China Drum


The bio for China Drum says that "the band adopted the D.I.Y. ethic of U.K. punk." That is true insofar as they did what they did themselves, but not entirely true with regard to their sound. They've been knee- deep in the punk since '89, and you gotta respect that in a band. You can tell when you listen to them that they just didn't get together in 1995 after the punk scene "hit" and started recording. It is a strong disk, with 14 powerful tracks (and one hidden track, a cover of Kate Bush's "Wuthering Heights" for those of you looking for hiddens)--this disk doesn't let you get bored.

China Drum are U.K. punkers, and that's something quite rare in these last three years of the ruling So-Cal punk scene. It has a noticeable influence in their sound. Now, they don't sound anything like early UK punk, but I think "Goosefair" breathes some new life into the current stream of punk music. The best way to describe the sound is to say it's like a combination of mainstream punk and '80's British pop. For example, I can't tell on track #5 ("Simple") ifcan't tell on track #5 ("Simple") if I'm listening to Face to Face or Inspiral Carpets. It's really strange, but I find it a refreshing sound.

Bottom line, if you're looking for either Sid Vicious or Fat Mike, you're not going to find it in China Drum. What you are going to find is an experienced band with a unique sound. After hearing "Goosefair," I can't wait for the tour--bring it on!

Jeff Jolley
© 1996, Rational Alternative Digital