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
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!
© 1996, Rational Alternative Digital