Exposé Online banner

Low Wormwood — We Can't Help Kissing Each Other
(Tenzenmen 046tzm, 2009, CD)

by Jon Davis, Published 2013-05-06

We Can't Help Kissing Each Other Cover artI first heard this band back in 2008, when the Chinese Miniless label released a live set called 五指 (Five Fingers) for free download. The band was credited as 低苦艾 (Di Ku'ai), which translates as Low Wormwood, so I suppose that's the best way to refer to them. When I found out that Maybe Mars, one of China's foremost independent labels, was picking them up, I was a little surprised — the live set was decent, but hadn't really grabbed me. With this, their studio debut, my reservations are proven baseless. Low Wormwood's music sounds more or less like a folk singer augmented by a full band and an imaginative producer. The vocals are nearly all front and center, and they're all in Chinese; singer Liu Kun has a slightly gravelly, low-keyed voice that some listeners might find off-putting. I find the occasional shakiness very emotional, and I can catch enough of the lyrics to enjoy even without full understanding. I'm pretty sure that Chinese folk-rock is never going to catch on widely outside of China (and probably has limited exposure even there), but I find this very pleasing to listen to. Some moments are so simple and delicate, like "Little Flower," with just two acoustic guitars and the lead vocal. Others ramp up the volume, adding the bass, drums, and distorted electric guitar. And there are electronic touches, like voices recorded off the radio and the like, that really contribute to the atmosphere and lend a hint of psychedelia. The mood is generally subdued rather than energetic, and aside from the language, never stamps itself as overly "Chinese." In short, unless the language barrier puts you off, this is music well worth hearing.

Filed under: New releases, 2009 releases

Related artist(s): Low Wormwood

More info
http://tenzenmen.bandcamp.com/album/we-cant-help-kissing-each-other

Latest news

2020-01-21
Gong Announces UK Tour for 2020 – Having spent the last few years touring the world, including dates in Japan with psych legend Steve Hillage, multiple headline European tours and festivals, America’s Cruise to the Edge festival, a South America headline tour, and a headline performance at Tomorrow Festival in China, the band have won the hearts of both traditional and modern Gong fanbases. During this live journey, Gong has delved further into the truly psychedelic, exploratory, and mind-expanding side of the music. » Read more

2020-01-15
Carlos Alvarado RIP – Carlos Alvarado, pioneering composer, multi-instrumentalist and pioneer of progressive rock and electronic experimental music in Mexico, passed away January 14th, 2020 at age 68 after a two year battle with cancer.  » Read more

2020-01-12
Wolfgang Dauner RIP – Pianist Wolfgang Dauner, one of the pioneers of both European free jazz and jazz rock, has died at the age of 84. With his own groups and with the United Jazz+Rock Ensemble, his playing and compositions were a prominent presence in European jazz from the mid-60s until just recently. » Read more

2020-01-12
Michael Allison RIP – Michael Allison, who since 1997 has been recording as Darshan Ambient, passed away on January 9th after a long and brave battle with cancer. He has been at at the forefront of the new ambient/electronic music scene, with over eighteen releases to his credit. » Read more

2020-01-10
Neil Peart RIP – One of rock music's defining drummers has died at the age of 67. Neil Peart's work with Rush provided one of the templates for percussion in rock, and he certainly ranks in the top ten most influential drummers of the 20th Century. Peart retired from playing in 2015 due to health issues, and succumbed to brain cancer on January 7, 2020. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Zao - Z=7L – For those not familiar with Zao, they were the first true Magma spin-off band, formed by reedsman Yochk'o Seffer and pianist Francois "Faton" Cahen, at a time when their creative role within that band...  (1994) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues