Archive for the ‘Shanghai’ Category

Anger Management: Shanghai

Tuesday, October 27th, 2015

It’s taken five years for Shanghai to meticulously arrange and record their magnum opus, The Ultraviolent. Blending the best moments from 2009’s Esoterica (which had some good moments but perhaps wore its influences on its sleeve a tad too earnestly) with their chops learned from 2010’s excellent cinematic-and-TV theme covers EP, The Battle For Mount Analogue, the nine-headed beast has delivered an album as ambitious as it is epic.

The band’s self-styled ‘film-rock-mutant-metal-jumpcut-cabaret’ juxtaposes cinematic pieces, furious surf guitar, beach pop/60s mod, death metal and much more. Imagine, if you will, Trey Spruance conducting a big band interpretation of a Looney Tunes/Merry Melodies James Bond score.

The whole album is constructed like a good film with a three act structure. But like a Jodorowski or Tarantino film, it takes a different path to get there. There are some excellent cinematic tracks here like “The Mercy Killings” and “A Murder Of Crows” that bridge the more conventional tracks together. The album is anchored in the middle by the first single, “Caveat Emptor”, and it’s still a highlight.

It’s not all crazy jumpcuts all around though. “Sundowner” sounds like an alternate universe Bond theme. Second single “Buffed Silver Is Shiny” is the ending credits/feel good music with vocals sounding a bit Weird Al. However halfway through the track builds to an epic space rock opera, the kind of thing that Devin Townsend would be proud of.

“Menage A Trois’” is a highlight that almost, almost collapses on its own sword. Halfway through it builds to an amazing horn/opera crescendo, only to be interrupted by an excellent death metal section (Luis Rojas can shred with the best of them when he lets loose), which is then abruptly discarded for a ‘cha-cha/doo-wop’ section that seems a tad unnecessary. It’s short enough however that it doesn’t take away too much from the track.

For the adventurous there is a lot too enjoy here. The production is top notch (self-produced and recorded) and special mention must go to some excellent drumming. They are an excellent live band too and I bet these tracks will be great in the live setting.

The Ultraviolet is out now.

Anger Management: Shanghai

Wednesday, October 8th, 2014

Every fortnight, we check in with all things heavy on RTRFM’s Critical Mass show.

Led by the very talented Luis Rojas, the nine-headed NSW collective Shanghai release their brand new single ‘Caveat Emptor’.

Announcing its arrival via a dramatic horn blast before kicking into a fast, thrashy riff, it’s clear that this band has brought a huge dollop of cinematic edge to their sound. Their previous release, The Battle for Mount Analogue, featured reinterpretations of some classic film scores/songs, and now band have woven this dramatic flair into their Trey Spruance-influenced sound.

But where bands like Secret Chiefs 3 would meander, Shanghai condense their sound and wrap it in a catchy packaging that even plays its own intermission. Fun stuff — look forward to the upcoming full length.

Critical Mass airs every Wednesday from 9PM on RTR FM 92.1.