Live review from Underground 101:
1. Kwun Gok 困局
2. Daydream Love Letter
3. Shades of…
4. We Are Dogs
6. 怎麼天生不是女人 (草蜢Grasshopper cover) [Encore]
I was quite apprehensive about ni.ne.mo, considering they used the word “electronic” to describe themselves, which has usually meant “distracted” in my experience. Happily, I was proved wrong by this band, who merely used electronic means to augment their spacey, indie sound. Lots of broody melodies and moody vocals, combined with cleverly used drums and subtly-used electronic effects and a violin, all mixed together on a vaguely jangly indie-roc palette, these guys were very interesting to listen to. Clearly, they had something to say too, which seemed to give their performance and the songs an inherent attitude – always a good thing. Kwun Gok sounded like a 2000s version of a Talking heads song, with is odd-sounding textures and stop-start rhythms (although, the lyrics were quite hackneyed). Shades of… was perhaps the song that epitomised the style, with interesting rhythms and pallor of discomfiting weird beauty that was added by the violin. The singer fiddled away with the effects on his vocals, as the music rose to frenzy and the ragged sounds made your heart rate rise. Exciting stuff.
We Are Dogs was about a professor who, apparently, called all HK people “dogs”, and was like a Talking Heads song, but the singer being Johnny Rotten. Feel how uncomfortable yet cool that sounds? It was just like that. In fact, the slight discomfort that’s caused by listening to unconventional music was a constant feature of the band’s sound, although they did push it over the edge in Daydream… and over-dancy (for me) Sogly. Their encore rendition of a boyband’s song was, I’m afraid, a mistake, ‘cause their set would’ve been much more impressive without it. They weren’t able to give an interesting twist to the cheesy tune and lyrics and it just ended up sounding…well, lame, instead of clever. Still, overall, they clearly have some interesting songs and make for a good live act, which they lived up to on the night. Now, if only they’d make their lyrics less typical, they could really show off their musical potential.
— Shashwati Kala