Live Review from Girls with Guitars #7
1. Philip the Buster
2. Time In My Galaxy
4. Street Fighter
5. That Day, I Went to His Funeral
6. Double Nono
The next band on, despite it being their first Underground show, were clearly different right from the start. For one thing, they spoke to the crowd in both English and Cantonese and this continued throughout the set, which puts them in a category with very few other bands. I’ve always thought it would be a great idea to seriously court both Anglophone and Cantophone audiences, and this band seems to be well on the path to doing just that. At one point in the set I was thinking how much their approach was similar to that of bands like Chochukmo when it came to light that the lyrics for the following song (Time in My Galaxy) were written by Jan Curious, of the very same aforementioned Chochukmo! For a start, this is really top-drawer musical networking by these girls, so kudos in that regard. Second, if they’re the sort of band that would attract the likes of someone from Chochukmo, it’s fair to infer that they’re a band that sounds very indie, fresh, modern (I’ll try to explain during the course of this review) and are the sort of band that has a recognisable style to their songs.
And as it turned out, my suspicions were right with regard to their sound; they have a characteristic sound that mixes (broadly) two styles of music to produce something offbeat. Generally it’s thick and loopy basslines, mixed with syncopated drums, overlaid with guitars that are usually staccato and almost plinky like a piano in their sound. There are just a few stretches of continuous strumming in their songs, as the guitar is treated more as sonic embroidery than the basis for the sound. Their singer has a clear and very earnest voice, and she is of my favourite variety of singer in that there’s very little artifice in her style; no forcing 10 notes where two would do, no unnecessary shows of skill to merely impress. She’s a singer who doesn’t let her technical vocal skill get in the way of sounding good, and that’s wonderful. Which isn’t to say that she doesn’t take her chances to take the vocal flourishes when the music demands them, more that the vocal flourish is used judiciously. Backed up by the sweet voice of their guitarist, it makes for a saccharine vocal section. They use a lot of light pop-jazz/bossa nova, and intersperse it between the Noughties rock bits of their songs. The overall tone is dancey and light, and this adds a lot of levity particularly to their jazzier songs (jazz being perceived as a style taken unnecessarily seriously by a lot of people this is not only a good thing for their sound but also the band’s image).
However, they have a song-writing problem that I have most often seen only in metal bands; their songs are divisible into easily perceptible “parts”, and these parts lack continuity between them. Like the uneven divisions between the Dutch and Belgian border at Baarle-Nassau or badly hacked-down timber, this is just jarring and unnecessary. If style is to change violently in a song, it should be well-earned, and certainly not done in every song; I say just write two songs if the musicians like both styles so much. However, they did figure out how to make variations on a theme very well in Whatever and That Day, I Went to His Funeral; the parts vary in tone and feel but the connective thread between them is strong, as if they were micro-movements in a symphony instead of very different bits that don’t sound like the same song. Their lyrics, while generally strong, did sometimes descend into sounding like adolescent poetry occasionally (Whatever….but then again, that may have been the point of the song). Aside from this, they are a fresh-sounding band with a very endearing stage-presence and are really, really tight, especially considering some of the rather complicated musical manoeuvres they pull off. If you’re looking to hear something different but dancey and fun, you should definitely try catching a show by these girls.
— Shashwati Kala
GDJYB，一個有趣的名字，由四個有實力的女生組成的全女樂隊。她們玩的是Math-Folk-Rock的風格，把當晚的氣氛一下子推高。第一首《Philip The Buster》，主唱一開始用較柔和的聲音，然後到中段才一次過爆出渾厚的聲線，第二首來到和Chochukmo主音Jan合作的《Time In My Galaxy》，層次非常的多，聽著像在穿梭不同的世界，之前聽過Jan主唱的acoustic version，也是一樣吸引。第三首《Whatever》，是節奏較快的一首，歌曲都散發出隨意的感覺。而總的來說，GDJYB有著很多有趣的想法，Math-folk的特色也讓人很難不愛上，而且她們在台上的投入讓感染力再強了一點，就說當晚也讓全場的氣氛熱烈起來，而且她們很懂得製造不同的聲音去豐富自己的音樂，因此，GDJYB絕對是一隊不能錯過的樂隊。
– Sidick Lam