Round Eye, a band from Shanghai, plays some of the most insane experiment sax-laden punk music ever. That in mind, it was a surprise to me they weren’t ever black bagged or something. Truth be told, if they had an obscene political agenda, they’d probably be shut down in a similar manner to Russia’s Pussy Riot. That is to say, Round Eye is absolutely nuts. They pack each song with wicked saxophone lines, spine chilling vocals, maddening guitar riffs, haunting bass lines, and menacing drums. And the unsurprising catch to it all –For a period of time Round Eye was banned from playing live shows –of course China’s Ministry of Culture blamed it all on “crowd control issues.” There really is no proper way to introduce Round Eye than letting their own reputation and history speak for itself. The band is truly something else. This review isn’t about Round Eye’s reputation though –it’s about their debut, self-titled album. Soon it will become clear, Round Eye’s Round Eye delivers.
Horns, guitars, drums, free-jazz or rock, maybe punk –Round Eye is a bedlam of instruments and style. The album is like putting some ice, a few strawberries, a little bit of cream, and a goldfish in a blender, leaving the top off, and pressing the button associated with unleashing the most hell. The energy of the music is vigorous and relentless. There is not a boring moment in Round Eye’s debut.
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