Live Review from Underground 70:
Milkshake 7 came out with a song with nearly unintelligible Chinese lyrics, a sort of hard rock nearing heavy metal music, very complicated, high energy all the way. Then they follow with a loud pop rock tune reminding me of ToNick and Wild Dogs. Their good fun pop punk style jumped into presence in the middle of the set while the crowd was really getting quite excited. It appears they are one pop band that can spiral a song into a fast-pace attention grabbing hook, while the audience was definitely showing appreciation. It’s only going to take a little more time before they would be producing a stadium anthem like Green Day’s “American Idiot”. Not to be out-done by themselves, they launched into a real high-speed punk number to end the set. But, in the end, they do lack the look of a stock standard pop punk/punk band.
Live Review from Berri Txarrak (Basque 巴斯克) Live in Hong Kong!:
- United We Stand
- Look Back
The first Underground show at Backstage was flagged off by this lazily energetic trio, who, FYI, had one of the funniest soundchecks I’ve ever seen (never heard “Oh my God!!” being used in quite this context…except, perhaps, in the U-Men’s They). They began by just joshing about on their instruments, but the beginning of Change was clearly demarcated by some classic jungle-beat drums, followed by a sudden burst into heavy, thrashy territory. The soundscape changed a number of times though the song (a sign of things to come), more conventional rock at times, and more metal-esque at others. What remained constant was the pacy, almost-hardcore punk feel of the songs, and the consistently uncomplicated guitars. They kinda sounded like an unassuming-slacker version of early Metallica – but in a good way. The solos were brisk and succinct, with a majority of the non-singing parts occupied by exploration of rhythmic riffs.Hotwheels had an injection of Motörhead, and swapped solos for sing-along bits, led by the bassist. Seven saw the singing become more melodic, while the drums moved away from the largely 4/4-dependent punk style to a less groovy Noughties one. Yet, this somehow combined to sound almost like surf-rock at points!
Their set was excellently arranged, and really built up pace as it proceeded.United We Stand had the three-note flourished of post-grunge, and a very headbang-able rhythm initially, but also visited post-punk and awesomely cheesy hard-rock spots. It’s almost like they were winking at the audience when they launched into non-punk, and this created a nice variety within their songs. However, sometimes these bits weren’t written into the songs subtly enough, and stood out to their disadvantage, making the feel slightly formulaic (though, I’ll admit, this is always a sticky wicket, and may just be a function of my not understanding the lyrics). That said, it was these very forays that also gave the songs many of their hooks without letting them descend into mere static hook-ery. It also gave the band a certain charm, as they seemed to be making an earnest effort to make varied music; juxtaposed with their relatively blasé stage presence, it made for fine viewing- much like this band from Seattle, Nirvana (heard of ‘em?) used to do [on a technical note, Milkshake7 didn’t have the tree Kristus Novoselicus growing on stage, but the effect was similar nonetheless]. By the time that the rather chord-drivenLook Back had built up to its zenith and finished off, Milkshake7 had convinced me of the validity of their approach, while having shown the (regrettably thin) listeners a good time too.