Hualun — Asian River
(Modern Sky , 2010, CD)
by Jon Davis, Published 2011-06-01
For their second release, this Wuhan post-rock crew has stepped up a few notches from their debut, Silver Daydream (reviewed in issue 38). They’ve moved to one of China’s most prominent independent labels, improved the packaging from a slim cardboard sleeve to a lovely jewelbox with a cutout wrapper, and ramped up the production values. They’ve still got similarities with the Japanese band Mono, but that could probably be said of half the post-rock bands on the planet. The highlight on many tracks is the interaction between the two guitar parts, and even when one of them can be identified as “rhythm” compared to the other’s “lead,” the rhythmic part is very melodic, with the arpeggiated chords providing what is effectively a countermelody. In typical post-rock fashion, most of the tracks start quietly and build to great crashing climaxes, but they have the good sense to vary the formula; for example, after its big peak, “Maladolecenza” moves smoothly into a different quiet section, which then builds to a second peak with different melodies in the guitars and eventually descends into a wash of howling feedback. “The Songs of Maldoror: Six” further varies the mix, with sedate piano backed by quiet tremolos on guitars. At other times, the bass steps more to the fore to carry the melody. Add that to the way some of the melodies resemble Chinese folk songs, and you have an interesting entry into the genre, worth seeking out.
Related artist(s): Hualun
Ginger Baker RIP – Legendary English drummer Ginger Baker has died at the age of 80. After coming to fame with Cream in the 60s alongside Eric Clapton and Jack Bruce, he became one of the most recognized and influential drummers of the rock era. On September 25, his family announced that he was critically ill, and on October 6 his death was confirmed. » Read more
Alex's Hand Seeks Spa Treatment – American / European band Alex's Hand has a new album in the works called Hungarian Spa, which looks to be their biggest and best yet, featuring a large roster of guest musicians. They're seeking funding to take the project on the road, and are looking for help from the crowd of wisdom. » Read more
Legendary Co-Founder of The 13th Floor Elevators Passes Away at Age 71 – Sadly, Roky Erickson passed away on May 31, 2019. Known as the father of psychedelic music and co-founder of the ground breaking 13th Floor Elevators, Roky had a profound influence on music from the 60s to today. Plagued by his own personal demons, Roky had a difficult life and is now free of these burdens. » Read more