MusicDish e-Journal - January 21, 2018
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China's Legendary Rock Band P.K.14 Marches And Sings For Freedom
"1984" takes the listener to a rock-hard, sonic journey through the trials of oppression that we now face in modern society
By Jesse Till
(more articles from this author)
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How would you describe a day in your life? Would you speak of the nuances of your routine? Would you find the details that make your life a special moment in every occasion? Is the glass of beer you're drinking at your favorite pub half empty or half full? Your daily surroundings may be consistent, but your attitude towards life is in a constant flux. Unfortunately, most people fall under the category of viewing the world as a shadowy cycle of routines and mundane activities to fill one's "purpose" in life. Any thought outside of that comfort zone is either ridiculed or violently suppressed.

Like the stories told by the great novelist George Orwell, while people seemingly fall to political oppression, even scarier are people who believe in the mental oppressions built by themselves. Where judgment lacks, art and music are tools used to break free from one's mindset like a hammer shattering shackles. And ready to march and sing for freedom is one of China's most respected and legendary rock bands P.K.14.

Their latest album is named after Orwell's critically acclaimed novel "1984," in which the band speaks the universal language of freedom and self-empowerment. This effort comes after a 5-year hiatus since their previous album, "City Weather Sailing." Famed producer Steve Albini and Sweden's very own Henrick Oja were the engineers behind P.K.14's previous albums and have returned to work on this latest release. It's no secret that their talents always mesh incredibly well. "1984" is no exception, as the album takes the listener to a rock-hard, sonic journey through the trials of oppression that we now face in modern society.

P.K.14 has a trademark sound of upbeat drums with guitar riffs that inspire awe, but oddly enough embellish the satirical, often solemn lyrics by the band. Their songs are filled with boom like a marching band yet the subtleties, such as the effects on the guitars and the ambience introduced into the song, are gentle like a flower ready to blossom. But don't be fooled, their music may carry itself on it's own but the message is a powerful one.

One of the standout tracks is "Crazed Girl", which talks about how the protagonist carelessly takes a girl out, while provoking authorities by his demeanor. It's not the fact that he fights authority, but its authority that disapproves of his thoughts and what he feels is right. These thought-provoking lyrics are the theme behind "1984" and rightfully so, the album wasn't named after one of the most notable politically driven novels of its time for nothing.

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