OffStreet Music is coming soon. In the meantime, here’s an album review and a series of gig photos that would’ve run in Rave #1048.
ALBUM REVIEW: LOW WORMWOOD — Lanzhou Lanzhou (Tenmenzen)
From the Muddy Banks of the Yellow River
Naming their second album after their hometown — twice, Chinese folk-rockers Low Wormwood’s attachment to the place is obvious and for good reason. The cultural hub of Gansu Province in Northwest China, Lanzhou is a booming industrial city surrounded by towering, wooded mountains and sliced in half by the enormous Yellow River. Breaking with the city’s folk-oriented scene, Low Wormwood has embraced an off-kilter fusion of folk and grunge. The result is an album that’s a fascinating document of the intermingling of Western cultural forms with traditional Chinese modes of musical expression. Most of Lanzhou Lanzhou’s tracks could be broadly characterised as ballads but the group play fast and loose with the format. It makes for a refreshing listen. Unless you’re a rabid sinophile it’s unlikely that you’ve heard anything similar and for the musically adventurous there’s nothing more enticing.
Expressive Grounds, Gold Coast, Thursday July 5
Photos by ALLAN ALLPORT, who was once told he was going to be that old guy at a gig. Now he uses his camera as an excuse to see as many bands as possible. Find more photos here.