Rock in China – Core in China (15 May 2012, Rock in China Records)
Hello readers! As you may have noticed, I’m pretty interested in learning about where different bands come from, and I try to seek out material from places that are unfamiliar to me. Well until now I’ve never written about any music from China, so when I learned about the Core in China Project, I decided it would be a great opportunity to share something that was totally new to me, and probably new to you as well. I’d never heard of Rock in China Records before this compilation was brought to my attention, but I think it’s really cool what they are doing — working to help Chinese musicians find greater exposure across the world.
Despite the censorship and controls on the internet within the Chinese borders, it seems that many people have managed to gain access to foreign recordings and videos somehow, and then post them to websites within that country (which basically serve as Chinese versions of Youtube, etc.); through these means, young bands have been inspired by some of the trends that are taking place across the world and are now able to produce their own take on many new musical genres and sub-genres.
Core in China (described as a “free online compilation of Chinese Metalcore, Deathcore, Nintendocore, Hardcore and Screamo bands that have been selected via an open song submission process from January to May 2012”) is an attempt to document some of what is happening within China (also including Hong Kong, Taiwan, and Inner Mongolia). It was officially released online about two months ago, as a free download.
Since this compilation covers a pretty wide range of material, I wouldn’t expect most people to fall in love with everything you’ll find here (for me, personally, it breaks my heart — and also makes my ears bleed a bit — to find that the awful trend of abusing auto-tuning has found its way to that part of the world), but this is a cool way to discover some music you might never have been exposed to otherwise. With around ninety minutes of music, there should be a little something for everyone here!
Below, I’ll give you a brief run-down on what you can expect from the tracklisting, as well as where you can get more information on the project and the bands, and finally where you can grab these free tunes!
1. Why Lazy – “Dying in the Dream”
Mostly a nicely-done hardcore/metalcore blend (but unfortunately employs some autotune on the chorus).
2. NewTank – “The Dreamer”
A bit of electro-industrial hardcore (has clean singing on the chorus, but not autotuned).
3. Meat Sucks – “Buried the Truths”
Sounds like a nu-metal style, incorporates female vocals and a piano part throughout.
4. Ordnance – “Ask for a Justification”
Fairly hard-hitting groove metal, then the song ends with some tasty straight-up Sabbath-inspired riffs.
5. Partisan – “Selfish”
Hardcore/punk with a bit of a metallic edge; harsh vocals but clean on the choruses.
6. Monkey King – “Until You Come”
Fast-paced synthetic metalcore, some of it sounding pretty video-gamey, so I’ll guess perhaps this is what they call “Nintendocore”?
7. Multi-Ego – “End of Me”
Kind of a nu-metal/deathcore blend; has sort of emo-ish clean singing in the choruses.
8. Mensheng – “故謠 Ballad of Fallen”
A hybrid of hardcore/mathcore/breakdowncore/jazzcore.
9. Die in Velvet – “每天生每天死”
Pretty harsh, almost painful hardcore, very feedback-intensive. I really dug the cool bassline that comes in at one point…
10. Ashtemato – “Joker”
Sounds like heavy heardcore, but with a nearly techno-esque beat at times.
11. Saving Molly – “To My Friend”
Has a nice, raw, punky vibe to it.
12. Luktomo – “We are Luktomo”
After a lengthy synth-filled intro, this turns into fairly straightforward hardcore/deathcore. However, that chorus really drips with thickly applied auto-tune…
13. Beyond Cure – “Self Destruction”
Mostly deathcore, although some parts of this could be considered regular death metal.
14. DustFall – “Dawn Late”
More metalcore/hardcore goodness.
15. Thyhazard – “Liar”
16. King Ly Chee – “在路上 feat. Andrew Neufeld (Comeback Kid)”
Hardcore punk, with gang-shouts galore.
17. Shut Up! Shut Down! – “Bros Holds on Firm Bloods”
Basically metalcore, but with a piano (and autotuning) in the chorus. Some sort of synth noises or video game music sounds make an appearance later, and it also features some gang-shouts, then ends on a breakdown. I’m not sure if I understand what the song title means, but that’s definitely a cool band name.
18. Raving Jokes – “No Vain”
Some more well-done hardcore/screamo.
19. The Falling – “Circle II Circle”
Primarily a deathcore/hardcore blend; has a little bit of clean singing, including a particularly interesting harmonized part toward the end…
20. Mary Dolls – “2012”
Glorious lo-fi recording, I’d almost be tempted to call this “blackened metalcore.” Almost.
You can listen to (and download) any or all of the tracks via Bandcamp–
Alternatively, the full album can also be downloaded directly from Rock in China here.
For more info:
Core in China compilation page (includes details about each band, plus lyrics, credits, and more)
Core in China project page (to learn more about the creation of the compilation itself)
Rock in China website, Facebook