Underground 16

24-11-05

Thanks to those of you who came down to support Underground by being there and buying drinks to encourage more venues to have alternative live music
love Chris B & Yan xx

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Polymer
Good range of musical styles, excellent technical guitar work. Definitely inexperienced on the vocals – off key. The drummer was very adequate, lead guitar wasjust short of totally wonderful, with a wide assortment of sounds. Unfortunately mostly mediocre songwriting, the tunes often left and returned to a “main” or “home” key, giving a feeling of complaining or trying to convince you of something, hinting at insecurities or lack of confidence (or just not knowing what to do next). They would really kick ass with some musically skilled songwriting and strong vocals.
Wally Amos
A lot of inexperienced bands tonight, and Polymer is a young band with potential. They played Underground 16 with a bit of an Oasis vibe. A confused Oasis that thought it was Blur. The band has sound song ideas, and competent grooves. What they lack is experience and confidence, as most of tonight’s bands did. However, they put what they had into it and deserve praise. But I feel that to start people talking they are going to have to supercharge their sound and vibe.
Brendan Delfino

Downer
The ambience of the guitars sounded at times like the nintendo game “Shadowgate”, with a slight air of mystery. The timing for the drums and guitars were sometimes off just a little. If softened a notch they would be a lot like “sollective soul”. You find yourself agreeing with the music, almost wanting to nod your head, not realizing what exactly it is you’re agreeing with. The instruments complement each other and work together, rarely clashing. Very good musical songwriting, and great lead vocal. Musical style is a bit like 90s alternative. You get the feeling they have a good but restrained confidence and authority. This is one band whose slow songs don’t suck (except for the really really slow one).
Wally Amos
This is a band that likes to take its time. A band in no rush. A band that is not out for instant gratification. Instead this band wants to perform the music THEY want to play. If you like it, great. If you don’t, ‘come see us next time’, is the attitude I detected. I wanted to hate these guys so much. They are everything a band should not be, in my opinion. Completely self indulgent. No catchy hooks. No air-guitar inducing riffs. And, worst of all, absolutely no interaction with the audience. Yet they did it in a sense that was refreshing to see. A band that was audacious enough to just be themselves without fear of what people might think. Very ballsy indeed. These guys are a must-see for emo fans.
Brendan Delfino

 

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Bleeding Puppet
Petite. Cute. Jovial. Juvenile. These young ladies were fun to watch, although a little timid at first, which was surprising considering the metal sludge they played. They claim to be “nu-metal”, but there is absolutely NOTHING nu-metal about these gals. They take the blackest, most gothic metal and give it a Hong Kong signature, in a ladies’ perspective. Despite the shyness at first, the prompting from an expectant crowd soon saw them making some serious noise, thanks to the Underground’s very own Yan helping them with a little amp tweaking. Poor Blue, the lead singer. If she didn’t have a sore throat after growling this gig, then she’d be a fantastic endorsee of Strepsils. It’s great seeing a local band actually working up a sweat.
Brendan Delfino
Four Gothic Banshees giving birth to an ugly yet strangely beautiful demon-child of headbanging death metal. Somewhat lacking in artistic arrangement and creativity. Lead screamer’s blank expression betrays their overall style, though. They will either delight you, scare you, or both. Their music could use more technical complexity. They are the musical equivalent of very, very black coffee. Suffice it to say i would NOT want to get into an argument with the vocalist. After hearing them play, i think something broke inside of me, but i’m not quite sure what.
Wally Amos

J-Minor
Nice. Nice vocals singing nice melodies to nice grooves. Nothing original. Nothing exciting. These guys are just . . . NICE. Pleasant and palatable tunes. Competent singing and musicianship. Made me buy another beer right when I was ready to leave the bar, having promised myself an early night. A nice pop foundation that with a little development could turn into something solid.
Brendan Delfino
The first song was funky, detached, and lush, and reminded me a little of Wang Fei. The lead singer girl started out standing straight and tall, expressionless, hands in pockets, yet singing quite well. The background guitars were mostly rather boring chords, but overall ok sounding. Bass guitar was good though. Their music was too noisy to follow carefully, and too low-energy to get excited about. I’m not quite sure what to think of them. That girl can sing, but would be a better match with softer accompaniment. In the last song though, she loosened up and the guitars were way more creative and interesting. The ability is there, will we see more of it?
Wally Amos

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Zhou Kou Dian
Very smooth matching vocal. The lead guitar tells an emotional story of hopes and sadness all by itself. In a way, it was like santana’s lead guitar in the ballroom. Superbly orchestrated, it will take you away if you let it. The fourth song brougth rough yet totally fitting vocals, turning longing into disappointed anger, matched perfectly by the music. Wherever these guys go, from soft melodic to disturbed metal, they are all actors skillfully telling a compelling story through their respective instruments.
Wally Amos
Having heard these guys were finalists in numerous band competitions, I was expecting something special, and these guys weren’t bad. Competent musicians with a solid guitar sound, these guys have a lot of promise. Nice pop elements in their songs, with guitar-driven ruggedness. Quite good, but like every band tonight – where’s the show? These lads were obviously more experienced than the others, so I expected more in showmanship. It never came. As soon as they embrace the audience, they will jump to the next level in entertainment. Brendan Delfino

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