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ROUND EYE – ‘Self Titled’ Review

Round EyeIf there’s a lasting legacy of punk rock music, it surely has to be how the music and philosophy has influenced millions of people around the world to think for themselves. Many have gone onto form bands and try to become the influencers themselves.

This morning, the good folks at Punkonline Towers received a link to the debut L.P. from self described “freak punk” band, Round Eye who hail from Shanghai.

The band have toured all over the world including mainland China on a number of occasions and have been banned by the Ministry of Culture whilst on one tour with British band, The Boys (apparently some “stage antics” coupled with an offensive tour poster and ‘crowd control issues” offended the powers that be).

On their eponymously named first album we are treated to an opening chunky guitar riff that is interrupted by some free flowing saxophone that introduces us immediately to something different. Track 2 of the 17 on the album is the excellent ‘Street Light A’ which again adds saxophone to a more traditional punk riff and beat…I am reminded of the Cravats meets Captain Beefheart before the vocals come in…there is certainly a feeling of chaos and you can appreciate why they have won the “Best local band” title from Shanghai’s City Weekend magazine two years in a row.

‘HeSheRoshima – A’ (excellent song name that! And then there is ‘B’ version and a ‘C’ version later on) is plain weird with deep saxophone layered over cymbals (I think) and a higher pitched sax riff…this is not Theatre of Hate style melody…more of the aforementioned free form jazz approach.

This is followed by the manic punk song ‘City Livin’ which is fast, furious and a great listen, almost rockabilly in delivery. The tracks ‘You can tell she’s a dud’ and ‘Fear the Consequence’ are about as different as you get within the same album – one fast and short, the other slower beat and more complex and much longer.

‘Segue for Lovers’ introduces a really cool sax solo over a tribal drum beat and then ends abruptly just as the listener gets into it. One of the highlights of the album for me is ‘Suntan’ which sounds like 1960’s garage punk.

The album ends with a frenetic opening to ‘Wait and See’ that develops into a 1950’s style song – it’s bloody good!

The band are currently on an Asian tour and if you like your punk Cravats, The Fall and 1960’s garage style you should check out the album by following the link below…

Stumpy – Punk Online

 

Track Listing
1. P M S 2.5
2. Street Light A
3. Big Bam
4. Street Light B
5. Meat ‘N’ the Boys
6. Hesheroshima A
7. City Livin’
8. You Can Tell That She’s A Dud by the Fact She Has a Photo of Her Nephew as the Background on Her Phone
9. Hesheroshima B
10. Fear the Consequence
11. God Doesn’t Know
12. Segue for Lovers
13. Jangling Cowboy
14. (Julia’s Got A) Suntan
15. Hesheroshima C
16. Poor Benny
17. Wait/See

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