So, because this weekend was a complete write-off in terms of gigs I meant to go to (I’m placing the blame squarely on the shoulders of the weather and coming home from a visa run to Hong Kong; they’re solid shoulders), I’ll introduce an album I’ve had the most conflicted feelings about since I bought it a few weeks ago. I only bought this album a few weeks ago, in a large purchase from the aforementioned Music Store, and after giving it a good listen, I’ve decided that I like it.
This album has its downsides, of course. It’s the band’s first shot at a studio album, after having appeared on a couple of live recording short-release albums, and I have to say it’s a pretty good shot. Compared with what a lot of bands put out, it’s fantastic. The biggest downfall these recordings suffer is a touch of over-production. Everything’s a little too balanced, a little too easy to listen to, when you can hear — just behind everything coming out of your speakers — some real potential in the music. But what I really love about the songs on this album are the singer’s voice. It’s got a touch of the nasal about it, but in the fun-loving Supergrass kind of way, not the annoying Conor Oberst kind of way.
There are some truly fun songs on this album, which I don’t hesitate to admit that I like the best. 圈 (Circle), 王子复仇记 (Hamlet), 生之爱 (Life’s Love) are among my favorites, just because they’re easy to listen to and you can clearly hear the effort behind them. They’re snappy and memorable (especially 圈), and you can imagine just what it would be like to stand in the crowd listening to this song. Other songs remind me of other bands (尾巴/Tail sounds like it comes straight off the Hedwig & The Angry Inch cast recordings), and their influences are clearly set in the late-nineties British pop/rock tradition, but overall I think it makes for a good album.
There’s sounds you recognize and those that are original, and what it does best is make you want to see where they’re playing next.
Check out GAR’s gigs and more at the Beijing Gig Guide.