Live review from The Underground Christmas Show:
4. 今天應該很高興 (達明一派 Cover)
6. Disco Queen
7. Do they it’s Christmas?’ (band aid 1984 Cover)
ReLaxpose kicked off the Underground’s Christmas Show with ‘跑跑跑’, a guitar and bass centred riff around a simple and straight 70’s rock beat by ar-Ku. The track had elements of Led Zeppelin and The Black Keys about it, whilst singer Yipjai ordered his short dry vocals down the microphone. Despite the promising rock-tinged start, the ending felt a little overcomplicated and sticky for the members.
Follow up ‘老土迷幻歌’ began with a low gurning riff and a heavy vibrato, whilst ar-Wai on the other guitar was building up a wall of feedback. As the rest of the band entered, the drum beat appeared to be very similar to the previous track in pattern and tempo. The Britpop major chords helped differentiate it a little more though. ‘電視中的你’ was introduced as ‘being angry about some tv presenters’, but the music didn’t appear to mirror that sentiment, sounding far more optimistic and no real dynamic changes. The only notable moment was a Bernard Sumner/Post-punk guitar solo which meandered around the middle of the neck, struggling to be heard above the other instruments.
The most interesting sonic sound was present in ‘今天應該很高興’ (達明一派 cover), where Yipjai used an octave pedal on is guitar nicely to create a haunting organ sound, which certainly grabbed the audience’s attention. The track also featured a mellow folksy beginning, a bigger lift in the choruses, and a marching drum at the end – like a softer interpretation of U2’s ‘Sunday Bloody Sunday’.
‘讓我睡兩睡’ turns up the psychedelic funk, with the exact same chord progression and key signature as ‘Purple Haze’, as Yipjai was bending strings aggressively, creating a counterpart riff. They moved away from the bluesy guitar work in the choruses, and included a low rumbling pedal bass by Maxi, with higher notes added sparingly. Yipjai also sang in a much higher register than in the previous songs. ‘Disco Queen’ however saw a return to the straight drums and guitar/bass unison, this time with a slightly grungier Jet vibe, and a touch of funk guitar in the choruses. Although the open hi hats were added, as well as the Blur-ish octave bass, the tempo felt a little too sluggish to fully capture the dancey nature.
The opening set was rounded off with toms, and bright Razorlight style guitar strikes, before bursting into an unexpected cover of Band Aid’s ‘Do They Know It’s Christmas?’. The palm muted guitars made the song feel far more energetic than the original, and vocally moved away from the Anthony Kiedis mannerisms towards a more melodic delivery, adding a hint Jarvis Cocker to the performance. Although Relaxpose’s set had some minor flaws, their energy transferred to the crowd by the end of their set, getting everyone into the Christmas spirit.
– Chris Gillett