Winning the “We’ll Make Your Album” contest hosted by Diesel:U Music and Timeout Hong Kong, the lads of Chochukmo landed an all expenses production paid trip for the making of their debut album. The result, The King Lost His Pink is a release that I can happily say –– is worthy of the hype.
Staring at the chic pink cover art done by HK artist Simon Birch, the coolness factor of the band is undeniable. The members, who are painted naked and adorned with tattoos, decidedly have their bottom parts concealed by a thin railroad gate. Other than being a bold image, is also telling of the band’s music and personalities –– we can rock and we can roll, but we don’t take ourselves too seriously. This non-pretentious attitude runs throughout The King Lost His Pink, and acts to keep the band’s more serious musical tendencies whimsical and fun.
Opening with “Child Heights”, a calm instrumental driven mainly by whistling, is a sort of preparation to the explosive energy of the following tracks. We hear lead singer Jan Curious carefully whispering “1,2,3…4” in Cantonese, and the second track “Tell Her (Laura I Love Her)” jumps in. Jangling arpeggios giveaway to intermittent drum fills, while Jan’s voice progresses the song along. Until the end of the first chorus, nothing too out of the ordinary happens. But then at the second verse, the song dips into a carnival like jingle that segues back to the chorus. The move is perplexing and unexpected but the band somehow makes it work. “Number one” has a similar transition, this time from danceable post-punk to a full bossa nova breakdown to ending.
These plays on the listener’s expectation run throughout The King Lost His Pink, with most attempts being successful. One of the contributing factors may be traced to lead singer Jan’s jubilant voice; singing in a distinctively loose manner, he helps bring together any awkward musical style or mood shifts. In addition, the rest of the band’s efforts cannot be overlooked either, as their high musical technicality definitely shines. From the swift meter and tempo shift on “1 2 3 4 5 6 7 To You” to the music orgy madness found in “Head to Toe”, the band makes these often unexpected musical shifts seem easy, and that in itself is no easy feat.
The King Lost His Pink is not a long album; the overall run-time is around 35 minutes, but the shorter length works, as tracks never overextend their welcome. Quite frankly, despite each tracks short length, these songs have more than enough musical goodness for any listener to chow down on.
Tell Her (Laura I Love Her) | Chochukmo
Recommended tracks: 02, 07, 10
01. Child Heights
02. Tell Her (Laura I Love Her)
03. Number One
04. Let Her Go
05. Head To Toe
06. Till Late No May
07. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 T You
08. Something Special
10. Welcome To The Graveyad