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rock in the fine city
'80s-'90s singapore independent music archives
Wednesday, July 04, 2007
(XY Recordings/Universal 2004)

This is good stuff so I have to review it. This is not your average new run-of-the-mill fucked up local darlings with emo penchant; this is the unholy reincarnate that used to shock people with their scary cover of Tokyo Square's cover of Chyna's “Within You'll Remain” done with deadpan vocals . Surprise surprise let me present to you Zircon Gov.Pawn Starz! Finally they had landed, trespassing onto Singaporean shores after nearly two decades of hiatus from their time as great pioneers of underground music in the form of Zircon Lounge. And what a fucking great debut this is. Long time members Chris Ho (X'Ho) and Yeow teamed up with Suzanne Walker (as Sue Sue Law) to come up with throbbing gristle of “art-punk/electro-enfant” audial terrorism. This “art-punk” sounded nothing like the new wave of “Regal Vigor”, but its a fucking cold industrial heavy duty electroclash for generation alienated, the signs of any life being the flowing stream of social conscience. OK, this is quite a mouthful... the album features Chicks on Speed, Peter of Coil, MIA and remixes by Futon, Ashidiq & Kiat, Case and Eastward Project. Not of much importance though besides garnering international recognition, the covers of Motorhead and The Queers will suffice.

“Follywood” is the obvious wordplay of Hollywood (or Bollywood) but this actually meant something much closer to home. Where else but our own Mediacorps? The album is the catharsis of the forever opinionated X'Ho's favourite pastime, that is bashing our grand media monopoly (a creation by this “farce-ist regime”) and the installed kings and queens of Caldecott Hills. And not forgetting meaningful political diatribes. Also please do check out his “X with an X (Me All Good No Bad)” CD with what is really the genius political sartire if you cannot get enough of his sexy radiotime persona.

“Mouthless Fish” is really mocking fun at us and our subservient attitude and how we “barely breathed, get armlocked, gripped and squeezed and we still live”. Well, yes Mr Ho indeed vampires are aplenty here on this democratic republic island but we are actually quite good at complaining so how about calling us “Ball-less Fish” instead? Musically a coldwave almost too totalitarian assault upon our sour kana face. Sue Sue Law told off all the Fann Wongs and Zoe Tays on the electronic cover of The Queer's “Drop The Attitude, Fucker”. Oh and how can I forget the “so bad so sad” Christopher Lee, this is a middle finger salute for our beloved national highway star and his heroic saga. “Media Whore” is another parody on the products of mediacorps and it's about the same old story but let's shove this into the face of dear Chris (the Lee one not Ho) again. Squeaky clinical robot disco rocks “Digit Nation” like Kraftwerk's “Computer World”, hip swaying to “keep on swinging” as the dreamland utopia is transmitted into human literacy but this is but a dream. Oh and they did a cover of Motorhead's “Nightmare/Dreamtime” which in the good tradition of X'Ho had it made into “Nightmare (On 8 & 5)” with predictable but fun content.

Highly idealistic with an equally futile cause, this can be treated like a guerilla insurgency in music, where the terrorism strikes fear in our hearts not for the sheer terror of it, but it instills and warns of bleak, terrifying possibilities. But they had a vision, “Zircon-nation is the betta Utopia: a beautiful and humanistic digital future”. For me, my vision is “we are but our own follies”. 66.6 rock n'roll.

--sojourner at 9:30 PM

Album Reviews

Anesthesia- Anesthesia CD Astreal- Ouijablush CD AWOL- Midnight In June CD Band of Slaves- 45 MCD Bird Brains- Peanut Butter Jelly Sandwich CD The Black Sun- The Black Sun CD The Boredphucks- Revolution 69 MCD The Boredphucks- Banned In Da Singapura CD Chris Ho- Nite Songs In Day-Glo CD Concave Scream- Concave Scream CD Concave Scream- Erratic CD Concave Scream- Three CD Daze- Sexy Little Boy MCD Do Not Ask- Just Play It! CD Edgar's Fault- Edgar's Fault CD Fection Dasche- Eternal Transgression CD Flying Pills- Flying Pills CD Force Vomit- The Furniture Goes Up CD Global Chaos- The Art of Listening CD Humpback Oak- Pain-stained Morning CD Humpback Oak- Ghostfather CD Humpback Oak- SideASideB CD Humpback Oak- Oaksongs Boxset Impiety- Asateerul Awaleen CD Kelvin Tan- The Bluest Silence CD Lilac Saints- Awake CD The Lizard's Convention- Here's a Funny Fish, Hurrah! CD The Mother- A Dark Trip On The Ill Tip CD Mutation- Void of Disharmony EP Neural Vibe- Mantra CD The Oddfellows- Teenage Head CD The Oddfellows- Carnival CD The Ordinary People- It's A Weird Existence CD The Padres- BigO Singles Club #1 MCD The Padres- What's Your Story MCD The Pagans- Stereokineticspiraldreams CD Radio Active- Eyes In The Attic CD Starfish n Coffee- Ghost MCD Stompin' Ground- Measured By The Richter Scale CD Stoned Revivals- Golden Lovesongs From The Evil Island of The Handsome Tropical Cannibals CD Sugarflies- And That's Why CD Watchmen- Democracy CD Watchmen- Love MCD Zircon Gov.Pawn Starz- Follywood CD Zircon Lounge- Regal Vigor LP Various Artists- +65 Indie Underground 3 CDs Set Various Artists- Left of The Dial CD Various Artists- The Substation 10 Years & Counting (Rock The Garden) CD Various Artists- 12 Storeys CD Various Artists- New School Rock MCD
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