Exposé Online banner

Carsick Cars — Carsick Cars
(Maybe Mars MAYBE 2.2, 2007, CD)

Snapline — Party's Over Porno Star
(Maybe Mars MAYBE 3.1, 2007, CD)

by Jon Davis, Published 2008-10-01

Carsick Cars Cover artParty's Over Porno Star Cover art

These two closely related bands represent Beijing's current underground rock scene quite nicely. Both are trios, and they share two musicians: Li Weisi (bass) and Li Qing (drums in Carsick Cars, guitar and keys in Snapline). The Cars are rounded out by Zhang Shouwang on guitars and vocals; Snapline adds Cheng Xi on vocals (and drum machine programming, I think). Like many Beijing bands, they share a fondness for noise, though it manifests in very different ways. The Cars can be roughly thought of as taking after Sonic Youth, with walls of guitar (though considerably less on this album than you'll hear in a live setting). Vocals are a secondary consideration, more yelping and screaming than exactly singing, but surprisingly melodic when presented here. The producers have wisely focused on the more tuneful side of the band, and the result is quite listenable and catchy. The lyrics run 7/3 Chinese / English, though in many cases they’re pretty minimalistic, as on "Zhong Nan Hai," named after a popular brand of cigarette, where he mostly just repeats the title. On several tracks, they drift into long hypnotic riffs, reminding me (probably unintentionally) of Hawkwind in a noisy mood.

Snapline puts much greater emphasis on the vocals. Cheng Xi has a delivery a little reminiscent of early David Byrne. Li Qing's guitar playing is more overtly avant-garde and less rock oriented than what you hear with the Cars, though she has the good sense to play conventional sounds at times to keep the tunes moving along. Drums are unapologetically artificial, going for an esthetic a bit like early Ultravox crossed with Thrill Kill Kult, if you can imagine that. The lyrics are entirely in English, and sung in such a way that the accent is not problematic, though there is an occasional odd turn of phrase. Both CDs feature unusual packaging, with the artwork printed and stuck directly on the jewel cases rather than on paper booklets.


Filed under: New releases, Issue 36, 2007 releases

Related artist(s): Carsick Cars, Snapline

More info
http://tenzenmen.bandcamp.com/album/carsick-cars
http://tenzenmen.bandcamp.com/album/party-is-over-pornostar

Latest news

2021-01-18
Asia Minor Third Album on the Way – On January 29, AMS records will be releasing the long-awaited third album by classic Turkish-French band Asia Minor. Released last year in Japan, this will be the widespread debut of Points of Libration. The album features original members Setrak Bakirel (vocals, guitar) and Eril Tekeli (flute, guitar). » Read more

2020-12-09
Harold Budd RIP – Harold Budd, one of pre-eminent American composers of avant-garde and minimalism, has died of complications from the coronavirus. Budd came to prominence in the 70s, championed by Brian Eno on his Obscure Records label, with music that blended academic minimalism with electric jazz and electronic music. Much of Budd's best known work was done in collaboration with other artists, including Eno, Daniel Lanois, Robin Guthrie, Andy Partridge, John Foxx, Jah Wobble, and many others. » Read more

2020-11-20
25 Views of Worthing Finally Gets Released – A while ago, we wrote about the discovery of a "long lost" Canterbury-style gem by a band called 25 Views of Worthing. And now we're pleased to find out that Wind Waker Records has released their music on an LP. » Read more

2020-10-14
Audion Is Back in Business – Our esteemed colleague Alan Freeman has restarted Audion Magazine after a seven year hiatus. The new incarnation is available online on their Bandcamp site. Audion's history goes back to 1984, and included 58 issues up to 2013. Issue #59 is available now, and #60 is in the works. » Read more

2020-10-06
Romantic Warriors IV – Krautrock (Part 2) Is in the Works – Zeitgeist Media, the people who have brought us the great series of documentary films chronicling the history of progressive rock, are working on the second installment of their examination of German music. Krautrock 2 will focus on artists from Münich such as Guru Guru, Amon Düül II, Xhol Caravan, Kraan, Witthüser & Westrupp, and Popol Vuh. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Paolo Angeli - Plays Frith & Björk - Tessuti – To paraphrase Shakespeare, there are more musics in heaven and earth than are dreamt of in your CD collection. Unless you have one of his previous releases, Paolo Angeli is probably an example of...  (2008) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues