Tie Shu Lan 鐵樹蘭

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IMG_0822.JPGLive Review from Underground Heavy #3:

Setlist:

1. The Land on [the] Equator

2. Again

3. Memory

4. Format

5. Assimilation

The influence of the Noughties’ was seen the most in Tie-Shu Lan’s set. It set off with bangin’ drums mixed with screaming strokes on the guitar, but soon moved into a strangely heavy yet somewhat bouncy song. They seemed to use distortion to make normally light-sounding chords heavy, and they even started some pogoing in the crowd with their catchy beats. However, their set left me a bit cold because of one reason – while their songs probed around into the heavier end of the spectrum, there was very little melody in the songs to anchor them down. They all too often became just a pointless amble into rootless territory, making them sound too artificially metal. Which was a pity, because the band members clearly had some real talent – clever arrangements of sliding bass on Memory (reminiscent of the bass in RHCP’s Give it Away), thundering chords, a very good singing voice (when used that way), and the inherent pogo-ness of their songs went somewhat to waste because there was not much of a foundation to the songs. The singing towards the end of Format was quite impressive, and the riff in Assimilation was really cool, so they clearly were going in the right direction sometimes. Their control of the crowd was impressive, and their energy always up, and the attitude was right. But the simple lesson needs to be learnt, that being a heavy band does not simply involve sounding like angry fluxes in a speaker. All they need to do is re-tool some of their songs because there’s real potential there. And if they disagree, I really, really hope they prove me wrong the next time I see them. Here’s to the future, guys.
– Shashwati

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