Re-tros Preview + Contest: Win 2 Tickets

Re-tros 重塑雕像的权利 chóng sù diāo xiàng de quán lì Rebuilding the Rights of Statues


Note: Do you want to see these guys? You can, and for free. See the bottom of this page for details.

Spring has hit Shanghai and blowing in with those warm breezes are some bands that will spark this town up! It’s been one Saturday after another, with the Lava/Ox/Sea, AV Okubo, and Battles show, then Boys Climbing Ropes (woohoo!) and the Hard Queen EP release party, and this past Saturday a dynamic performance by Hedgehog, and this weekend there’s no letting up! Yuyintang is hosting a dulcet month with Re-tros next Saturday 4/18, The Dovetail Joints Friday 4/24, then Get in the Van Saturday 4/25 (starting off at Zhijiang Dream Factory), and sprinkles of other good stuff in between: when it comes it comes hard.

I saw Hedgehog and Re-tros play a double bill in Hong Kong in October and I must say I had a pretty darn good time. Supposedly, Re-tros (Rebuilding the Rights of Statues) are releasing a long-awaited CD. I picked up the Cut Off! EP, first released in November 2005, after the show in Hong Kong. Possibly this was half their album and they are touring now to promote the whole CD? I must admit I am very curious to hear what they have been working on all these years.

A little history: Hua Dong 华东(guitar, vocals) used to be the drummer for PK-14 and he and Liu Min 刘敏(bass, vocals) came to Bejing punk from Nanjing punk. There they met Ma Hui 马晖(drums) and in 2003 started to rebuild. They are managed by Modern Sky and released their CD on the Tag Team label.

Here’s my review of what they did with Cut Off!:

Very Dark.
I think its safe to put this in the Gothic Rock section.
They have been compared to Bauhaus and Joy Division, and though they definitely have a sound from the dark punk years of 1978-1982, I would lean more towards Killing Joke due to the guitar twanging of Hua Dong. Perhaps a slight trace of B-52’s in the rhythm, tone, and vocals, though not sing-songy at all. Liu Min plucks her bass a bit like Les Claypool (who could have ever imagined) so the whole performance is reminiscent of the Frog Brigade. There is also a sense of Gang of Four, though how random is that? The content, English grammar and endearing accents create something a bit original out of an old feeling.

The lyrics are quite poetic but you can see a theme of sorts emerging…
1) Die in 1977 – music for a dark ritual or an Underworld soundtrack, very dramatic
2) A Death-bed Song – I see this as a morbid surf tale with Brian Eno on the (key)board
3) Boys in Cage – dance enabling pop punk (3:11)
4) If the Monkey Becomes King – dreamy groove, hint: monkey is a metaphor, or is it?
5) TV (Hang the Police) – the big hit. Very Primus and B-52’s. Liu Min’s vocals bring pleasure out of the pain
6) Laugh from the Time –the most upbeat – we’re all gonna die anyway! I remember they jammed a long time on this – quite enjoyable live

It will be interesting to see if they stay loyal to the dark side or break away at all in the new songs. I wouldn’t mind a bit of flair to balance out the heaviness of the EP, but there is definitely a place for Re-tros in the Peking order (not a typo).

[So, now that Becca has told you all about how awesome this show will be, why not try your luck at the dusty-country-wild-prose shootout? Just tell us the story of your most spectacular night at an S.T.D. live show (real or imagined) and send it to The writer of the most awesome story will receive two (2) tickets to the show at YYT. The deadline is Friday at 5pm and please include a mobile number so we can get you the tickets.]

*** Due to a sudden spring lazyness on the air, the contest has been extended  until Saturday at 7 pm, and since the creativity seems to be down around town, and just because it is S.T.D.’s day, to get tickets free send an e-mail to telling us why we should give you the privilege of a free entrance to Re-Tros. Include your mobile number ***

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  1. s.

    …this competition is so cooooooooool!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  2. A Passionate Laya Bozi Fan

    Hi!I do really love this web-zine,,,as this album and the band -they were the reason why I did start to look for underground/alternative/punk/whatever-indie music events and bars in Shanghai, a long time ago…And the reason why they totally caught me is that I DO love “Dark.Very Dark” music. Since this,please, I’d love u all to think about making a Dark (or Dark New-wave) tag.More:The album is totally into the 80s Dark New-wave experience(the JoyDivision-Bauhaus-and-Many-Others views,as u said.That’s why Brian Eno loved the band and had fun playing with them).
    So (I write it down here, but I like Becca’s review:)),I do not think it’s properly safe to put it in the Gothic Rock section,’cause Goth Rock has the same origins but is different…I mean, as for Cold Fairy Land- they are Folk, of course, but it is mostly Apocaliptic-folk (Dark-Folk) so when they play in Europe they usually play for Apocaliptic-folk listeners)
    So, please could u create this tag for these bands?

    Thank u guys!


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