Duck Fight Goose is the result of the summation of much energy invested in music, and so it’s this album. It’s impossible to forget to mention that all the members of this band are all active participants in important bands and projects of the independent music scene of China since many years already. Damen, on drums, is also member of Hardqueen, and Booji. San San, on bass, is also in Booji and Muscle Snog, as so is Panda the guitarist, and Han Han, the lead guitar and singer, is also member of LAVA/OX /SEA and one of the founders of Miniless Records, Duck Fight Goose’s house. Han Han has been described as “a leader of Shanghai’s nascent alternative, experimental, rock scene”. Behind the band is also the production work of Brad Ferguson, who I like to think of as a protector dragon of rock, who is and has been part of too many projects to list them here. Duck Fight Goose, and its first EP Flow, are creations of important active forces of China’s music scene.
Flow has the strange characteristic that the continuity of its sounds somehow makes difficult for me to connect with its music. Duck Fight Goose has the ability to grab the audience by the ears when they play live, probably is because of the psychedelic concept around their music, their sound is very hypnotizing, so people gets easily hooked on them. With Flow it bothers me that this is something that I don’t feel happening, instead of staying hooked on their music I float away. I presume this is caused for the few variation of textures, and tempos. Flow has also a certain attachment to precision that’s probably caused for giving much value to technique at the expense of jauntiness
To me Flow sounds like Mirrored of Battles, maybe too much, perhaps Battles was a band that influenced a lot Han Han when he opened for them two years ago with LAVA/OX/SEA. I believe Duck Fight Goose had the need to experiment with sounds that affected them at the moment, as I think this is happening with them right now while preparing their next album.
Flow goes from loop to loop moving smoothly between jumps. The guitars and the distorted sounds of voices are always in front except in few cases, like that far away guitar at the end of “Light is God’s Bread”. Most of the time the volume of sound, the flow, is constant, which makes this EP hermetic and attractive to me. Damen’s drumming cuts and draw the album, her clean swings and beats are creating the few tensions and conflicts that Flow has, I like the sound that Damen gets from her drums.
Flow is in many ways an interesting album, because of the context of the album, because Duck Fight Goose is an interesting band, and because in Flow music is on the way to find itself. Duck Fight Goose has shown much strength when playing live, so much that I think that’s what made more difficult for me to review this album, because Flow is not all that Duck Fight Goose is. Yeah, but of course this is their first album, and they are an experimental band that’s, aha, experimenting with sounds to discover their own identity, the discovering process itself is already interesting, asking them to have it all solved at the beginning would make them miss some fun adventures. Duck Fight Goose and their process of experimentation and discovery is indeed interesting and admirable.