘In Descent’ and you believe him. The emotional stakes are high for Life Awaits – a perfect match for the brutal, razor sharp guitars and bombast drums – and I’m eager to hear more than the Beijing quartet. Bandcamp it up.


Indie pop veterans Life Journey shed their parent label, Modern Sky, for their latest 10 Days, off of their label, Life Journey Studio. One might believe the band would leave their comfort zone after breaking the shackles free, but quite the contrary. The band is relishing in the schmaltz and other features prominently found in the mainstream indie pop world they reside in. Never trying too hard, with catchy enough melodies to assure a single or three, it’s is perhaps one of the band’s laziest efforts, only picking up steam late in the album’s second half. The Life Journey still remain one of my favorite guilty pleasures, but here’s to hoping their next album brings back the charm and cheeky fun. Give it listen over on douban and xiami.

Environmental improvisation might be the best way to describe the latest release from CFI Records, a long standing Beijing noise label. In The Cave: Here It Is Series #3, is part of series of experimental improvisational performances held in unconventional places. For this round, a gang of Beijing’s experimental misfits ventured to Huiyu Village, a famous fossil concentration on the outskirts of Beijing which contains a four floor deep deserted mining cave, which as you can guess, is where the ‘environment improvisation concert’ took place. Participating musicians included Ake, Ding Chenchen, Da Ao, Li Jianhong, Li Yangyang, Sheng Di, Wang Ziheng, Wei Wei, Xiu Di, Zhao Cong, Zhou Qi, and Zhu Wenbo. Quite the gang. Love the concept and am even more impressed at how well that concept comes across in the recording. Bandcamp it up.

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