Beijing may be home to Carsick Cars, the Gar, Hedgehog and P.K.14, but Shanghai has a secret weapon: Duck Fight Goose. Ok, so maybe that’s an unfair comparison, especially considering that the experimental quartet only started up in 2009. But in buzz years (similar to dog years), Duck Fight Goose is well beyond its calender age. Serving as a handy reminder is this month’s release of their debut album, Sports, which they celebrate with a show on December 17 at D-22.
Part of the reason Duck Fight Goose have managed to generate so much buzz in such a short time is that the band is made up of veterans of the underground scene, with two members from exquisite weirdo-band Boojii, and a singer/guitarist who also happens to be the frontman of critically acclaimed psychedelic outfit LAVA/SEA/OX.
“With Duck Fight Goose there was something I wanted to express for the first time,” says frontman Han Han. In the beginning, this meant the kind of heavily looped math rock the band recorded on Flow. Cerebral, frenetic, sharp, the EP won high critical praise and quickly established DFG as one of China’s leading experimental bands. “This is an aural testament to local creativity and originality,” commented Shanghai music critic Andy Best.
So fans will be in for a surprise when they listen to Sports, which represents a major shift in sound and approach from Flow. In contrast to the latter’s sharp, experimental angles, Sports boasts a more conventional—if still complex—sound, rich with heavily textured post-punk dirges.
“We are more straightforward, and at the same time not as dynamic,” Han Han says of Sports. “The idea was to make something more like ‘adult rock,’ without losing the complexity we always want, and create songs around one core concept.”
That core concept is sports. Or, rather, all of the dark things about modern society that sports represents. According to a recent interview with Pangbianr, the band’s shift in sound came about as part of an effort to better express complicated ideas like these. “[We were] rebelling against … pop music rather than expressing what we are,” Han Han said. “The strange structure, lyrics, sounds, EFX, everything else will serve one purpose—to describe what we truly feel and build a bridge for us and the audience to communicate.”
But this doesn’t mean DFG has written off experimentation: “All the new songs are surely more acceptable to average listeners,” Han Han says. “But we will do something ugly next time, maybe.”
What: Duck Fight Goose Record Release
When: Dec 17, 10pm