The Gar (The Gar)

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Cover

Contents

General Information

Artist: The Gar
Title: 嘎调 (gā diào) / The Gar
Release Date: 2009, March
Label: Maybe Mars Records
Type: CDDA
Catalog No.:
Language: Chinese
ISRC:
Credits:

Executive Producers: Michael Pettis & Zheng Changyu
Produced by Gar & Yuli Chen
Engineered by Yuli Chen
Recorded @ Hi-end studio & Sweet Factory Studio
Mixed by Yuli Chen @ Sweet Factory Studio
Mastered by Tim Young @ Mastering in London
Design by Gar
Photography by TangTing, Luka and DongXing
All songs written & arranged by Gar


Track Listing

  1. Sea Birds
  2. 王子复仇记
  3. 两个妈妈
  4. 生之爱
  5. 告诉蕾
  6. 新秩序
  7. 猴子D
  8. 尾巴


Reviews

  • (c) City Weekend Beijing, Blake Stone-Banks, April 1, 2009

Over one year ago, the Gar entered producer Yuli Chen’s studio to record its debut. After a series of delays and recording setbacks, the band has emerged with an eponymous LP, a brilliantly realized album that stands out in a sea of recent Beijing indie releases.

"We started working with Yuli a year ago. We were working very fast to finish before Yuli had to start work on the Olympics," says Gar frontman Zhan Pan. Though they didn’t finish in time, Pan no longer thinks taking a break was such a bad thing. "Having to stop recording before it was completed was a blow to the psychology of the band at the time. We had wanted to do it very quickly, but now there was more pressure to make a better album and grow stronger as a band."

While the Gar was refining its sound with an intense schedule of live shows, other Beijing bands entered and left the studio. Among them are three new releases on the Maybe Mars label: White, Ourself Beside Me and Joyside (EP release on April 24), as well as a second album, Blue Daydreaming, by local pop rockers Hedgehog on Modern Sky.

The above releases are stellar and achieve the sounds they aimed for, but two factors mark Gar a breakthrough for the local scene. The Gar’s pop sensibilities and singular sound have an intensity that escapes many of the shoegazing acts in the indie scene. Guitars switch between clean, jangly pop rhythms to crashing waves of distortion and reverb without warning while Pan screams out, often in a haunting falsetto. The Gar’s brand of high-octane indie-pop songwriting in the vein of Built To Spill is a welcomed change in the capital. Gar is also Beijing’s first notable indie release since Lonely China Day’s 2006 debut with lyrics entirely in Chinese.

When Pan is asked what he is most happy with about the album, he shyly replies, "I feel it is complete. We were worried maybe the song’s different styles would come across as chaotic, but the sound actually ended up very cohesive." The result is an album of singular energy and vision with the potential to appeal to far more fans than there are in Beijing’s tight indie clique.

More..

  • (c) Beijing Gig Guide, November 2009

This album has its down­sides, of course. It’s the band’s first shot at a stu­dio album, after hav­ing appeared on a cou­ple of live record­ing short-release albums, and I have to say it’s a pretty good shot. Com­pared with what a lot of bands put out, it’s fan­tas­tic. The biggest down­fall these record­ings suf­fer is a touch of over-production. Everything’s a lit­tle too bal­anced, a lit­tle too easy to lis­ten to, when you can hear — just behind every­thing com­ing out of your speak­ers — some real poten­tial in the music. But what I really love about the songs on this album are the singer’s voice. It’s got a touch of the nasal about it, but in the fun-loving Super­grass kind of way, not the annoy­ing Conor Oberst kind of way.

Read more...

  • Musikreviews.de, by Nils Herzog
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Seit 2007 existiert dieses Trio aus Peking und kann schon auf eine ganze Reihe von Auftritten zurückblicken, wobei der Auftritt im „D-22“ während eines Wohltätigkeitskonzerts für die Opfer des Sichuan-Erdbebens im Jahre 2008 als ein Höhepunkt angesehen werden kann.

FAZIT: THE GAR spielen melodischen Garage Rock mit psychedelischer Schlagseite und melancholischen, oft mehrstimmigen Gesangsarrangements. Sehr exotisch mutet das nicht an, doch tragen einige fremdartige Harmonien und der chinesische Gesang dazu bei, dass THE GAR aus der Masse an Musik, die man sich Tag für Tag anhört, doch ein wenig hervorstechen.

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Further information

  • Douban page
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