Dos Kolegas is back on top…really it rarely disappoints anymore. Tonight as part of the JUE festival they brought up two vastly different eccentric bands from that other big city down south – the one where that building that looks like a giant bottle opener is. They also brought along one of Beijing’s hardest working bands. Bring em out’…
Fuzzy Mood has been everywhere – they have played almost every week, sometimes even pulling double duty in a single night. So let’s just say it was only a matter of time before our paths crossed. If someone dipped PJ Harvey into a vat of shoegaze rock then you’d get Fuzzy Mood.
The men on the axes don’t fool around – they’re doin some serious strashing up there and give it their all. Han Ai has got this strong yet sedated voice that finds a nice balance between sexy and damaged. I definitely noticed a lot of boys inching closer to the stage during their last song as she dragged the mundane phase of ‘so tired’ into a cathartic orgasmic yearn – I immediately had to light a cigarette afterwards. Fuzzy Mood is a class act in my opinion, tight, controlled, with the perfect amount of rough around the edges – it’ll be interesting to see how their new album sounds when it drops in the next next month.
Friend or Foe is the equivalent of a comic book coming to life – it’s blunt, crass, colorful, frenetic, humorous, and most of all fun. Their songs are short, direct, to the point and waste no time. They feed off the crowd’s energy and in turn wield it against them. What I really find captivating about FoF is that they, at least to me, see rock n’ roll as kind of a joke. Now don’t take this the wrong way – this ain’t a dig. Too many bands out there tend to take themselves too seriously, and inflating the significant of their work to grandiose levels. These guys dress up in freaking costumes, sing songs about fornicating with their Japanese love pillows, and play it all completely straight, not even a wink.
Straight up foolishness, but in many ways thats the true spirit of rock n’ roll – putting yourself in that position – and like they say there’s no possible way to enslave a fool. It’s impossible not to like them, and looking for reasons is almost inane. So kudos to Friend or Foe for getting boiling down rock n’ roll to its essence – you goofy bastards.
Talk about to two bands on opposite ends of scale – if the members of Friend or Foe were into comics, then I could definitely see the guys from Rainbow Danger Club being into fantasy stories growing up.
This is sprawling, epic, grandiose, atmospheric, and dare I say sophisticated music that reaches dreamy indie pop heights rarely seen on this side of the Pacific. These songs are journeys onto themselves, multi-layered, with baroque stylings, and packed with narrative action – rises, falls, climaxes, the whole shebang. Now, I must admit, those heights that they strive for in each song aren’t earned every time (a friend commented that all they could hear was a mix of Muse and Sigur Ros), ending up with those high notes ringing false – but when they did connect, which was more often than not – it’s pretty damn, for lack of a better word, epic. You’re riding that wave right alongside them.
It’s pretty hard not to get sucked in. Do they take it all too seriously? Based on what I saw, probably not, but let’s hope these guys don’t get in over their heads, and can provide more cheeky fare like “Enduring Love”, which makes you wanna swing your lady around. And it’s official, trumpet just makes everything twenty times better.
All in all, an impressive lineup out of Shanghai – it might just be time to check out the scene down there first-hand – they just might be onto something. Check below for some more tunes from Fuzzy Mood, Friend or Foe, and Rainbow Danger Club, including new songs from all three. Enjoy! One more JUE event folks!
Friend or Foe
Rainbow Danger Club