崩口碗 Bang Hau Wun

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Live review from Sub Terra #4:

1. Intro
2. 煉獄再團聚
3. 採花拆大宅
4. 井底脂蛙
5. 糟糠髮妻
6. 北京事變
7. 兵長退役鎮魂曲

 

Bang Hau Wun is a band that are impossible to categorise or pigeonhole. With a sound incorporating elements of metal, jazz, ska, post-rock and funk, the band dipped into practically every genre to create a colourful and at times confusing picture.

The performance began with reverb-laden ska guitar and theatrical, almost spoken word verses from frontman Lun Cheng. As fuzzed-out chords kicked in for metal vibe, Lun began to growl and squawk into the mic, emulating the death metal style. The whole combination had the offbeat, aggressive quality of The Fall, and signalled to the crowd that this wasn’t going to be your average show.

The sound morphed from metal to avant-garde jazz rock and Lun’s voice became almost cartoonishly sweet. There was a definite Chochukmo vibe in the indie guitar and pop melodies. Until! More growling began amid descending single notes. Lun made a cacophonous “grawwwww!” death-rooster noise. It was weird, but good.

The jingly guitar intro by Hugo referenced And So I Watch You From Afar’s Tip of the Hat on 採花拆大宅, before slipping back into that retro ska territory as the song progressed into something smoother and more typically rock. It became clear that Lun wasn’t the world’s most tuneful singer, which is probably one of the reasons he opts to experiment with his voice so much. The song sped up to noughties dance indie rock and Lun began chattering incoherently. With the gritty, spiky guitar and IDGAF delivery, Bang Hau Wun drew from the modern, spit-in-yer-face punk of Slaves and Savages.

For 并底脂蛙, the tone changed to a kind of dark jazz, oozing with vaudevillian theatrics. It was easy to imagine Lun as some kind of tragic mime performing at the Moulin Rouge. Hugo tried out a spot of soloing, before delivering a big, shimmering rock chord to finish.

Hugo the guitarist then shook the neck of their guitar for extra reverb at the start of 糟糠髮妻.  Lun’s voice was low and foreboding, then the drums sprang to life and were soon joined by an amazing slap bassline. There was a definite Mars Volta tone to Lun’s frantic vocals and the progressive nature of the track. The lead singer adopted a goofy voice for a few lines, and began screaming as the band noodled into a prog-metal breakdown.
Then it was time for a soapbox moment. “Fuck China, I’m not Chinese … call me Hongkongese,” Lun shouted. “You’re crazy,” a punter yelled back. “Duh,” came the reply. Luckily, the band curtailed things by breaking into a bossa nova-style number, complete with rim-tapped percussion. As Lun sang softly, the song, 北京事變, took on an early Radiohead sound in its layered guitar fuzz and ascending wailing, before melting away with a heartbeat bass.

The show culminated in final song 兵長退役鎮魂曲, which showed off the impressive musicianship of the players and proved the most memorable track. In the days following Sub Terra, it was hard to remember much from Bang Hau Wun’s sound apart from Lun’s growling and the unsettling weirdness of the arrangements.
– El Jay

筆者第一次睇崩口碗演出係喺2016年中秋嘅一場遊擊show,同場嘅係David Boring、murmur、花等香港比較「前衛」、「實驗性」嘅樂隊,可想而知佢地同Sub Terra 4頭兩隊嘅方向甚至社交圈子會係南轅北轍。

崩口碗並冇特定嘅風格,佢地嘅音樂只可以用「顛覆」一詞黎形容。表面上,可能會有一段reggae、一段math,主音一時會抑揚頓挫似戲弄粵劇、一時會係模仿重金屬嘅吶喊。但係其實佢地無時無刻不在或者諷刺某樣事物、某種現象,對象有時會係粵語流行曲,有時會係「中國好聲音」。樂隊隊員一時彷彿被馴化,一時又各自朝唔同嘅音樂方向自由發揮,令到聽眾精神錯亂,無法估計或掌握歌曲嘅方向。呢種玩法,為音樂添上咗些少嘅暴力。

而呢種「暴力」音樂想反映嘅,無疑係香港嘅制度暴力。作為一隊主攻嚴肅政治議題嘅組合,崩口碗作風十分彪悍,同觀眾對抗,要求佢地專心聆聽佢地嘅歌詞,音樂嘅出發點絕對唔係娛樂。除咗從香港獨立音樂裡面社運嘅角度(如意色樓)論述之外,筆者好難將佢地同外國嘅流行樂隊作比較,因為呢種係由下而上、本地生出黎,而唔係移植搬遷入黎嘅一種文化。
– Elson Tong

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Performances by 崩口碗 Bang Hau Wun: