9th June 2007
Venue: The Cavern
I hurried to the bar as the weekends rain decided to start pelting down again and soon realized that when the advertisement for the nights gig said starting at 8, it really meant 8… so sorry Jane Eliz, I only caught your last song. I couldn't even concentrate on that as I was in dire need of alcohol and was having a hard time distracting the bar tender from chatting to the bar maid. FYI: the bar staff at The Cavern are shit. Most of the crowd started to drift into the bar throughout the second act: Fantastic Day. As only being exposed to local Hong Kong bands over the past 2 weeks I still didn't have much of an idea what to expect… I was hoping for a little more than this. They sounded like a band stuck for knowing what sound exactly they're trying to accomplish. I can only describe it as drab eighties rock with a weird psychedelic edge to it… and not in a good way. I think the peculiar psychedelic accent simply came from trying to play an improvisational keyboard, to make up for not being able to play it properly. They're strumming along harmonies got abruptly overtaken by the lead singers out of tune whining. His vocal chords actually reminded me of Daniel Johnston, just without the unique painful overtone that made Johnston's childish cries bearable. To some it up it sounded like a 13 year old discovering his dads Smiths records and creating his own adaptation of the depressed Brit rockers.
Damn, I said I was only going to try and write positively about HK's music scene, but to counterbalance that brutal commentary, the 3 rd band of the night is my vindication. When I saw these guys get on stage wearing what can only be described as attire so colorful and baggy MC Hammer wouldn't take you seriously, I was thinking… Shit I dunno what I was thinking except "these guys look f**ked!". They are The Yours, and they have some of the best on stage presence from a local band I have seen. They seem to be a parody of themselves, and they are not afraid to experiment which is great, and what I would say more bands need to do in an age where a new genre of music is developing every week. Essentially their music is punk rock with this electronic edge to it brought by the synthesizer taken in turns to work with by the bands two singers. The crowd clearly enjoying the music, and I get the impression The Yours are the reason for them attending the night. They're sound; especially what I assume to be they're hit track Tasteless is, to an extent, reminiscent of The Pixies. They have only been together a couple of years, which at times shows, but if these guys keep at it, keep pushing the experimental edge, they could be pretty interesting in another couple of years time. I recommend checking them out.
From experimentation to: heard it / been there / done that / please shoot me now music. Spodac , which maybe if your into eighties bland American rock you may like it. I personally would rather have a slow and painful death… Ok sorry I'm being too harsh, positive criticism: They're musicians are not untalented, so maybe they would make a good cover band but if they insist on performing they're own material maybe they should also try to develop they've own sound, because for me there was nothing that stood out, at all. It made me have images in my head of American truckers enthusiastically playing they're stereos at full blast, knowing all the lyrics, and singing it even worse than this guy in front of me now. Or maybe I was just getting irritable from having to stand all night. I left (fled) through they're last track and went to Yum La to get drunk… that mission was extremely successful.
Review by Robin J