Saturday, October 24, 2009
I predicted they would be in the top 3, so woohoo!
Runners up were: FBI
2nd Runner up: Tai Tai Alibi
Gonna be a cliche American sports movie here and say: 'HK indie music was the real winner on the night'
Friday, October 23, 2009
So tonight, once again is the GBOB HK final. A massive night for the HK indie scene. You best come out kiddies.
The hard working crew for GBOB have recently released edited versions of all the finalists 'Heat' attempt.
The youtube channel can be found here.
Konghongrocks prediction for top 3:
Runner Up: Gong Wu
2nd Runner Up: Qui Hong
See ya all there!
Thursday, October 22, 2009
So without further delay:
Of Moths & Stars:
Chris and Nate make up the total number of band members for this act. An acoustic rock duo who somehow manage to put on more of an energetic show than a lot of bands that I have seen with twice the personnel. The lads have quite a unique sound, it drives like some 'The Maccabees' songs while having the flow of 'Radiohead' melodies. Chris is efficient on the guitar and the whole time I was watching him , waiting for a string to snap. The guy must use picks made out of feather, 'cuz he sure strums the expletive out of that thing! Because vocal parts are shared quite evenly, there are times when Nate isn't involved with the music. Yet instead of standing there like a fruit, he valiantly rises to the challenge and is seen constantly dancing or constantly dancing + playing the tambourine. My favourite thing about OM&S is the contrasting vocals being heard at the same time. Nate's voice is a lot more 'clean' whilst Chris's is quite raspy. Together they compliment each other quite well. Songs were interesting to listen to, with tales being told and even an odd homage to The Beatles' A day in the Life'. There are moments you want to sing a long to, and moments you listen intently to the story. It's no wonder these guys came out of nowhere and are now in the GBOB HK final. Never a dull moment, nice one chaps!
Next up were the four piece of Halycon. A guitarist, bassist, keys player and drummer. Vocal duties were the responsibility of the guitarist with the keys player adding good harmonies. I'm a big fan of female harmonies (the keyboardist is in fact a lady) in rock music. The tunes fall into the genre of Powerpop or Pop Punk if you will. They are quite light on the cheese though so that's a good thing! It kinda makes you want to run at 1000MPH. Whether or not my avg top speed is 5milimeters a minute has anything to do with this imagery is a complete other discussion! All the musicians play with the tightness that comes from being in a band for a while. My only criticism would be the delivery. If they upped the stage presence and showmanship a bit, these guys could be a great reason for leaving your house!
Ah, good old Transnoodle. I wonder if it's difficult being in band where people expect nothing short of solid gold from you. I don't know if it's just me, but these guys are great. There's the HK indie music scene, and then there is Transnoodle. On first glance they probably couldn't look anything less like a band, but thank god appearances don't me jack. I've reviewed 'the noodle' a couple of times now so don't really want to go over any old news. Briefly though, its 'Latin ska folk' sounding. What they do well is capture moods/atmospheres. One minute you're in a pirate tavern sipping rum, the next minute you're wanting to shout 'Mazel Tov' at a 'Barmitzva'. One of the many reasons why I think this band is great, is how, in their tunes, they go in and out of more familiar/famous songs. On this night we heard glimpses of Michael Jackson/The Beatles (yet again!) and George Michael. I'm sure those names have never been associated with 'Latin ska folk' before. Stellar performance once again, you can't go wrong when you wear a great hat!
At this point it was time to get the ear protectors in. These guys are HELLA loud. On another night when I wasn't awfully fatigued I would have really digged this 5 piece nu-metal outfit. Yet I was still able to point out what worked for these guys. If you like bands like 'Disturbed'/'Godsmack'/'Linkin Park' (circa 2002) you would really like these guys. Their set was well thought out from start to finish. It included air raid sirens being played as an intro and programmed drum loops for an outro. In terms of song writing, its sacrificing flashiness for good/interesting songs that move to different places. Thank god. When I saw them setting up , I was expecting instrument jerking off. If instrument jerking off is your thing, I apologise for any upset caused (sorta). The lead singer carried the band well and involved the audience a number of times. One quick word of advice here. Dude, good work with the vocal pedal, but make sure when you check the levels, you make sure you don't feedback when the volume pedal is pressed fully down, as feedback is exactly what happened. And thats not fun for anyone! Guitars both had the great tones you'd expect from a band who brings their own gear. Kudos goes to the drummer here who absolutely slays it behind the kit! Included in the set was Zoundz own arrangement of Beat It. You couldn't moonwalk to it, but it was still great nonetheless. What was with all the homages this evening! Coincidence or conspiracy?
To take it home was 5 piece glam act Paranoid. I loved it, as soon as this crew took to the stage, everyone in the room was trying to work out the sexes of each of the band members. I can honestly say, to this moment, I am just as clueless as I was on the night. They all looked very glamourous regardless. I wonder what takes more time, re-stringing a guitar, or getting the hair spot on for show time? The songs are all very dramatic and dark with occasional 'hope' sounding moments shining through. I naturally didn't understand what was being sung, but I felt that I still got the idea/mood of the songs, which means that they do a good job in song writing. Unless of course, their songs are about a bunch of rabbits having a picnic in the Garden of Eden. In which case they would be completely off the money. Best thing about the songs, are the control of their dynamics. At one moment it can be near silent with the vocalist singing in an almost Siren-esque voice. Then the next ,the world is ending with thunderous happenings. All in all, they were fun to listen to and intriguing to look act. Job done I would say!
And then that was it! Rockschool has its pros and cons, but overall I'm pretty sure we'll see some great shows come out of it as it solidifies its place on the HK indie circuit. Shows that are coming sooner than you may think. For example a little ordeal some may call the Global Battle of the Bands -HK Final ;).
Till next time dear reader!
Pictures and other reviews available at:
Monday, October 12, 2009
As I am in an extremely generous mood, I have put together a little preview package so that you can learn about the 15 finalists and choose your favourite. Then of course, you and all your friends will turn up at the final to support this band! So here it goes:
Live Fast Die! (Heat 1)
Trash 21 (Heat 1)
This 4 piece are a 'nu-metal' band first and foremost, but they claim there is more to their music than just the generic stuff from this genre. After my own investigations, I will confirm no lies were told. Their track titled 21 sounded like it was going to be a Korn song but then their vocalist Guy, starts screaming, and Christ, what a scream! The second track they have put up on their myspace is very different to '21' this one is sung and is quite melancholic. It's clear that Guy, KC, CK, and ReD are versatile with their music writing. Apart from hardcore, I hear a bit of goth, emo and alternative influences in their sound. Generally the head bangers dream.http://www.myspace.com/wuahthecrow
TRASH 21live in Nset
TRASH 21 | MySpace Music Videos
Peri M (Heat 2)
This 5 piece 'melodic heavy rock' group have been winning fans over with their rocking yet catchy sound. Their lead singer, Aeolus, can definitely carry a tune, and her timbre has hints of Amy Lee (Evanescence) in it. She is vocally very spot on! The music is all quite familiar, and dare I say generic, but I guess not much isn't these days! Either way 介傑 , Turn B, 真吾 , Aeolus and Eunice do it well! Sometimes radio friendly , sometimes very reminiscent of Nightwish (Listen to Light of Candles). They also do a pretty decent and or dramatic cover of Zombie by the Cranberries.
Qiu Hong (Heat 2)
Basically meaning Red Autumn, Jan, Lun, KC, Hippo and Hin have been kicking ass whilst taking names since 2002. They kinda remind me of a HK version of Refused (when listening to 'Serving People'), at least in they way they get the blood flowing and the body to fight and or flight! Very tight metal/rock sound. May I add that they have a great drummer! Whether or not they match your musical tastes, their on stage energy and performance will h
ave you entertained.
The Corners (Heat 2)
An interesting yet slightly embarrassing problem here folks. I have never heard of these guys before, nor can I seem to track down any of their music on line. I have however deduced from pictures and information on their Facebook page that they are have a guitarist (Clement), bassist (Julian), drummer (John) and vocalist (Jehan). This foursome play Pop Rock and have made it to the HK final. If anyone has any more information about these guys or where we can hear their music, do let us know!
Tai Tai Alibi (Heat 3)
Well well well, if it isn't my grunge rock pals! I cannot say I am surprised that these guys made the final, they seem to get better every time I see them. Ok so it's not like I see them a lot but you can tell they have found their sound and know what they are good
at, and thus capitalise on it. Alice in Chains reference from some, I'm still sticking to the Theory of a Deadman comparisson. Great song writing, even better string shredding, and not too unpleasant on the eye. From a purely hetero point of view of course. Keep your eye on this foursome consisting of Tim, Chris, Matt, and Rafael. They made it to the final last year, will they do better this time round? Stay tuned.
Senseless (Heat 3)
Kenny, Elliot, Sailim, Raymond and Yuren make up this Cantonese Pop Punk act. I've seen these guys at an Underground gig before and remember them having quite uplifting music. The way pop punk should be! These guys though having not played scores of shows, have been at it since 2001. With their infectious hooks and catchy quirky melodies, it's no shock they impressed judges enough to get to the final. Good on em!
Ah! The gang with the attitude and skills. Li, Lawrence, Gavin and 江湖 have been simultaneously 'raising a collective middle finger' and stealing the show for a while now. All four are skilled musicians who rock out. These
guys are probably the favourites to win this whole thing! Their tunes are hard rock served with a wedge of funk. Hella powerful. Not much more to be said really!Facebook Group
O.T.O (Heat 4)
These guys were harder to track down information wise than The Corners! I have however found out some stuff about them from the UNDERGROUND website. Mainly that they are from Macau! Get this, they are also family ties in the band. The drummer and vocalist is Fabio, while his sister Jools is on bass. Their mother Shelly Grace is the keyboard player! I love it! Again, I wasn't able to hear any tunes, but the reviewer on the UNDERGROUND describes it as 'soft rock with a bit of lounge feeling and also fantastic vocals' Colour me intrigued. Please share info if you have!
F.B.I (Heat 4)
'What the hell dya want from me?' ah! The F.B.I gang. Who still have the catchiest song in town in my opinion (Man Love!) Another band I wasn't surprised to see make their place in the final. This pop/rock/funk blend is made up of Cain, Jerald, Archvictor, and Nice. The
ir songs tell stories and when they perform they make sure thats what they damn well will do, perform!. Another favourite I would say to win this. Actions speak louder than words, so check these guys out.http://www.myspace.com/firebirdinternational
Gun You (Heat 4)
This group is one of those bands that mix a whole load of influences together in creating their sound. After watching one of their songs on the stage-tube platform, they reminded me of Peri M a little. They are very tight and posses good song writing skills. It is quite hard to describe their sound. It's very epic, with lots of different sections. Great guitar work can be heard and equally impressive keys. We've got Karen, Leo, Sunny, Mike and Morris in this one.
Tie Shu Lan (Heat 4)
This Hardcore act consists of Sunny, 啊瘋 , 文偉 and 子通 . From checking out their videos on youtube, it seems these guys have quite the following. Classic dropped tuning guitar with growly vocals stuff. Done well though, their songs move through interesting structures and they also rock out on stage. There seem to be quite a few of the hardcore acts in the final this year, so who will be the best out of em? Tie Shu Lan are definite contenders.
Nocturnal Rose (Heat 5)
I watched these guys do their heat performance and boy were they good. They somehow managed to take hold of the sound system and make it sound like we were at their concert. Very dramatic songs, played by skilled musicians. It would be interesting to see who would come out in a head to head with Gun You, as they both have similar sounds. Nocturnal Rose are Karl, Shawn, Cedric, Milk and Zorace.Facebook Group
Of Moths & Stars
This two piece consisting of Nate and Chris are newcomers to the HK scene. This didn't put them off from entering the contest however, and good thing they didn't as they easily made the final. An acoustic act that actually put on a good performance and have great catchy tunes. The combination of their voices blend well together at the same time as being completely different. It's rocky, melodic and catchy. Win win win.Facebook Group
....Well this is awkward. I'll Just say Party Rock. Driving guitars with catchy chorus's. Also new to the scene and just released their debut EP titled Broadcast. Shotgun Politics are Jimmy, Freddy, Niall and Timmy.Facebook Group
There ya have it. All in all, it will be a great night for local inide music and lets be honest, silly if you aren't gonna be there.
Friday 23rd October
Wednesday, October 7, 2009
The next three days will see the final places for the HK final being decided in the final three heats.
The poster is a bit blurry so here's who's playing on what days:
Thursday October 8 @ Backstage Live Restaurant:
The Private Broadcast
Cold Air Blue
Friday October 9 @ Backstage Live Restaurant:
Tai Tai Alibi
The Jeff Caylor Band
Saturday October 10 @ The Melting Pot
Tie Shu Lan