MusicDish e-Journal - July 27, 2016
MusicDish Advertising Network
» HOME » INSIDER SCOOP » CAREER TIPS » MUSIC SPOTLIGHT » MUSICDISH*CHINA
» INDUSTRY INTERVIEWS » NEWS BEAT » DIGITAL SKOOL » OPEN REVIEW » MUSICDISH EDELWEISS
Search MusicDish e-Journal (Advanced)
Subscribe To MusicDish e-Journal
About | Contact | Advertise | RSS | Submit Article | Submit News | Artist Development | Premium PR Distribution
Mi2N | MusicDish*China | MusicDish Network | MusicDishTV | Urban Music News Network

Round Eye Pave the Way For Punk With Unique Elements And A Singular Sound
The sax-infused punk rock of Round Eye is a real head-turner, drawing focus towards China's punk scene and the growing potential in an unexpected place
By Dan Engel
(more articles from this author)
2012-12-03
Comment | Email | Print | RSS

Round Eye's half of the newly release 11-song split with Orlando's Libyan Hit Squad "Full Circle" released on Genjing Records starts off with an aural assault. Blaring sax, cymbals riding, and a ceaseless scream fill every pocket of empty space on the eponymous intro track. It's a strong introduction, but it's hardly indicative of what Round Eye is all about. The horns aren't strictly used for the blare, as they prove quickly in their track "Kenting" in which they hit plenty of sweet spots. The change-up from wall-of-sound fullness to clear catchy crispness is indicative of the range Round Eye are capable of. Round Eye's ability and willingness to eschew conformity to the punk rock genre or any particular genre while maintaining a signature sound evokes 80s hardcore punkers Minutemen, who themselves pushed boundaries in all directions.

This isn't to say Round Eye is stretching their brand to record something that everyone will find appealing. The album's production is far from polished, and the gritty sound is retained throughout the album. Not by any means a lack of quality, the grit is instead a fitting aesthetic for Round Eye's style. I had the opportunity to communicate with Round Eye members leader Chachy, bassist Xiao Long Bob, saxophonist Lewis, and drummer Jimmy Jack via e-mail, discussing topics like the group's genesis, China's influence on their music, and that nasty, nasty punk sax.

Round Eye are an intriguing band, even without mention of their location abroad or their utilization of the saxophone in a genre which is hardly known for its instrumental variety. Any track off their side of the split would undoubtedly turn heads; when you dig into their story though, it just gets that much more interesting. Chachy band leader and former member of Libyan Hit Squad met Xiao Long Bob 6 years ago "at the University of Florida while waiting in line to sell back books." Lewis and Jimmy Jack who were already living in Shanghai by the time the other two had arrived were put in touch with the band through mutual acquaintances. "A phone call and a few text messages later, well, Round Eye was birthed." Chachy has a formidable background in punk rock; Jimmy Jack's drumming speaks for itself on the record; Xiao Long Bob has been playing bass for (believe it or not) a mere 8 months; and Lewis has an extensive jazz background, having played in reputable big bands as a teenager and college student at University of Nottingham. With the exception of Jimmy Jack (who jokingly, I think, claimed he "never wanted an English guy or a sax player" in the band), the band members are intrigued by the elements Lewis' sax playing can bring to the music. The consensus is that it sounds "sexy as hell" - which you can't disagree with and that it brings "a nasty edge" to many of the album's tracks. "When crafting the sound for the record," Lewis disclosed, "it was about injecting the music with [my] jazz-influenced sensibilities." The product is an undeniably unique sound, not quite any one thing.

Although nothing in particular about this album screams "China!" or features any particular Chinese flavor, I still wonder if these guys would produce the same sound, given a different environment. Chachy, who has been living in China for two and a half years, had the most to say on the subject. "China's shown me some very beautiful, very ugly, and very interesting sides to how a life is lived. Being a Laowai in a city as big and fast as Shanghai, I've grown accustomed to the transiency of my surroundings so as a result, I live and work fast... In regards to our sound, I'd say China's resonance is indicative in songs like 'Kenting' or 'Got Her Runnin''. The low de-tuned drone of the E string and the melody are direct influences from Chinese street musicians; not the licks themselves but rather how they progress is scale." The band members' experience in China is congruent with most foreigners': the ubiquitous contradictions, the change in status from "just another schmo" to "foreigner", the change in pace, and as Xiao Long Bob pointed out, the "Wild West" feel of living over there. He elaborates: "It's been a blitz of new sounds from a new society and new instruments. All rules are left behind and any of us can go any direction with our playing. It's the wild west out here."

Such an environment seems like fertile ground out of which a real punk scene can grow. Chachy had this to say on the future of the relationship between punk and China: "Punk music is derivative of rebellion; a shout in the vapidity of silence. I think with how things are under the red thumb of China, people do and will have quite a lot to say in whatever way they can whether it's through music or anything else.... The DIY ethos behind [punk] has shown me that there is much more to it than simply a form of music. There's a community and a fucking wild one at that. The potential is there within that DIY PMA way of thinking (positive-mental-attitude: Thank you Bad Brains). The world's seen it coalesce in the 80s with the US hardcore movement and hopefully it will see it again in the new wave of Sino-punk rock. Just take a look at Beijing and what is happening there, it's incredible and the potential is already blossoming." For those of us outside of the scene, it's hard to imagine a punk renaissance taking place in China of all places, but the prospect is intriguing to say the least.

It has only been in recent years that China has become known as a place where any and all rebellions are disallowed or immediately tamped out. Perhaps punk will once more revive the essence which resides within Chinese people and society that wants to be galvanized and part of a movement. Right now, however, Round Eye like many other foreign bands in China - has only managed to tap a small portion of the potential Chinese audience. All things considered, the incredible work Round Eye is doing now can only serve to stimulate the scene and inspire others to join the movement. In Jimmy Jack's words, "Music is a virus!" and Round Eye is doing all they can to get themselves as much exposure as possible. "The next step, I imagine, is to tour and to tour A LOT and buy records, and write zines/blogs, and talk, talk, talk, listen, then talk some more, spread the buzz to help keep it going."

Related News from Mi2N:
» Genjing Records Comes Full Circle On Sat, Dec 1


Home » MusicDish*China » Round Eye Pave the Way For Punk With Unique Elements And A Singular Sound
Permalink:http://www.musicdish.com/mag/?id=13325
Email |Print |Comment |RSS

back | top


MusicDish Advertising Network

MusicDish*China

» GUIGUISUISUI Release 'Wu Xing' EP

» Heavy #16 In Hong Kong 4 August 2016 - Hard Rock & Metal Goodness

» The Underground Summer Festival in Hong Kong

» Morbid Goats Farewell Tour And Digital Album Release

» MusicDish*China Music Releases, Charts, MV Premiere and Radio Feature

MusicDish*China Directory



» [2016-07-25] 7th Annual Future Music Forum & Sync Summit: Finding The Next Music Industry; The Future Music Forum (FMF) Announced The Launch Of It's 7th Edition Today With It's First Round Of Speakers

» [2016-07-25] GUIGUISUISUI Release 'Wu Xing' EP; This Is The First Of Three EPs The Boy/girl British/Chinese Art Rock Duo Plan To Release

» [2016-07-18] Viacom TV Launches New Artist Discovery Platform; Viacom TV Was A Result Of A Cross-promotional Agreement Between Star 1 Records LLC. And Viacom Media Networks

» [2016-07-17] Heavy #16 In Hong Kong 4 August 2016 - Hard Rock & Metal Goodness; Four More Bands Will Grace The Stage With Hard Rock And Metal Goodness

» [2016-07-12] Millennials Turn From Radio To Embrace Streaming; 15-to-19 Year Olds Have Embraced On-demand Streaming As Their Format Of Choice, Accounting For 51% Of Their Total Listening Time

» [2016-07-10] The Underground Summer Festival In Hong Kong; Six Hours Of Fun With NINE All Headline-calibre Bands Performing Some Of Hong Kong's Best Live Music

» [2016-07-10] Research Finds Audible Differences With High-Resolution Audio; Listeners Can Hear A Difference Between Standard Audio And Better-than-CD Quality, Known As High-resolution Audio

» [2016-06-26] Morbid Goats Farewell Tour And Digital Album Release; Morbid Goats Will Release Their First Album And Give Their Farewell Tour During July 1st To July 29th (ten Cities)

» [2016-06-26] Alisa Apps Files Lawsuit Against Universal Music Group And John Newman; The Basis Of The Lawsuit Is An Alleged Copyright Infringement Of Alisa Apps' Song 'Need To Know'

» [2016-06-16] MusicDish*China Music Releases, Charts, MV Premiere And Radio Feature; MusicDish*China Has Ramped Up Its Music Distribution With 8 New Releases So Far This Summer, Ranging From EDM, To Electro-pop, Alternative And Rock

» [2016-06-16] Andreas Carlsson Becomes Advisor And Investor In Soundtrap; Carlsson, Who Has Written Hits For Katy Perry, Backstreet Boys, Britney Spears And More, Sees Huge Potential In Online Music Recording Studio Soundtrap

» [2016-06-16] Adva Mobile Fan Engagement Score (ES); New Mobile Technology Scores Fan Engagement On Artist Web Apps And Ranks Fans By Loyalty
MusicDish Advertising Network

follow MusicDish on
Follow MusicDish on Twitter

Mi2N Music PR

Canadian Artist Hennie Bekker Brings Benefits Of Music Therapy In Latest New Age Album

"Wanna Be Happy?" enjoys Top Spot For 45 Weeks

Grammy Nominated Producer, George Nash Jr., Launches New Music Company To Support Peace And Healing

Return Of The R&B Soul Bands!

Heavy #16 In Hong Kong 4 August 2016

Call-For-Songs For Chinese Valentine's Day (Qixi Festival)

Robert Kramer Releases "The Place They Call New Orleans"



Websites: Mi2N | MusicDish*China | MusicDish Network | MusicDishTV | Urban Music News Network
Services: Submit Article | Submit News | Submit Video | Artist Development | Premium PR Distribution

Copyright © 1997-2015 MusicDish LLC., all rights reserved.
About MusicDish e-Journal | Contact Us | Advertise | RSS | Internships