Have a list of about twenty new releases I need to get through – not sure when that happened – but good and bad, each one deserves it’s moment to shine. And we have a doozy this week with the newest Wang Wen album. That’s enough to trek through the rest of this week’s latest including the latest EP from indietronica pop star Hao Feier, folk metal outfit Dream Spirit, and the latest Most of Us compilation of Beijing’s youths. Check it.
Dalian post rock gods Wang Wen have returned with their eighth full length album appropriately titled Eight Horses featuring eight new epic compositions that the juggernaut band has become known for. Put together by the fine lads over in Chengdu, New Noise, with post-production work done PK 14\’s much respected lead singer Yang Haisong, Ningbo based producer Anzi and Wouter Vlaeminckx, front man of Belgium indie band Toman. It was recorded in, as teased a little whiles back, in member Xie Yugang’s Echo Bookstore in Dalian. Heck, if you listen closely enough you can hear ambient chatter among the spectators – just imagine being apart of that! Give it a listen over here and buy it over here – and be sure to check Wang Wen perform at Yugong Yishan on June 20th. Can tell right now, this is gonna be my jam for my month sabbatical starting next week.
Mandarin pop doesn’t pop up to much on this site, however, I felt compelled to included artist Fair (Hao Feier)’s latest dosing of indietronica entitled Night Light. While the artist become famous mainly due to being on the Chinese Idol-esque TV show SuperGirl (as well as her father being a a famous Ningxia musician) and her 2009 debut features her voice more prominently, her latest is completely devoid of her voice, and is a nice, if not remarkable, inclusion to the genre, with a trip hop edge that’s surprisingly feels fresh, considering the source. Gives me a bit of hope that mainstream pop might find other outlets to find their voice. Give it a listen here.
Heavy metal folk outfit Dream Spirit has been working the Beijing circuit for some time now and looks like they finally have the goods to share with their debut album entitled Country – while their brand of Chinese-culture inspired folk metal could use a heck of a lot more power, menace, and oomph, for those looking for some melody-based metal that one might caught in the late eighties, albeit with Chinese flavors then give it a preview over on their douban and xiami pages. Definitely old school – purchase it over here. But man, do keyboards sound terrible in metal groups sometimes. Guqin over keyboard any day.
If you ever ventured to School or Mao Livehouse or a random weekday night, you more likely to run into a slew of young scrappy college bands looking to cut their teeth – well after last years’ compilation album showcasing the best of the rest (or not) – the college rock night label has retuned with Most of Us: Blossom of Youth Vol. 2 which includes up and comers Dizzy Monkey, Icy Whiskey, Space Sonic, Mod Military, The Coercer, and more. I’ll say it again – this sounds pop radio at its finest and most ugly, if that makes any sense. As a view of what the youth is eating up, it’s not all bad – I particularly enjoyed Icy Whiskey’s neo-rockabilly single, as well as (guiltily so) the emo aspirations of Dizzy Monkey. Mark my words, one of these cats will be making more money than that underground band you oh so dearly support come five years from now. Give it a spin.