ChoChukMo’s first album is a result of Time-Out Magazine’s “We’ll Make Your Album” project. First, they were selected from a bunch of participants, then they went through hell-month, when they had to finish recording AND MIXING of the album inside one single month. After one additional month of preparation for a launch event, we saw a sold out CD launch party, supported by none other than two of the hottest bands in Hong Kong, Noughts & Exes and Jun Kung ensemble, and we found this CD on the shelf of HMV, which is uncommon for a Hong Kong indie band, and it charted! which, I believe, was only preceded by Audiotraffic and Hardpack, as indie bands.
This album has all the signs of becoming a classic: a real daring cover design by famous painter Simon Birch, mixing and mastering by The Invisible Men, daring song titles, and a sound that is almost like a challenge to the other bands. Added on top their fixation on the colour pink.
The album actually flows comfortably through casual home recording, pop songs, experimental song, ballad and refreshing instrumental number. So you’re guaranteed a good ride, with not much worries about too much loud music or having to practice your dance move. If you’ve seen enough ChoChukMo live, most often, singer Jan would say in the beginning of the show, “we’re ChoChukMo, and we’re here to give you rock and roll.” Indeed, this album is exactly that, the most exciting rock and roll you would want to swing your body to.
ChoChukMo, in all fairness, is a genuine collective of excellent musicians: Jan Curious has one of the most distinguished voices in Hong Kong. Mike Orange (aka Motion Fades) is a popular musician that other musicians would like to work with. Lesbian Hunter is a very stylish guitarist (prone to breaking guitar strings, that’s how forcefully he plays), while Kitty Trouble is quite simply known widely for his great drumming techniques. This is clearly a great relief for anyone who is concerned that the Time-Out selection would end up in a band who support Alan Tam in classic rock session. We are indeed treated to a musical delight that you either categorize as “rock” because nothing else fit, or “unclassifiable” because you are very fussy about categorisation.
I assume that for the uninitiated, I shall give a few pointers. None is quite necessary. First, you can find some hardcore pointers in the Underground live preview section. This band is such a loved band they’ve played the Underground five times, the first time being Underground 19 (while I’m writing, the next Underground is 90 1/2) in 2006 (Wong Kar Keung eat your heart out). Second, the internet savvy would head right over to their myspace to check out how they sounded like. In this day and age, if anyone says all the right things about a band and didn’t put a “LOL” at the end, it’s probably the truth.
So, pop, punk, distinguished vocal, impressive (if not amazing yet) drumming, and sincere rock and roll (but not loud, noisy and obnoxious), if all of the above didn’t summarize “The King Lost His Pink”, let’s just say, this is likely one of those desert island albums we’ve heard so much of.
Reviewed by Bun Ng