Monday, July 15, 2013

Pairs on Metal Postcard Records

If one thing Red Rock opened my eyes to was the thriving music scene in China that has absorbed the last 50 years in the last 20 or so. Its unique situation politically and musically got me in touch with Metal Postcard who's documenting interesting artists in all genres from the Far East. Pairs is a duo (ha) out of Shanghai, Xiao Zhong on drums, vocals and 'F' on guitar playing a speedy hardcore noise. The duo is always appreciated at 7inches, the mindmeld of two people in a weird harmony, forced from day one to get the racket started being they started at a sonic disadvantage.

"Birthday" starts like it was recorded down the hall, a stick smack count off coming through a busted am radio. This beat is primal and cathartic, the snare hits are thrusting fast a mix of tin and metal, the guitar is just wailing in a hardcore Experimental Jet Set Trash sound. The guitar is a swirling feedback loop or a couple of out of tune notes in rhythmic density along with the beat. It's a completely unique honed sound, a variation of Lightning Bolt in intensity and speed. "F1" (now this title makes more sense) I love the roughness of these drums, like old cardboard boxes and the guitar is higher in the mic. Almost over the percussion this time grating and echo delayed into oblivion. This shoegaze style wash shouldn't be driving this fast but its thrilling. They have the duo disease of trying harder than a three piece. They can stop on a dime in Deerhoof oddness, no lyric to this one its an instrumental burst of hardcore shoegaze and I don't mean they like shoegaze a lot, I mean it's hardcore punk with layers.
B-Side's "Old Blowjob" reminds me of DFA1979 with distorted yelling remaining loose and raw, stripped down like Doo Rag even. An alien sounding junky basement of noise, but there's a method to this chaos and they keep reigning it back in. An epic guitar effects section with more of those impossible sounds. Who knows what the source is but its taking its sweet time. Creating a rhythm out of the delay and reflections of sound as the burst stops and fades out in high peaks. They're pushing this to the very reaches of their sound and like Don Cab they have a handle on track names with the final track, "I want to die in the ocean" of which I can just make out this lyric. He's yelling into an old telephone wired like Japanther. The instrumentation is clear, but crazy with textures. Math bursts and shoegaze layers when they decide on a melody its a deadly combination.

From Metal Postcard Records, who also put out a double LP of these guys "If this cockroach doesn't die, I will". Sample below.

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