On The Scene: XP 06-07-2013


My memory of Dalian basically consists of my father, brother, and I getting lost on the shoreline (yes, where direction-wise you’re limited to two options – that way or the way back) and climbing a fence to sneak into a high-end golf course in order to find our way out. Granted, it was seven years ago, but that pretty much sums up my Dalian experience. Hazy skies, dewy grass, and lots of potential. Well, looks like that potential applied to the music scene over yonder as well, as the port city showed off its goods last weekend at XP, with Which Park and Doc Talk Shock brining some finely crafted tunes along with them.

Not a bad way to spend a rainy evening in the city. Check out more pics and videos from Doc Talk Shock, Which Park, and Mr. Graceless, who opened.


Alright, failed to get shoot footage of Mr. Graceless’s set, where they were sporting a whole lot of new material. Really, I was convinced they had one more in them – well, not the best song to close with nevertheless. And I could play back some tunes, but I’d feel better redirecting ya’ll to XP’s radio station where they recorded Mr. Graceless’s performance a few weeks back – now that sounds good. The band knows how to draw a crowd, that’s for sure – let’s hope they can keep the rampage going.


First up for the Dalianites – Which Park – whose sound was all over the place. The first half fell into the category of post rock-lite and dark moody indie rock.

While a lot of it works, mainly due to the instrumental work, I wasn’t really invested one bit. A lot of it came off as lazy, uninspired.

I was forced to retreat outside – only then did the band shed off their skin and break into their Britpop tendencies, which surprisingly was exactly what I was in the mood for (check out XP\’s radio once again for some high quality recordings). Firm rhythm sections, raging guitar riffs, and catchy melodies – I was shocked this was coming from the same band. Strange how that works?


Any skepticism I brought into the next act, well, squashed immediately – Doc Talk Shock dropped the gauntlet on Beijing. Energetic, committed, intriguing, innovative, and fresh – the real deal.

Noise pop ain’t nothing new here in Beijing – just look at Maybe Mars catalogue and your bound to bump right into it. But DTS bring their own touches to the genre, most notably a heavy dosage of math rock. Which in turns, gives each jam, even at it’s catchiest and most upbeat, an epic feel.

As someone who digs math rock, but finds it can at times be too detached to connect, their set hit the sweet spot more than once. It’s not often you hear so many elements mesh together with ease like this and I gotta credit where it’s due – Doc Talk Shock have got the goods. Perhaps its time to send some of the youngins down here to Dalian to see how it’s done right.

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