Live Review from Underground Reunion
1. Why Break My Silence
5. Letters to You
Next up, to continue the theme of contrasting acts, were the acoustic poppy strains of Slash!SAKURA!Slash!. Basically consisting of one guy on a guitar, Benson, we had the added treat of having Timmy Gunn of Shotgun Politics joining him on some songs. Generally, the music was a sort of raw and edgy acoustic singing in the raw, guttural, raspy and constricted voice of a punk instead of soaring, flowing melodies and tuneful singing, which adds a touch of punky feel to the songs. The stop-and-start approach that being unaccompanied and acoustic affords you was made full use of during this set, and the choppy guitar effect was nicely used in the somewhat Jewel-like Why Break My Silence. The addition of Timmy made terrific contrast with the stop-start style, adding a more flowing, solo-oriented layer to the music to great effect, and particularly well on the Goo Goo Dolls-esque Wilt and the strangely minute-yet-grandiose Letters to You; the latter was so much so that at points it almost was reminiscent of a classic rock ballad played acoustically, such as Aerosmith’s Angel or Bon Jovi’s Blaze of Glory. A nice little break from the more boisterous bands between which it was scheduled, it was a thoroughly enjoyable set.
— Shashwati Kala
玩Acoustic 音樂，由Benson Looi組成的一人樂隊Slash!Sakura!Slash，當晚繼續只帶一把木結他出場，先以 “Why Break My Slience”開始，別以為只帶一枝木結他伴奏會稍稍輸蝕，Benson Looi只用一枝木結他反而顯出他精湛的結他造詣，加上他具穿透力的歌聲，更顯音樂本來的純粹感。然後他請出了他的好友，Shotgun Politics 的Timmy作crossover和supporting，兩人帶著兩枝木結他在台上似jamming般，十分精彩動聽，或許這是兩個音樂人的浪漫吧？而歌曲中後段的Guitar fingering melody很入腦，也十分田園風。第四首歌曲 “Afar”中Benson的嘶吼很令人驚喜，用木結他做的層次感也做得很不俗，但他的聲線聽著會覺得有點兒壓底了的感覺。總的來說，Benson Looi背著木結他一人站在台上投入地唱著，很有busking 的感覺，但一定是非常高質的busking，是在街上看到也絕對會停下來看完的那種。
– Sidick Lam
Live review from Underground 68½:
I’ve always been a fan of Slash!Sakura!Slash! for their unique style. For some reason, I felt like they’ve mellowed a little, but I was wrong. At times chilled-out acoustic, and others, rock-intensity. I really love their melodies and riffs a lot, but wish lead vocalist/guitarist Benson could belt his vocals out as well as his guitar riffs! Still, a wonderfully cool unique sound of chill-out acoustic rock!
Live Review from Peabody in Hong Kong:
- 1. Carquinez B
2. Why Break My Silence
Slash!Sakura!Slash (aka Benson) has once again collaborated with his good partner Motion Fades (aka Mic Makkai) to kick-start Peabody’s night with six sweet and heartfelt tunes. It is always an indulgence to watch them expressing their emotions in a subtle yet captivating way. Amid the guitar swaying and feet tapping, Benson’s shy eye contact and plaintive voice complement his soft indie rock rhythm with immense passion and intimacy; while Mic stands next to him quietly, plucking and strumming a series of melodic harmonies that make the songs richer and fuller. If there ever be any labeling, I would say they resemble the sound of Secondhand Serenade and Dashboard Confessional, but slightly more buoyant and graceful.
This duo is indeed one of the most promising acoustic acts ever; and I am sure that their performance with a full band will be more eagerly anticipated.
Live Review from Underground 42:
The combination of the shy motionfades (aka Mike) and confident !slash!Sakura!slash (aka Benson) was an interesting opening set for the Underground. !slash has a commanding stage presence and a voice that is almost feminine in it’s tonality and a rhythm & blues feel to his voice which is very pleasing. motionfades voice worked best on his pop number “Can I take you home” and later got the ahhs from the girls when he dedicated a song to his mother. Huge potential in motionfades and kudos to !slash for sharing his slot with him. If you like acoustic music, these two are worth watching.
Live Review from Underground 31:
Certainly one of the better solo acoustic acts I’ve heard, but it remains just that. His vocals are insistent and almost begging, but with a pretty good overall sound. I prefer speed metal, but if you’re into solo acoustic singers, he’ll give you a great performance. Vocals are pretty versatile, ranging from soft to screaming. He tries at times to make up for the lack of percussion in his guitar playing, with mixed results. One of the songs added drums and bass, that was WEIRD. It remained acoustic solo at the core, which is an unusual combination. He didn’t take full advantage of the additional sound, each doing paint-by-numbers and playing their own cookie-cutter roles, but it was something different. Another song added another acoustic, which added another dimension to the otherwise bare music. I liked the creativity the second guitar brought.
Live Review from Underground 21:
!slash!Sakura!slash (aka Benson) rips open proceedings with an unplugged medley of (mostly) ocker rock + one Finch cover. (Rudy from Underground #19 has some serious competition) His first song “Worlds Collide” – has free association hints of Bowie “Five Years” crossed with a bit of Roy Harper power chords. The next song which is the first song that !slash wrote in HK is a bit of Pink Floyd “Grantchester Meadows” springs to mind. Track 3 with the Hawkwind acoustic guitar intro off Space Ritual Live “Down thru the night” the (non) unplugged acoustic ocker rocker gets a little unhinged to good applause. Then !slash sings a song for Ross & Julia who are getting married tomorrow – this one has some neat ambient thrash in the middle. !slash last two songs are sort of Crowded House/Goanna plus frenzied screaming at the end. Acoustic punk at it’s best.
“the fact that The Underground gives local artists a chance to play their original music is awesome! Thank you for the opportunity! Russian judge gives it a 10!” quote from slash!Sakura!Slash!