[CD REVIEW] 老佛爺 (Lao Fo Ye) – 燕·歸來 (The Swallow Returns) (2009)

[CD REVIEW] 老佛爺 (Lao Fo Ye) – 燕·歸來 (The Swallow Returns) (2009)

Strokes of Genius

LABEL: 獨立發行 (Indie)
LANGUAGE: 粵語 (Cantonese) / 英語 (English)

老佛爺 (Lao Fo Ye) is a young band from 珠海 (Zhu Hai city), who are very much a part of the exciting breed of 廣東硬核 (Canton hardcore) bands that are emerging out of the Canton province of China.  Named after the infamous alias of 慈禧太后 (Qing Dynasty Empress Dowager Ci-Xi), the band plays relentless post-hardcore music which also gives way to soft reflective moments.

The EP begins with solid rocker “回首” (“Recollect”) –– opening with some intense half time drumming, an ascending octave leads into the maniacal screams of lead singer 鄭奕雯 (Kary).  The remainder of the song goes through a swirl of emotions and musical changes that is reminiscent of bands like Poison the Well or blessthefall. What really works in the band’s favor is their tightness, with each musical unit coming off as feeling accomplished and balanced.  Within the post-hardcore chaos –– highlight is drummer, 聂鑫’s (Nie’s) passionately solid beats and pulsating double bass work, which helps keep the band’s more space rock tendencies in line.  The remaining 2 songs showcase a similar style to “回首” (“Recollect”) and are no less interesting or challenging.

It is also commendable on how far the band went in terms of sound, presentation and image.  As a self released product, they definitely deserve an A+ for effort.  The only minor gripe that I can find is that the three tracks on the EP seem to follow the loud giveaways to soft pattern a little too closely.  But this cannot be taken against them too much as the high points far outweigh the lack of variety.  With this EP Lao Fo Ye demonstrates a definite talent, and hints for further greatness and breakthroughs if given a larger canvas and budget.

Recommended tracks: All

Track Listing:
01. 回首 (Recollect)
02. 燕·歸來 (The Swallow Returns)
03. I Lost Myself in your Hand


I like to spend my time on the internet searching for the meaning of life. When I am not doing this you can find me listening to music or playing the bass…or stuffing myself silly on Burritos.

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