Wednesday, March 27, 2013

The Gar-The City of Burning Identities EP (2013)

Breezy indie pop is probably last on my mind when I think of modern China, well behind an oppressive Communist Party oligarchy, a massively indigent peasantry, and suffering in general. The natural question when an album like this washes up on one's review pile is: Is the band worth a damn once the novelty value has worn off?

Tentatively, yes. Indie pop isn't really my thing (Beach House and Beirut excepted), and I haven't heard anything this airy since the last time I heard...uh, Air. The Gar, who I understand is something of a phenomenon in Beijing, give us six tracks of well-constructed guitar pop that is as light as a May day. There's a few build ups to My Bloody Valentine-style catharsis ("Love Will Lost Your Love," "Black Hole"), but without the crunch: shoegaze this ain't.

The result is an EP somewhere between Foo Fighters, if Dave Grohl didn't sound so fucking earnest, and a guitar rock band like....well, honestly, I don't know my way around this sort of music. The guitar on "Black Hole" is expansive enough, and provides enough spacy time changes, that it reminded me of space rock stalwarts Russian Circles. It's the best song on the album, and I'd encourage The Gar to go further in this direction: sharper, heavier, more savage. But that's just me.

Anyway, check out this band: they're worth a listen, and are quite good at what they do. This is the sort of music my students would listen to, if 1) they had souls, and 2) listened to good music.

Listen to, then buy, the EP here, courtesy of Tenzenmen Records.

1 comment:

  1. For something a little heavier and more intricate you may dig the Gar's first album here: