This Shanghai outfit is unafraid. I've always been a fan of punk bands that use horns and other lovely bits of noise to brighten up the sound. But these boys don't believe in shining up anything. The saxes deconstruct.

Round Eye
Round Eye
The result is something that, at its most manic, sounds like Voodoo Glowskulls at the tail end of an LSD bender. I suppose you could reference John Zorn, but these horns aren't grounded in any musical theory. They blaze by on the wings of chaos.

The album itself pauses now and again to give the listener a breath. Which is not to say that the ferment settles. Even when the sounds are swirling slower, they don't coalesce into much of anything. The only thing holding most of these songs together is the beat.

An unholy mess, to be sure, but one that immediately attracts the ear and makes the mind dance. That element is what makes me believe that there might be a plan after all. Though, to be fair, I simply don't care. I'll bite into the wire and absorb as much energy as I can.

I really don't know what you would call this stuff. The band seems to prefer the term "experimental freak punk." Of course, that can mean almost anything. Round Eye may well be a band without a genre, but it has definitely set a confident course. Ambitious noise is always fun to hear. When it is executed at this level of lunacy, one can only marvel. Bringlebopnian, for sure.

Jon Worley

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