Da Bang is from Beijing, but you probably wouldn’t have figured that out on your own because their album 少年邪 (aka Bone Hug) developed along the current trajectory of alternative music. Drawing influence from simply the best of the early 2000s, Bone Hug is a record that feels remarkably fresh. Lead singer Pupi is amazing, resembling a Fever to Tell-era Karen O on “Down Down Down” and doing her best Sue Tompkins talk-singing on “Danger”. The synths on “冰心” (the album’s only track sung in Chinese) are bizarre in a manner that The Knife might be proud to call their own.
While Western observers like to focus on the parts of East Asian culture that are over the top, there are genuine attempts by artists to do something in a different vein. By simplifying the Asian cultural experience, the West has fetishized by omission, unfair to the Chinese youth that face a certain societal restlessness with very real problems. “Cut Cut Cut” tackles one such problem, describing a terrible, twisted, sick co-dependent relationship, mirrored by the song’s frenetic buildups and dizzying comedowns.
And hey, if you’re not willing to make this political, just listen to the tunes because they’re bomb as hell.