Da Bang, Da Bomb

Hipster, yo

Beijing rock band Da Bang: Hipster, yo

THE XX I hear the XX! I’m screaming in my head right now. Well, ok this is much less minimalistic and electronic than the British trio – in this case, a great thing.

Here’s Sunset by The XX, the feeling I got from Da Bang so strikingly reminded me of them. This is live by the way, they are amazing (couldn’t resist promoting!)

Though don’t let this wonderful track fool you, DA BANG is much more experimental in their style, there is no other song in their discography that resembles this. In fact, their music ranges from electronic punk rock to what some people call post-dub step, throwing in some dance funk in the mix. All very interesting, though some are more palatable than others.

A relatively younger band, DA BANG 大棒, originally called Bigger Bang, came together in 2008, three Beijingers who met through mutual friends – 汪婧/Pupi (Vocal), 李楠 (Drums), 李羽 (Bass), 阎帅 (Guitar).

Band leader 汪婧 is known for her badass character and wild stage presence. (That tattoo across her neck!) After coming together, in a short span of 4 months, the band spun out many of their greatest hits, including “Cry for young“, “少年邪” and others. As they went around playing gig after gig, their fanbase grew.

See what I mean? Pretty awesome, considering China :P

See what I mean? Pretty awesome, considering China :P

Emerging champions in the 2008 Redbull Original Songwriting Competition, the band pushed out a Live DVD with the help of a friend. In 2009, bassist 李羽 joined the band, creating space for the band to expand their music. 2009 also saw the launch of their 1st EP The Bigger Bang.

This promotion video for their 2012 “Celebrate” EP tour should totally just be an MV, it’s the best of theirs I’ve seen. One interesting about many indie bands is their preference for English lyrics, DA BANG being one of them – almost all their songs are sung exclusively in English. Perhaps ideologically motivated, perhaps not. For me, English carries DA BANG’s music very well. Maybe there is something about rock music that expresses things the Chinese language has yet to come round to?

Signed to Modern Sky, DA BANG now has 3 mini-albums under their belt. I’d say their music is the stuff that would be uber fun to watch live, with their theatrical instrumentation and infectious attitude. Da Bang at Mao Livehouse 2012

Their latest EP, Celebrate (2012) is by far my favorite, with a more assured, polished sound. “Love Becomes the Ghost Behind You” is the best song, along with others like “She” and “Celebrate”. Listen to the rest of the album here.

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