Exposé Online banner

Hiperson — No Need for Another History
(Maybe Mars , 2015, 2LP)

by Jon Davis, Published 2015-07-10

No Need for Another History Cover art

Having somewhat fallen out of touch with the Chinese rock scene lately, I was unaware of Chengdu’s Hiperson until I came across their new album at the merch table when I caught Birdstriking’s Seattle show. I was assured it was really good, and it was likened to P.K.14, a band I like a lot, so I threw my money in the ring and went for it. The packaging of the double LP is elaborate, with a lovely (if somewhat cryptic) painting on the cover; the gatefold features two more paintings obscured by translucent fold-away paper with a vague design that overlays the painting behind. The Chinese lyrics are printed on the slipcovers. The music does indeed fall roughly into the arty post-punk zone occupied by P.K.14 (and the album was in fact produced by that band’s Yang Haisong at his Beijing studio), though they have their own take on the style. The opener, “Paradise,” starts very quietly with ambient sounds like sirens in the distance, then builds up with an almost martial rhythm guitar part. Over the first two minutes, furiously strummed chords back a frantic melody sung by Chen Sijiang, whose throaty voice reminds me occasionally of Nina Hagen or even Patti Smith. Then the band suddenly drops down and a different guitar part takes over, ushering in the second part of the song. While Chen’s singing is up front much of the time, the guys in the band contribute some great wordless backing vocals. The guitar parts could be compared to a more aggressive version of The Edge’s playing on the earliest U2 albums; there are usually two distinct parts, either playing chords in different octaves or with one playing chords and the other playing melodies or sometimes just a wall of feedback. At times, added extra parts are heard, extra guitars or keyboards. During the course of the album, the different tracks may have similarities, but never repeat themselves. The intelligent arrangements lift the music above that of most other bands in this arena: they rock without being stupid, they slip in arty touches without sounding pretentious, and there’s something new around every corner. Such a self-assured debut is impressive for any band, let alone one from Chengdu, and No Need for Another History promises much for the future. The vinyl release features one more track than the CD, “Shuttle,” which is sung by one of the men in the band rather than Chen. It’s a nice moody ending, but non-essential.


Filed under: New releases, 2015 releases

Related artist(s): Hiperson

More info
http://hiperson.bandcamp.com/releases

Latest news

2018-07-31
Tomasz Stańko RIP – Tomasz Stańko, one of the greats of Eastern European jazz, has died at the age of 76. Stańko's career started in Krzysztof Komeda's quintet, where he contributed trumpet from 1963-1967, when he formed his own group. He worked extensively with Edward Vesala, Don Cherry, Zbigniew Seifert, Chico Freeman, Howard Johnson, Cecil Taylor, and many others. Many of his recordings have been released by ECM, an association that began in the mid-70s. » Read more

2018-07-09
Soft Machine Set to Release New Music – It's been 50 years since The Soft Machine changed the face of music with their first album. Their blend of psychedelic rock and jazz was unique, and while the band went through many changes before disbanding in 1981 — by which time there were no original members remaining — they remained an innovative force with a style all their own. » Read more

2018-07-01
7d Surfaces Happy Rhodes Back Catalog – We've covered singer Happy Rhodes before, both for her solo work and recently with The Security Project, but her 11 albums have been hard to track down. Until now. 7d features high-quality downloads of all her releases, and several of them are also available on CD. » Read more

2018-06-25
Fred Chalenor RIP – We have news of another sad passing in the world of creative music. Bassist Fred Chalenor, whose creativity featured on albums by Tone Dogs, Caveman Shoestore, and many more, died on June 23, 2018 after a long battle with Alzheimer's. Tributes have poured in from the many musicians and fans whose lives he touched. » Read more

2018-06-13
Jon Hiseman RIP – One of the great drummers of the rock era has died. Jon Hiseman was a veteran of such ground-breaking groups as Colosseum (I and II), Tempest, John Mayal's Bleusbreakers, and was a founding member of the innovative large band United Jazz + Rock Ensemble. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Simon Dupree & the Big Sound - Part of My Past - The Simon Dupree and the Big Sound Anthology – There’s no doubt that a complete collection of the recordings of Simon Dupree and the Big Sound has historical value. Aside from being a curious footnote in the story of the psychedelic 60s with...  (2005) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues