[CD REVIEW] 便利商店 (Convenience Store) – 潮汐 (Tide) (2009)

[CD REVIEW] 便利商店 (Convenience Store) – 潮汐 (Tide) (2009)

Sea Change

LABEL: 獨立發行 (Indie)
LANGUAGE: 國語 (Mandarin)
RELEASE DATE: 2009-05-19
RATING: 7.0

After a 2 year absence, Beijing rockers 便利商店 (Convenience Store) returns with a new EP titled 潮汐 (Tide), which is their first releases after leaving premier Beijing music label 摩登天空 (Modern Sky).  A full DIY effort –– from recording, advertisement and distribution, the band seems invigorated and almost feels like a different band altogether.

A departure from the more playful rock sound of their 2 previous albums Five Star and 電視猴 (TV Monkey), this EP features a more mature sound –– full of sentimental balladry and an extended use of synthesized orchestral elements, the music seems both different and familiar.  While listening to their earlier records one could easily draw parallels to the sounds of anything from Oasis, Suede to boy bands such as Westlife.  With Tide the band has grown away from their previous pop oriented sound to take cues from the more expansive sounds of western contemporaries such as Radiohead and The Verve.  The band, which was never shy of admitting their influence, is still very much stuck in their Brit Pop/Rock tribute mode, but this time more effort has been taken to integrate these influences instead of merely replicating them.

All three tracks feature an array of effects on both the vocals and instrumentation, but not all tracks put them to good use.  The first track “潮汐” (“Tide”) starts on a simple riff but slowly builds itself into a epic rocker that is enhanced by the heavy synthesizer work.  The band tries to use the same formula on the second track, “谷嶼” (“Canyon”) but fails as the cheesy sound effects drags.  Third track, “暗湧” (“Undercurrent”) acts as a breather track that has a good ambiance and luckily sticks to a simpler arrangement. The last track, “動物園” (“Zoo”) is a weird instrumental track that doesn’t really add much to the EP.

I’ve never been very keen on Convenience Store, but this EP is definitely a worthwhile release that shows the band maturing and growing.

Recommended tracks: 01, 03

Track Listing:
01. 潮汐 (Tide)
02. 谷嶼 (Canyon)
03. 暗湧 (Undercurrent)
04. 動物園 (Zoo) – Bonus Track

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lojun

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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