Live Review from 14th Year Anniversary Party
It pays to be friends with Chris B: Mr Rockethead were added to The Underground’s birthday bill after messaging the founder asking to play. The four-piece, who have worked their way up from open mic nights at The Wanch, proved to be a solid shout for such an eclectic event, with strong musicianship and a distinctly noughties alternative rock sound that drew from the sound of groups like Stereophonics.
Although chord progressions and themes within certain songs verged on generic, the band kept the audience on their toes with a tight performance that left no room for sloppiness. Frontman 阿健 had a big rock voice which paired well with 阿熙’s wailing guitar work and Raven’s snappy, exacting drums. The bass sounded somewhat loud in the mix up to 附近的人, but this was soon rectified by The Underground team.
A backing track with strings gave 熟悉卻陌生的你 a cinematic, expansive feel, lending the song a sense of originality that made it stand out in the set. The band went all out on last song 童話, which featured frantic, high guitarwork, and a choppy punk sound contrasted with softer verses. The singer’s voice recalled Duran Duran’s Simon Le Bon over big, heavy drums and bassist Jon joined in for the chorus. The powerful track suddenly shifted in tempo, sliding towards a more 80s direction with a Joey Tempest-esque scream from the vocalist. A dramatic singalong brought an electric performance to a close.
– El Jay
Live Review from Planetrox China Final 2014
First to grace the stage was the Hong Kong band ‘Mr Rocket Head’. Already proving popular in the Hong Kong indie scene, this energetic four-piece blend funky bass riffs with Cantopop crooning, giving an often staid genre a much-needed shot in the arm.
A slap bass intro popped around a wailing guitar line that felt like David Lynch turned funk. Peppy vocals reminiscent of C-Pop archetypes ‘Beyond’ soon entered, becoming similarly impassioned as the song progressed. Soft flutters of acoustic guitar from lead singer Kelvin contrasted with a solo full of scraping string bends as the first song of the night, ‘追逐’, came to a close.
Sensing a warmed-up crowd, the group tore into next song ‘黑傷淚’ with gusto, all noisy walls of guitar and a leading bass melody crashing around powerful hits from drummer Raven. The influence of early Red Hot Chili Peppers couldn’t be denied, from the singer’s curt vocal style to the John Fruiscante-like riffs. Bum notes and some uneven singing did not detract from the level of intensity the band displayed. This rough and ready quality is always desired in a pop-funk band.
MRH closed their set with ‘再見淚光’, a stripped-down ballad of epic proportions. After a brief ask to the audience, a sea of glowing smartphone screens soon filled the crowd as the band played among the lights. This was undoubtedly the anthem of the night, as couples danced and friends swayed arm-in-arm to a sweet vocal melody. With a beautiful outro of crying guitars, MRH ended their set, having firmly brought the groove to Planetrox.
– Jon Billinge
Mr. Rocket Head ，成立於2012年的本地樂隊。現時成員包括熙，Jon，Raven和健。樂隊音樂類型以Alternative Rock為中軸，並混入其他元素，創作出別樹一格的曲風，因成員們均認為音樂是不能與社會甚至世界脫節的，所以希望透過樂隊的音樂表達想法和理念。他們是當天第一隊的演出單位，歌曲風格大致偏向pop rock，第二首歌曲黑傷淚意在批判政府，一開首由鼓手帶動了歌曲的氣氛，中後亦加插vocal 的effect為歌曲增添少許特別元素，唯歌曲最尾一句的 爆發點若以screaming手法處理或更能顯出歇斯底里的感覺和驚喜。整體來說，若樂隊的穩定性能稍作提升，效果會更佳。另外，或由於第一隊演出，觀眾還未進入狀態，氣氛略嫌不足﹐但整體來說已算非常不錯，編曲及彈奏技巧亦不俗，他們當晚的結語更顯誠意和對音樂的熱誠，相信未來定能有更好的演出。
– Sidick Lam
Live review from Underground 109:
2. Hey! Mr. Rocket Head
3. Whatever Me
4. Time Machine
Mr. Rocket Head, too, proved to have quite the chatty singer, who immediately warmed up the crowd, and jumped straight into their set with huge-sounding drums and bass. The band move between standard rock ‘n’ roll fare; fast beats and distorted guitars; and light funk, mixing Canto-pop tunes with light funk motifs from the likes of RHCP, and just a little bit of Fishbone. The musicians in the band, generally speaking, have an “active” style; one can hear each of their influence in their songs. The drummer has a Matt Sorum-like style, playing big on the beat, and keeping things simple with few fills – which, I think, he could do more of. There’s space in the music to work with, and I should the best should be made of that fact. The guitarist’s style is more akin to Nuno Bettencourt’s, with metal-like, noodly solos but with a god sensibility for keeping the rhythm interesting. I
must admit I was expecting more when I read the word ‘funk’ in their description, from their bassist. He had a smooth, fluid, and occasionally imposing style, but there was little of the imperiousness one expects in funky songs. Adopting something approaching the almost lead guitar style of bass in bands like The Meters or Sly and the Family Stone would make things much more interesting. Their singer has promise, and has a decent range, but skips notes while ascending them, sort of allowing the voice to fold in on itself, which is usually symptomatic of simply lazy singing. Some singing practice, and this could be easily remedied. Sometimes this combines to make lackluster songs, like the overly Maroon 5-ish Whatever Me, or Time Machine which was too poppy to really have an identity of its own.
However, their set was an enjoyable one, and their brand of poppy funk certainly got people engaged, and this was because some songs were definite successes. 末世煙花 was a pub-rock stomper, while Hey!… had the feeling of Naked in the Rain by RHCP, with a similar zipping guitar and off-beat rhythm, but with a solo more like something by DeWayne “Blackbyrd” McKnight, with a frantic succession of notes. 追逐 had a beat like Throw Away Your Television, but faster and with a catchy, hooky insistent composition that made the audience get into it, and a solo that was not only technically impressive, but also had a lot of feeling. So, they do get it right quite some times. However, I do feel that they can and should be better. They’ve got the elements of a good band, and a good demeanour on-stage; I sure hope they find a way to translate this into more good music, and I wish them the best of luck in this endeavour.
— Shashwati Kala