So Rock! Magazine (我爱摇滚乐) CD Archive Project
Table of Contents:
- So Rock! Magazine Vol. 18
- So Rock! Magazine Vol. 35
- So Rock! Magazine Vol. 38
- So Rock! Magazine Vol. 60
- So Rock! Magazine Vol. 62
- So Rock! Magazine Vol. 64
- So Rock! Magazine Vol. 65
- So Rock! Magazine Vol. 66
- So Rock! Magazine Vol. 67
- So Rock! Magazine Vol. 68
- So Rock! Magazine Vol. 69
- So Rock! Magazine Vol. 70
- So Rock! Magazine Vol. 71
- So Rock! Magazine Vol. 72
- So Rock! Magazine Vol. 73
- So Rock! Magazine Vol. 80
- So Rock! Magazine Vol. 87
We previously talked about 1990s rock magazines in China, as “Punk Generation” (朋克时代) or “Freedom Music” (自由音乐). They pretty much all disappeared after one or two years. One fanzine however became so popular that he was distributed in major Chinese cities, and lasted for more than a decade… I’m talking of course about “So Rock! Magazine” (我爱摇滚乐, literally “I Love Rock and Roll”), published from 1999 to 2013 in Shijiazhuang (yes, you didn’t misread, Shijiazhuang the home of Omnipotent Youth Society [万能青年旅店] and probably one of the most boring city in China).
So Rock! was essential to the musical education of Chinese youth in the 2000s, it featured tones of articles on domestic and foreign bands, scene reports, mostly written by the readers themselves. It also featured social and political commentary (a speech by the then DPP President of Taiwan Chen Shuibian for instance!), but also letters from the readers and articles about anything sub or counter-cultural (like an introduction to the French journal Hara-Kiri, the ancestor of Charlie Hebdo). One of the most important role of So Rock! was to include with each journal a CD (or cassette tape at the beginning) of more or less 10 tracks, featuring obscure or more well known Chinese bands. Some of them obviously recorded their songs at home, but at least they could share their music with the public at a time when internet was not that popular (and not that fast).
The purpose of this article is to display digitalized version of all the So Rock! CDs or cassettes that I have (something like a hundred), with a brief presentation of the bands (fortunately, inside the magazine, So Rock! included a short bio or even interviews of the bands). So this page will be updated constantly (well, at least if I have the courage to do so).
Before CDs, there were cassette tapes. This is the oldest tape I found, from the issue 18 of So Rock!, in 2001. It was a “Punk Special” issue, so you can find quite a few important Chinese punk bands of the early 2000. Since it’s a cassette tape, the sound is not very good:
Here’s the punk tracklist:
|1. 瑞路 – 改变娱乐习性|
2. Anarchy Boys – A Head Without Freedom
3. 泼耳吐司 – Our Battle
4. Mika Bomb – Contact Tokyo
|5. 洋娃娃7号 – Get Rid Of|
6. 生命之饼 – Lazy Punk
7. 反光镜 – Han Song
8. 脑浊 – 欢迎来到北京
9. 地下婴儿 – 转变只是在一瞬间
1. 瑞路 – 改变娱乐习性: Saying that Lucky Way is a punk band is a little far-stretched, but well this blues-rock band was formed in 1994 in Beijing, and their debut album was produced by So Rock! in 2003, entitled “测试” (“Test”).
2. Anarchy Boys – A Head Without Freedom: Do I need to introduce Anarchy Boys? Like three other bands on this tape, they were part of the “Wuliao Jundui”. You can find more about them here.
3. 泼耳吐司 – Our Battle: Unfortunately I don’t have any reliable information on this band.
4. Mika Bomb – Contact Tokyo: A London-based Japanese pop-punk band.
5. 洋娃娃7号 – Get Rid Of: Yang Wawa Number 7 is a ska-punk band formed in Beijing in 2001. Two of their songs were featured in the Beijing Punk Vol. 2 compilation made by Scream Records in 2004.
6. 生命之饼 – Lazy Punk: Do I have to talk about SMZB? The best Chinese band, period.
7. 反光镜 – Han Song: Like Anarchy Boys and Brain Failure, Reflector is part of the famous “Wuliao Jundui”. A ska-punk band at first, Reflector became gradually more mainstream, and adopted a more pop-punk vibe.
8. 脑浊 – 欢迎来到北京: Brain Failure, one of the earliest Beijing punk band, which toured the US in the mid-2000s. The historical singer Xiao Rong quit the band a couples of years ago. This is an early version of “Coming Down to Beijing” by Brain Failure. Nice.
9. 地下婴儿 – 转变只是在一瞬间: “Everything change in the blink of an eye”. UnderBaby too. You can learn more about UnderBaby here. This song will be published in their latest E.P., “蜕变”, in 2012.
Here’s the tracklist:
|1. 卢小旭 – 传说从前 |
2. 孟奇 – Dub In The Rain
3. 公羊-13 – MM残酷真理
4. 张希 – 我的夏天
5. 黄杨 – 格式化
|6. 揭 – 幕之歌 |
7. 韩丁 – 2004夏日赞歌
8. 206和思想者 – 第一月章地狱
9. 修之吐 – 旋月
10. Lowspirit – Sink Into The Ocean And Ride On the Moon
1. 卢小旭 – 传说从前: Lu Xiaoxu writes that “This song was recorded in early 2004, and consists of a electronic beat, a female voice, a guitar riff and a solo of piano that produce a mysterious atmosphere”. He also adds that “he participated lately with a friend to the establishment of a new record label, ‘She Dance Music’ (喜糖音乐)”. It’s funny because “She Dance Music” – renamed “She Dance Culture” – is now sponsoring e-Sport teams: http://www.shedance.net/
2. 孟奇 – Dub In The Rain: Meng Qi: No information available for this Ambient Drum & Bass band.
3. 公羊-13 – MM残酷真理: Gong Yang-13: This “NU METAL GRUNGE” band is composed of two people, Bai Long and Lao Zhu, and their photo is really nice. The song is about the corrupted power of money.
4. 张希 – 我的夏天: We know way too much things about Zhang Xi. He was born in October 1982 in Xiangtan (Hunan). At 10 he began to learn the piano, and at 16 switched to guitar. He fell in love with Rock and Roll at 18, then listened to punk, and finally blues. He loves his mother and his girlfriend introduced him to the Chinese rock community. He spends way too much time alone in his room, where he thinks too much and draws weird pictures of his girlfriend:
5. 黄杨 – 格式化: So… In his bio Huang Yang says that he’s a man, born in May 1979 and his ID card number is 4205027905XXXXX (let’s protect his anonymity). He began to play rock music at 19 and formed a band. He independently produced 10 songs.
6. 揭 – 幕之歌: The Death Metal band Jie comes from Shandong, and was formed in 2002. In an interview they said that humanity needs a war to produce new forms of culture and spirit, because they are fed up with this materialistic world where people only care about “which car they want to drive, how big their house is”.
7. 韩丁 – 2004夏日赞歌: Han Ding is a romantic rocker. He wrote his song, “2004, Summer Day Song of Praise” for his girlfriend, Wen Wen.
8. 206和思想者 – 第一月章地狱: 206 He Sixiang Zhe, another Death Metal band, this time from Xi’an, formed in 1999. One of their songs was featured in the CD “Xi’an Independent Music Compilation Vol. 1” (“西安独立音乐合辑 Vol 1”).
9. 修之吐 – 旋月: Xiu Zhi Tu was formed in 2002 in Changsha (Hunan). They started as a funk and folk band, before turning to rock and roll with the arrival of a new drummer. At the time they were searching for a label to produce their album. I hope they found it.
10. Lowspirit – Sink Into The Ocean And Ride On the Moon : Lowspirit is a musician from Hefei, graduated from China Science and Technology University. He writes his songs in English and published his first album on April 2003, “Softstar” with the help of the Hefei label “谎言唱片”, and in May 2004 he published his second album, “The World Is Real Except Yourself”.
And the tracklist:
|1. 昏热症 -马戏|
2. Oran – 勇敢
3. 椭圆问题 – 如梦令
4. 渡鸦 – 甭过
5. 獠牙社火 – 一脸老茧
|6. 染 – Punk Not Dead|
7. 音弑 – 音弑
8. 枷锁 – 腐室迷
9. 苔藓乐队 – 抑郁症愚者
10. 心灵海盗 – Trapped In A Corner
11. HYONBLUD – Scream Bloody Gore
1. 昏热症 – 马戏: The Punch-Drunk Symptom is a funk collective, their album “Waiting For Curtain Call” (“等待谢幕”) was released by So Rock! Records on February 2005. They even had a full page in the issue.
2. Oran – 勇敢: the pop-rock band Oran has nothing to do with the city in (je t’aimerai pour toujours mon) Algeria. In fact the name of the band means 偶然 (“incidentally”). The band was formed in 2003 in Chongqing and is very much involved in the local rock scene, and particularly in the live venue “木般”. Their influences are Coldplay and Radiohead.
3. 椭圆问题 – 如梦令: The band was formed in March 2003 in Shenzhen. Like many other rockers, the singer Bao She began listening to rock music through Cui Jian’s album, then Tang Chao and Hei Bao, before discovering Western metal.
4. 渡鸦 – 甭过: Duya is a trip-hop band formed in 1996. They released in 2002 an album entitled “生理盐水”.
5. 獠牙社火 – 一脸老茧: A band inspired by Iggy Pop, The Ramones and Queen.
6. 染 – Punk Not Dead: As you might have guessed, The Infection is a punk band. What you might not know is that they formed the band in 2000 in the beautiful city of Shenyang. They practice in the living room of the singer. I guess the lyrics speak for itself.
7. 音弑 – 音弑: Yinshi comes from Lanzhou, and was formed in 2001.
8. 枷锁 – 腐室迷: The metal band Jiasuo (Yoke) comes from Xinjiang and was formed in 2002. Their lyrics tackle familial pressure and injustice.
9. 苔藓乐队 – 抑郁症愚者: The metal band Lichen was formed in Dalian in 1998. They already released several albums, one in 2002 entitled “罪证”, and another one named “圣战” in 2004. The last album, which literally means “Holy War”, is an attack on Japanese people – as the singer puts it, the main theme is “Fuck Japanese!”. Glad to see a moderate and mentally stable metal band.
10. 心灵海盗 – Trapped In A Corner: A death metal band from Beijing formed in 2003. Unlike the previous band they seem to have no problem with Japanese people, since they admire the Japanese band “Two Pain Organized”.
11. HYONBLUD – Scream Bloody Gore: As the title of the song indicates, this is a “brutal death metal” band, formed in 2003. This song is a tribute to Chuck Schuldiner who died in 2001.
And the tracklist:
|1. Yn Gizarm – 山川|
2. 顶楼马戏团 – 朋克都是娘娘腔
3. Unregenerate Blood – Family Violence
4. Grace Latecomer – Neither Here Nor There
|5. 中国说唱兄弟 (CMCB) – 红烧胖大海|
6. PB33 – Hello, Let’s Go
7. The Carteria – Over My Head
8. Zaliva-D – Chemical Climax
9. Bremen – Don’t Trust Myself
1. Yn Gizarm – 山川: Yn Gizarm define themselves as a “ethnic black metal band”. They were formed in Xi’an in 2002, and their name “Yn Gizarm” in Uyghur means “New city” or “Valorous”.
2. 顶楼马戏团 – 朋克都是娘娘腔: Top Floor Circus is certainly the best-known Shanghai punk band, formed in 1997 and disbanded only recently. At the time, the band was heavily influenced by the scandalous American punk GG Allin, as their song “GG主义好” (“GGism is Good”) shows. The song “朋克都是娘娘腔” (“All the punks are sissies”) was included in their 19 tracks album “蔕米重访零陵路九十三号” released in 2006. As you can see, the songs are obviously ironic and provocative, and they frequently make fun of other punk band, like The Bricks in the 2013 song “我去SPA你去死吧”.
3. Unregenerate Blood – Family Violence: Unregenerate Blood is one of the most prominent hardcore band in China. In 2004 the bassist Li Yang discovered on hardcore internet forums videos of Hatebreed and Settle the Sores before forming his band. They quickly integrated the hardcore scene, and by 2006 they performed at the 无名高地 livehouse in Beijing and also at the Midi Music Festival. The same year they shared the stage with the French skinhead-reggae band Skarface at the New What Bar.
4. Grace Latecomer – Neither Here Nor There: A post-rock band from Suzhou, who released their first EP in 2006.
5. 中国说唱兄弟 (CMCB) – 红烧胖大海: CMCB is the one of the first Beijing hip-hop collective, formed in 2001. They released several album on the label Scream Records, including the classic “谁动了我的炸酱面” (“Who Moved my Zhajiang Noodles?!”) in 2004.
6. PB33 – Hello, Let’s Go: “Party Boy 33” is a power-pop band formed in 2005.
7. The Carteria – Over My Head: The Carteria is an indie-pop band from Beijing, they released in 2006 their album “Sweet Dreams”.
8. Zaliva-D – Chemical Climax: The band describes its style as “SM Industrial Techno”.
9. Bremen – Don’t Trust Myself: This two-person band was formed in 2003 in Baoding.
|1. 窒息 – 崩溃|
2. My Little Airport – Coka, I’m Fine
3. 王磊 – 馨
4. 李志 – 梵高先生
5. 分裂 – The Maker of Mind
|6. The Waker – Going Dead|
7. Mortal Fools – Age of Assholes
8. 瘦人 – 非洲
9. Zoundz – Schizophrenic Berserk
1. 窒息 – 崩溃: Suffocated (窒息) is an old and famous Chinese metal band formed in Beijing in 1997. They recently toured China for their 20th year anniversary and released a new album, Your Body Is the Hardest Metal. In the interview with So Rock! in 2007 they talked about the fact that you could find Suffocated’s songs in Chinese KTV.
2. My Little Airport – Coka, I’m Fine: My Little Airport is an indie rock band from Hong Kong formed in 2001 by Nicole and 阿P. The band is very famous in the indie circle both in HK and China, even if they sing in English and Cantonese. They supported the Umbrella Movement back in 2014 and continue to deliver funny and politically engaged songs. My personal favourite is a love song dedicated to the former Chief-executive Donald Tsang, “Donald Tsang Please Die”:
3. 王磊 – 馨: According to the rock critic Yan Jun, Wang Lei’s music is inspired by European indie electronic music.
4. 李志 – 梵高先生: Li Zhi is a famous Chinese folk-rock musician who published his first album in 2004. The song included in this CD is perhaps his most well known song, “Mr. Van Gogh”, and my personal favourite: “我们生来就是孤独, 我们生来就是孤单”. Powerful, indeed.
5. 分裂 – The Maker of Mind: The Divide (fenlie), is a very D.I.Y. electro/noise band.
6. The Waker – Going Dead: Formed in 2005, The Waker is an “artistic trip-hop” band.
7. Mortal Fools – Age of Assholes: An Old-School punk band from Shanghai, their name “Mortal Fools” is written in Chinese “大傻冒”, which is funny. A band that sings “asshole” (傻逼) seven times in a song deserves my respect.
8. 瘦人 – 非洲: Thin Man is a old rock band, formed in Beijing in 1997. This new song released in 2007 is very different from their old, classic more heavy sound.
9. Zoundz – Schizophrenic Berserk: Zoundz is a nü-metal band from Taipei, formed in 2001. A band from Taiwan, another from HK, this CD has a strong “Greater China” vibe! The song of Zoundz is very interesting, it talks about the schizophrenic relation between China and Taiwan (“A mind stands on a line, separated by two countries/We’re sharing out the same body but treats ourselves no harmony”) and criticizes China’s policy toward the island (“Since the first day our mind has split/There are no way we can back together/You just trying to kill me”)
|1. Last Flight – War Is The New Peace|
2. Prophetics – This Is My Church, Please Play With Matches
3. Niko – The Sun The Moon The Stars
4. 风滚草 – 放手
5. 瑞王坟 – God Save The Poors
|6. Point Blank – Right Here Right Now|
7. 低苦艾 – 挽歌
8. 寂寞 . 夏 . 日 – 一
9. 便利商店 – 世界
10. 惘闻 – 思乡病
Some international acts in this CD, mostly Western metal bands, but also a lot of famous experimental Chinese bands. A good selection I think. Let’s dig into it:
1. Last Flight – War Is The New Peace: a metal band from Italy, formed in 2000 in Milan by the friends Giorgio and Marcello. They published their first EP “Have a Shot” in 2003. I must say I didn’t find anything on the Internet about the band.
2. Prophetics – This Is My Church, Please Play With Matches: a great song title by a Norwegian death metal band.
3. Niko – The Sun The Moon The Stars: Niko is an American lover boy: “You are the sun, the moon, the stars / You are the light inside my world”. Love it.
4. 风滚草 – 放手: a heavy-pop band formed in October 2001 in Beijing, influenced by hip-hop, EMO, world music and nu-metal. Indeed, you can hear all these influences in one song.
5. 瑞王坟 – God Save The Poors: RWF is a punk band formed in Beijing in October 2005. They are heavily influenced by Western bands as Rancid and The Clash. Their song “God Save the Poors” is a direct reference to the Sex Pistols, as the lyrics show: “God save the queen / Let people have something to live on […] Sex Pistols we have nothing, but we are on the train”.
6. Point Blank – Right Here Right Now: Point Blank is an international punk oi band formed in 2005: the singer Thomas is French, the guitarist Josh is American, the other guitarist Chen Hao, the bass player Wang Hui and the drummer Zhang Luyin are from Beijing. They performed together with the French skinhead band Skarface at the What Bar in 2006 (and if you remember correctly, we already talked about this concert with Unregenerate Blood). They published their first album, “Made In China” in 2007, you can listen to it online.
7. 低苦艾 – 挽歌: Low Wormwood is a folk and experimental rock band from Lanzhou. They are well known for their second album, Lanzhou Lanzhou (兰州兰州) published in 2011 by Maybe Mars.
8. 寂寞 . 夏 . 日 – 一: the famous band Lonely China Day was formed in Beijing in 1996. Their first song was featured in 1996 in the collective album Made In China (摇滚工厂). In 2007 they performed at the SXSW festival in Austin. They have produced beautiful and poetic albums, such as This Readily Assimilative People in 2010.
9. 便利商店 – 世界: Convenience Store is a power-pop band formed in Beijing in 2001. Their first album, Five Star was released in 2004 and their second, TV Monkey in 2007. Unlike 7/11, Convenience Store is not open at night.
10. 惘闻 – 思乡病: Wang Wen, the pioneer of experimental rock from Dalian – even if the lead musician Xie Yugang is originally from Tianjin, and moved to Dalian to go to university. Wang Wen’s songs are haunted by the grim atmosphere of Dalian, like Shijiazhuang for Omnipotent Youth Society. Wang Wen really started a new wave of experimental rock, math rock, indie rock in this city bordering North Korea. Now, Xie Yugang has other solo projects, including one with the French guitarist Serge Teyssot-Gay.
|1. 堕天 – 噬菌体|
2. 飘 – On The Way
3. 冷酷仙境 – 地上的种子
4. 黑阳K-Evil – 两个世界
5. 王啸坤 – 琴麻岛的海
|6. 曹阳与乐队 – 像失去一样简单|
7. Lykaion – Emptiness
8. Silent-G – Depress Angle
9. 三黄鸡 – 晃晃悠悠
1. 堕天 – 噬菌体: The Falling is a Chinese Metalcore and Nu Trash band, formerly known as “大鱼”. The band was formed on June 6th, 2006 – clever, that’s “666”. The singer went abroad to study in England before coming back and forming his band.
2. 飘 – On The Way: A band from Hefei (in Anhui province) formed in 2000. They moved to Beijing in 2001. You can hear the influence of classical American rock in this song
3. 冷酷仙境 – 地上的种子: Cold Fairyland is a progressive rock band from Shanghai formed in 2001. The name is a reference to a Murakami book, “Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World” (“世界尽头与冷酷仙境”), the favorite book of the singer Lin Di. They performed in 2003 with Wild Children (野孩子) in Beijing – this song is a tribute to the singer Xiao Suo who passed away in 2004.
4. 黑阳K-Evil – 两个世界: Black Sun K-Evil is an independent industrial-music band from Beijing.
5. 王啸坤 – 琴麻岛的海: Wang Xiaokun – or Essay Wang – was born in Shijiazhuang in 1988, the city of rock. He is a pop singer, who participated in many TV show, and eventually won “我型我秀” in 2007. This song was composed for the movie “Never Ending Sea”, released in 2007.
6. 曹阳与乐队 – 像失去一样简单: This rock band is now better known as “出口A” (“Exit A”).
7. Lykaion – Emptiness: An Italian metal band formed in 2000.
8. Silent-G – Depress Angle: Silent-G is an indie pop band formed in 2004. They released the album “JACK IN A BOX” in 2007. They are influenced by David Lynch, Ennio Morricone, and surprisingly by the tribute album “Great Jewish Music: Serge Gainsbourg”.
9. 三黄鸡 – 晃晃悠悠: An indie rock band from Shanghai formed in 2001. They apparently struggle with the fact that they are growing up in their song: “Goodbye! Youth. Goodbye! Ideal. Goodbye! Friends. Goodbye! Lover”.
|1. 荔枝王 – Unite Asia|
2. 孔雀 – Apple
3. Waterdog – Out Of Touch
4. 秀场寡头 – 弥患药
5. The Heartland – What A Story
|6. 西皮士 – Abandoned|
7. Straight Way – Never Surrender
8. 瘐毙 – 渴望孤独
9. 杨嘉松 – 冬天2007
1. 荔枝王 – Unite Asia: King Ly Chee is undoubtedly one of the most famous Hong Kong hardcore band. Formed in 1999 by the singer Riz Farooqi, King Ly Chee did a lot to foster an underground music community in HK. Now disbanded, the band’s name is still on everyone’s mind when talking about Asian hardcore acts. Riz worked hard to connect HK, Chinese and Asian bands together, like this track “Unite Asia” suggests, but also with his website, also called Unite Asia, which provides the world with hardcore news from all over Asia. And he covered “Scream For Life” by SMZB. A man of great taste.
2. 孔雀 – Apple: 孔雀 is the old name of the famous indie-pop band Escape Plan (逃跑计划). Formed in 2005 by five guys from the North (mainly Qingdao, Shijiazhuang and Ha’erbin). They performed at the Chaoyang Pop Music Festival in 2005. Now known as Escape Plan, the band performed at the Worker Stadium in 2017, and even participated to the TV-Show “歌手2019”.
3. Waterdog – Out Of Touch: A rock band from Sweden formed in 1997 by Martin Ekelund.
4. 秀场寡头 – 弥患药: “Show Oligarch” released an E.P. in 2007. A very political band, at least according to their Twitter account.
5. The Heartland – What A Story: The Heartland were formed in 2004 in Beijing and began their musical career by covering brit-pop songs, as Radiohead, Oasis and Coldplay.
6. 西皮士 – Abandoned: “Hippie” is a DIY, humorous musician attending college in Nanchang. He apparently likes to put his head inside a computer.
7. Straight Way – Never Surrender: Straight Way is a French band from Paris, who released in 2005 an E.P. titled “Emotions and Anger”.
8. 瘐毙 – 渴望孤独: A metal band formed in 2004 in Taiyuan. The name means “Die of Disease”.
9. 杨嘉松 – 冬天2007: Yang Jiasong was born in Beijing, and formed his first rock band back in 1993. In 2003 he released his folk-rock solo album, “Young+Song1”.
This issue is dedicated to the 40 year anniversary of the Hippie movement.
|1. Strength Behind Tears – Rise Up|
2. 7月16 – 21世纪
3. 小类与11乐队 – Modern Way
4. DIV – The End
|5. 冷冻街 – 卡带庄园|
6. 面条杀手 – Girl
7. Hookah – Hookah
8. 吴虹飞 – 乌兰
9. 血色彩虹 – 黑色沼泽
1. Strength Behind Tears – Rise Up: Strength Behind Tears is an alternative hardcore metal band from the US, they published their first (and apparently last) album in 2007, entitled “Bridges Between Us”.
2. 7月16 – 21世纪: The band “July 16” was formed in 2001 in Nanjing. The band changed members and style until 2006, when they adopted an indie/alternative rock approach.
3. 小类与11乐队 – Modern Way: Xiao Lei and his band were formed in 2006. Xiao Lei himself studied in England when he was 16 (thus the britpop influence), before entering the prestigious Renmin University in Beijing to study journalism.
4. DIV – The End: DIV (Die In Velvet) is a famous hardcore band from Hong Kong, formed in 2003. They released an EP in 2006 entitled “Fault and Bad Luck”. You can still catch their (rare) shows in HK, see their facebook page.
5. 冷冻街 – 卡带庄园: Frozen Street have trouble defining their style, they state that “we are forever free”. The band was formed in 2004 in Nanjing.
6. 面条杀手 – Girl: The pop-punk band Noodle Killers was formed in the cold city of Ha’erbin in 2003. They were called “Ketchup” (蕃茄酱) before – but let’s be honest, Noodle Killer is a way better name. Noodle Killers participated to a lot of music festivals in Heilongjiang and in the North in general. Winter is coming.
7. Hookah – Hookah: The band Hookah seems to like smoking hookahs (and other stuffs). The ska-punk band was formed in 2007 by members of other famous punk bands, like Angry Jerks and Banana Peel.
8. 吴虹飞 – 乌兰: Wu Hongfei is singer, poet, artist born in Xi’an from the Dong ethnic minority (侗族), who graduated from the prestigious Tsinghua University in Beijing. She was the singer of the Beijing folk rock band Happy Avenue (幸福大街).
9. 血色彩虹 – 黑色沼泽: Blood Rainbow is a death metal band formed in 2005 in Tangshan.
This issue featured a special article titled “Can Rock Save the World?”
|1. 波澜童话 – Come On|
2. Ozomatli – Saturday Night
3. 九婴 – Nothing Day
4. 24 Hours Party People – Mr. Stevenson
5. Golden Cage – Bravadoes
|6. 朱志芳爵士三种奏 – Funkhead|
7. V-Band – Could You Call Me Out
8. 咖啡因 – Bomb Girl
9. 澐 – 曾经拥有
1. 波澜童话 – Come On: The grunge band Billowing Fairy Tale (波澜童话) was formed in Beijing in 2003, composed of several members of the old band 白纸 formed in 2000. In 2010 they released their first (and only) album, “开始”.
2. Ozomatli – Saturday Night: Ozomatli is a six-piece Latin rock band from the US, formed in 1995 in Los Angeles. They released 8 studio albums so far. This particular song comes from their 2004 album, “Street Signs” and it is a skilful mix of hip-hop and Latin funk rock.
3. 九婴 – Nothing Day: 九婴 is a metal band from Shenyang formed in 2000, heavily influenced by Nine Inch Nails.
24 Hours Party People – Mr. Stevenson: 24 Hours Party People (composed of the bassist Zhang Chen, the guitarist Ren Yilan and the drummer Li Guanyu) is a post-punk band from Xi’an, formed in 2006 – obviouly in reference to the 2002 UK movie of the same name dedicated to the “Madchester” punk movement of the late 1970s. After performing in Beijing at the legendary D22 in 2007, Maybe Mars released their first and only album “No Party People” (and they changed their names to “24 Hours”) in 2009, produced by Martin Atkins. According to Maybe Mars’ website “Zhang and Li were high school classmates and are now lovers, while Zhang and Ren were university schoolmates and lived in the same dorm. The band’s music is often a reflection of their relationships: constantly-changing but always intense”. They also released a MV of their song “Mr. Stevenson”:
5. Golden Cage – Bravadoes: Golden Cage is an indie rock band from Guangzhou formed in 2003. They released 2 albums, 1 EP and one live album.
6. 朱志芳爵士三种奏 – Funkhead: Zhu Zhifang is a jazz guitar player from Hangzhou, graduated from Zhejiang University. He formed in 2006 his jazz band with a blues bassist and a drummer who graduated from the Midi School of Music.
7. V-Band – Could You Call Me Out: V-Band (formerly known as “Guess”) is a pop-rock band formed in 2006. The lead singer is from Zhengzhou (in the Henan province), where he began to learn guitar at the age of 17.
8. 咖啡因 – Bomb Girl: Caffe-In is a ska-pop-punk band composed of musicians from Japan and China, formed in 2004. The lead Japanese singer, Sayu, sings in Chinese, and brings a “kawai” element to the band. Pilot Music released their first album in 2007. They since released 2 other albums.
9. 澐 – 曾经拥有: A hard-rock band formed in 2004 in the Heilongjiang province by Zheng Xuelai and He Yan.
A special music festival issue.
|1. 与人 – 杭州人民爱晚风|
2. 糖果枪 – Ten Days
3. Hang on the Box – No More Nice Girls
4. Acrania – Despair
|5. 反光镜 – 晚安北京|
6. October – Crash For Loneliness
7. Burnmark – Burning
8. Red Banana – 你的爱总是让我头昏
9. 陈辉 – 和你一起呼吸
1. 与人 – 杭州人民爱晚风: A famous indie-rock band from Hangzhou formed in 2002, 与人 is a very humourous and ironic band. Their songs are known to be very well written, always playing with censorship in a very funny way. Lots of political comments and reference to Chinese history. This particular song, dedicated to the people of Hangzhou, contains lot of sexual references.
2. 糖果枪 – Ten Days: Honey Gun, a band formed in 1999, who published their first album, “240km/h”, in 2007 with Pilot Music. A song about the classic American fantasy: “I am a bastard but I made it / The visa to USA / My Dream of Disneyland / Fantasy of Hollywood / Hot girls and sunset strip”.
3. Hang on the Box – No More Nice Girls: The first all-female punk band formed in Beijing in 1998 by Wang Yue (GIA). In 2007, HOTB made their big come-back with the album “No More Nice Girl”, before the creation of Wang Yue side-project, “Ourselves Beside Me”.
4. Acrania – Despair: a death metal band from Mexico, formed in 2001, previously known as Necrofilia. Great name.
5. 反光镜 – 晚安北京: the heroes of Chinese pop-punk or the traitors of Chinese punk? Members of the 无聊军队 (Boredom Contingent), the first Beijing punk collective, Reflector has taken since a more mainstream path. Hated by a large part of the punk community, Reflector is consciously erased from Chinese punk-rock history by other bands. “Good Night Beijing” is a good example of their “pop” turn.
6. October – Crash For Loneliness: a folk-rock band from Qingdao, formed in October 2002, influenced by Simon and Garfunkel.
7. Burnmark – Burning: Burnmark is a metal band, but doesn’t like labels. They play “randomly” after drinking a lot of alcohol.
8. Red Banana – 你的爱总是让我头昏: Red Banana began in 2004 as a punk band in Hefei (Anhui province), before evolving toward a more indie-rock vibe.
9. 陈辉 – 和你一起呼吸: Chen Hui is the singer of the famous hard-rock band The Face (面孔), formed in 1989 – Chen Hui integrated the band in 1993. In 2007, Chen Hui published his second solo-album, entitled “Chen Hui”. “The Chinese Bon Jovi”, according to So Rock!. With some capillary differences I might add.
|1. Lunar Eclipse – 复仇者日志|
2. 火星计划 – 梦中人
3. ConFirm-X – Dawn of Robot
4. 跳猴 – 猴子明星梦
5. Snapline – Close Your Cold Eyes
|6. PB33 – 看好你的妞|
7. Billdisc – Galaxy
8. Candy Monster – Need’t You To Say
9. Anti-XXX – Untitled
1. Lunar Eclipse – 复仇者日志: Lunar Eclipse is a metal band from Fujian province, formed in 2003. One of their songs appears in the metal compilation “死夜3”.
2. 火星计划 – 梦中人: 火星计划 (litteraly Mars Program) is an indie-rock band formed in 2007 and based in Beijing.
3. ConFirm-X – Dawn of Robot: An electro-industrial trio from Beijing, Lanzhou and Changsha. They published an EP in 2007 entitled “Confirm-X”.
4. 跳猴 – 猴子明星梦: Lucky Monkey is a pop-punk band from Beijing, formed in 2005. They published a Demo in 2009.
5. Snapline – Close Your Cold Eyes: One of the most influential indie-rock band of the mid-2000s. Snapline was formed in 2005, influenced by Joy Division and New Order, and quickly became famous in the Beijing rock circle, performing almost every week at the late D22. Their first album, “Party’s Over, Pornostar” was published by Maybe Mars – the guys behind the D22 – in 2007. Martin Atkins, the drummer of Public Image Limited, remixed their first album – you can see that in the documentary Atkins produced, “16 Days in China”. In 2012, Snapline published another album, “Phenomena”.
6. PB33 – 看好你的妞: PB33 is an electro-punk band formed in 2005 by four students of China Communication University. In 2008 they released their first and only album, “Disco Boys & Girls Night Out”.
7. Billdisc – Galaxy: Not much is known about Billdisc except he’s a electro musician influenced by the nu-break wave.
8. Candy Monster – Need’t You To Say: Another D22 band from the mid-2000s. This emo-punk-grunge band was formed in 2005, led by the singer Bian Bian. There’s an episode of “The Sound Stage” dedicated to them.
9. Anti-XXX – Untitled: A death-metal band part of the “Dying Art” project. You can learn more about Dying Art in this interview. You can also listen to the music they produce in their bandcamp page.
So Rock! Magazine CD Vol. 71 – January 2008.
|1. The Reason – The Upset Late Fall|
2. A.J. Alex – China Man With France Girl (Live)
3. A.J. Alex – Don’t Put Your Heart On a Rock N Roll Star
4. Heaven’s Night – Big Muff
5. The Roy – Sunny Day
|6. Infidel – 镜子|
7. 穿心莲 – 水的轨迹
8. 黑撒 – 贫嘴高中生的幸福生活
9. 黑撒 – 城市夜生活的副作用
10. 刚子 – 苏鲁锭
1. The Reason – The Upset Late Fall: The Reason is a reasonably famous emo band, formed in 2006. Do not mistake the band The Reason with the song “The Reason” by Hoobastank. You do remember that song don’t you?
2. A.J. Alex – China Man With France Girl (Live) and A.J. Alex – Don’t Put Your Heart On a Rock N Roll Star: Two songs by A.J. Alex. If I must be honest, I never heard of A.J. Alex before today. Apparently he’s a folk singer and a poet, who often collaborate with his friend Yan One. He has a pretty full Douban page, and seems to continue singing. He published a book with Yan One in 2019 entitled “Village of Chaos”(混沌). The first song is about a Chinese man whose heart is broken by a French girl, the second one about a ex-girlfriend who got married with a violent rock star and is expecting a child.
4. Heaven’s Night – Big Muff: Heaven’s Night is a grunge band from Hefei (in Anhui province), composed of a worker, a doctor and a Beijing opera actor. They published in 2007 their first E.P. entitled “Weak as Bullet”.
5. The Roy – Sunny Day: A band formed in 2006, influenced by Coldplay and Radiohead. They published an EP entitled “A Life With No Sadness”.
6. Infidel – 镜子: Infidel is a death core band formed in 2007 influenced by the New wave of America Heavy Metal.
7. 穿心莲 – 水的轨迹: 穿心莲 is a lofi band formed by Song Song (宋松), a graduate from The Central Academy of Fine Arts.
8. 黑撒 – 贫嘴高中生的幸福生活 and 9. 黑撒 – 城市夜生活的副作用: Black Head is a hip-hop crew from Xi’an, who published their first E.P. back in 2007, entitled “起的比鸡还早”. Their songs were very humoristic, the first one makes fun of the classic children song “如果感到幸福你就拍拍手”. Weirdly enough, in 2019 they participated to the indie-rock TV Show “乐队的夏天” with a mix of folk songs and Shaanxi rap about Xi’an food.
10. 刚子 – 苏鲁锭: Gangzi is better known as the singer of Tulegur, a famous Mongolian folk rock band. The pionner of Mongolian grunge and “nomad rock”. He recently published “The River” with his band Tulegur.
So Rock! Magazine CD Vol. 72 – February 2008.
|1. 弥藏 – I Don’t Want A Baby|
2. 清醒 – 壹
3. 梵高 – 冬
4. 黄色潜水艇 – 时光
5. 黄色潜水艇 – 小丑
|6. 相对论 – 压路机|
7. 印度草 – Forest Of The Aerolite
8. 微 – 季节风
9. 反应堆 – When You Look At Him
10. Self-Party – 再见，选装楼梯
1. 弥藏 – I Don’t Want A Baby: 弥藏 is a blues-rock band formed in November 2001 in Beijing when the singer and the bassist of the band 梦魇, formed in 1997, decided to create a band with the guitarist and the drummer of 引号. The band is influenced by The Doors, Led Zeppelin or Stevie Ray Vaughan. In 2008 they published their first EP, Goodbye 1968. They recently published a new album, 上帝不爱布鲁斯 (God Ain’t Love No Blues).
2. 清醒 – 壹: Sober is a well-known brit-pop band, maybe the first Chinese version of Oasis. Formed in the late 1980s, Sober released its first album, 好极了！？ in 1997 – the first album published by Modern Sky 摩登天空, and the first commercial “hit” of the new Beijing rock scene of the 1990s. Well, Shen Lihui, the singer of Sober, is also the infamous boss of Modern Sky, known for its role in the (over)commercialization of Chinese indie-rock, and its critic of the political activism of 1980s Chinese rockers. If you want to know more about Shen Lihui and Modern Sky, I recommend the excellent article by Andreas Steen, “Sound, Protest and Business. Modern Sky Co. and the New Ideology of Chinese Rock” (Berliner China-Hefte, 2000). This is the song that started all of this, “好极了”:
3. 梵高 – 冬: Another example of the post-rock vibe from the North (like Wang Wen for instance), 梵高 was created in 2000 in Dalian as a grunge band, influenced by Nirvana, before becoming a post-rock band influenced by Mogwai and Godspeed You! Black Emperor.
4. 黄色潜水艇 – 时光 and 5. 黄色潜水艇 – 小丑: Yellow Submarine is a rock band formed in 2002, who published their first album in 2007. Needless to say, they like the Beatles.
6. 相对论 – 压路机: An industrial metal band formed in 2002.
7. 印度草 – Forest Of The Aerolite: “The Indian Grass”. If that’s not clear enough, the band explains it: “Indian grass means Indian weed”. The band was formed in 2007, and our boy A. J. Alex (we talked about him in the last issue) plays the organ in this song.
8. 微 – 季节风: A indie pop band from Guangzhou.
9. 反应堆 – When You Look At Him: Maybe the only band I heard of coming from Zhuzhou in Hunan province. A Scream Emo band formed in 2004 under the name “感觉” (Emotion) – maybe too Emo for an Emo band?
10. Self-Party – 再见，选装楼梯: A Hangzhou shoegaze band, known before as “Monkey Power”. Typical lyrics for a shoegaze band: “Before I found the effectual key […] Guilty love is a suicide”.
So Rock! Magazine CD Vol. 73 – March 2008.
|1. 甜蜜的孩子 – Hello Bomb|
2. 谢天笑 – 无
3. Civily – Yellow Stamp is Mine
4. CMCB – 回到自己
5. Epicidemik – Free
|6. oNEwAY – South of the Clue|
7. 钟茌 – Easy World
8. 钟茌 – From the Moon
9. 王威 – Paris
10. Muscle Snog – Mind Shop is on Sale
1. 甜蜜的孩子 – Hello Bomb: The Honeys were formed in 1997 in Shanghai, most of the members come from Hangzhou’s Academy of Fine Arts. They try to incorporate Chinese elements to their rock songs.
2. 谢天笑 – 无: XTX (Xie Tian Xiao) is perhaps one of the most famous and talented rocker of his generation. XTX came to Beijing from his hometown in Shandong province in 1991, and formed in 1994 a grunge/rock band named “Cold Blooded Animal” 冷血动物. He released a first album in 2000 with Scream Records. In 2005 he released a second album, taking the name “XTX and Cold Blooded Animal”. This song, “无”, marks an evolution in the sound of XTX, since he integrated more Chinese instruments – like the guzheng 古筝 – in his music. According to the legend, his father, a guzheng musician, advised him to integrate Chinese sounds in order to sell more albums abroad. XTX is also a very funny guy, his facial expressions have been transformed into GIFs used in the Chinese internet.
3. Civily – Yellow Stamp is Mine: Civily is a young Sichuan kid born in 1987, influenced by Metallica, Pantera and Oasis (yes, it’s very broad). He sent his demo to So Rock! and got his song published.
4. CMCB – 回到自己: Chinese MC Brothers, one of China’s oldest rap crew. Their first album was published by Scream Records. Another one of their songs was published in a So Rock CD in 2007. They recently released a new E.P., “再見!說唱!” (Goodbye! Hip-Hop!), a testimony of their underground spirit (for instance the sentence “我們一直在地下” in the song “讓自己醒著”).
5. Epicidemik – Free: An American metal band.
6. oNEwAY – South of the Clue: Formed in 2006, the post rock band oNEwAY integrates some elements from ethnic minorities culture.
7. 钟茌 – Easy World and 8. 钟茌 – From the Moon: Zhong Chi is a female musician from Shanghai doing trip-hop songs by herself. She released in 2007 her album “Easy World”.
9. 王威 – Paris: Wang Wei moved to Paris when he was 13, and graduated in 1998 from the “Atlas Academy of Music” (I guess they meant “ATLA – École des musiques actuelles”). In 2002, Wang Wei returned to China, and formed the band “Smoking Kills” in Shanghai. In 2007 he published a first album, “On The Road”. But let’s go back to the song, “Paris” with a sample of the lyrics: “Paris is the first time I fall in Love / Is the city of my dream / Is where I grow / Bar in everywhere / And Champs Elysées in Christmas / Full of beautiful girls / The city full of the romance”. It’s hard to avoid the clichés apparently, even when you live in Paris. Wang Wei published in 2013 his album “Paris”.
10. Muscle Snog – Mind Shop is on Sale: A noise-rock band from Shanghai, signed by – who else? – Maybe Mars, formed in 2006 and disbanded in 2010. The band was composed of three members, Maimai, Fan Xiaoruo and Hei Xiongmao. Luckily for us, Maybe Mars released their album in 2009, entitled “Mind Shop”.
So Rock! Magazine CD Vol. 80 – October 2008.
|1. 颠覆M – 重生|
2. 小熊饼干 – I Love Myself Used To Love You
3. 丑角 – 我需要
4. 董佳佳 – Snow
5. 诅咒橙子 – 请宽恕我
|6. 花童 – 进入中|
7. 羊秘密 – 铁森林
8. 月蚀 – From Hell
9. 寂寞 . 夏 . 日 – 草木中国
1. 颠覆M – 重生: Ego-Fall is an Inner-Mongolian trash-metal band from Hulunbuir, formed in January 2000. Very influential in the trash-metal scene in Beijing, Ego-Fall released several albums over the years, as “Spirit of Mongolia” (蒙古精神) in 2008. The Mongolian-metal vibe is currently represented in the more mainstream metal scene by Nine Treasures. In 2016, Ego-Fall went on an European tour, and came back with this “documentary”:
2. 小熊饼干 – I Love Myself Used To Love You: A power-pop band from Xinjiang, BearBiscuit released 3 albums in three years, between 2007 and 2009. They released their last album back in 2012, “如果” (If). They gave an interview to 牛人酷 in 2012 for their Beijing tour:
3. 丑角 – 我需要: 丑角 is a hardcore hand formed in Xi’an, influenced by 1980s funk and trash metal.
4. 董佳佳 – Snow: Dong Jiajia, born in 1987, is a folk musician who graduated from Beijing International Studies University, influenced by Radiohead and Muse.
5. 诅咒橙子 – 请宽恕我: Cursed Orange is a trash metal band from Handan in Hebei province. They describe their style as a mix of Iron Maiden and punk music.
6. 花童 – 进入中: 花童 is an old rock band formed in 1998. They describe their music as “electro-rock”. They released in 2013 an EP, “Rock Life”. Here’s the MV for the song “Rock Life”:
7. 羊秘密 – 铁森林: Secret Young is a sadcore band formed in 2000. They released an EP in 2001.
8. 月蚀 – From Hell: A metal band from Fujian, formed in 2003, who released a Demo in 2007 entitled “Lunar Eclipse”.
9. 寂寞 . 夏 . 日 – 草木中国: Lonely China Day, a famous indie post-rock band from Beijing formed in 1998, influenced by Sigur Rós, featured also in the June 2007 So Rock! CD. “Foraging China”, the beautiful song featured in this issue, is included in their 2007 album, Sorrow. Their 2010 album, This Readily Assimilative People is perhaps one of the most influential Chinese post-rock album. They kind of disappeared after this last album.
So Rock! Magazine CD Vol. 87 – June 2009.
|1. 但丁之舟 – Final Victory|
2. 但丁之舟 – Warrior’s Ballad
3. In It – Rather Than Love
4. 嘎调 – Love For Life
5. Retriever – Money
|6. 超人田田 – Superism (中国特色)|
7. Infidel – 春分
8. 巡航线 – My Electronic
9. Fading Horizon – Twice
1.但丁之舟 – Final Victory and 2. 但丁之舟 – Warrior’s Ballad: Barque of Dante is a melodic power metal band formed in 2004 in Mianyang, the second largest city in Sichuan. They published a first EP in 2004, entitled “Paen For Hero”, and they started again to record music after the Sichuan earthquake of 2008, releasing a new album in May 2009, entitled “最后的胜利”.
3. In It – Rather Than Love: An electronic instrumental band, led by Anubis, born in 1990 in Kunming, who studied at the Communication University of China in Beijing. In It released in 2009 the EP “Give me Truth!”, and in 2013 “None of That Matters”.
4. 嘎调 – Love For Life: The Gar is one of the poster band of the Great D22/Maybe Mars era. The band was founded in 2007, and in 2009 released their first album, entitled “The Gar”. The bassist Wen Jie left the band after this first album, but the band moved on with the arrival of a new member, Bo Xuan, and released a new EP in 2012, “The City of Burning Identities”.
5. Retriever – Money: A hard rock band founded in 2006 in Changsha, the capital of Hunan province. They participated to the festival “Peace and Love” in Wuhan in 2008.
6. 超人田田 – Superism (中国特色): Super TianTian is an rock band founded in 2006 in Chengdu, now touring China with its “Funny Punnk/Rock Musical”.
7. Infidel – 春分: A metal band from Changsha influenced by the New Wave of America Heavy Metal (it’s a thing, called NWOAHM).
8. 巡航线 – My Electronic: “Circle Line” is a electronic band led by the DJ Xia Tao (X76).
9. Fading Horizon – Twice: A post-punk band from Nanjing founded in 2007, influenced by Joy Division and The Chameleons. They released in 2009 an album entitled “Name it Yourself”, which contains the song “Bloody Square”…