Since their formation back in 2012, Round Eye have developed a reputation as one of Shanghai’s premiere (and probably first) punk rock bands – and like the Western bands that have deeply inspired them their sound meshes 50s and 60s garage rock spirit with blistering power chords and shouted lyrics. And as you’ll hear on “City Livin.’” off their forthcoming self-titled debut EP, their sound channels the infectiously brash, youthful energy of punk’s early days – i.e., The Ramones, The Clash, etc. with the same “We don’t give a fuck” “Don’t trust authority, ever” attitude. If it doesn’t make you want to mosh and jump around like an idiot, then you must have a dead, cold heart.
Interestingly, the band has toured the US, Mexico, South Korea, Japan and mainland China and have shared stages with the likes of renowned acts including Ceremony, Iceage, D.O.A. M.O.T.O., The FUs, The Paul Collins Beat, P.K. 14, SMZB and Misnado. They also have the rare distinction of having their mainland China tour with The Boys banned by the Ministry of Culture apparently due to “crowd control issues” following the tragic Shanghai stampede, a few months before, as well as a rather controversial tour poster; and reports of the band’s lewd stage antics. And as a result, the band hosted secret gigs in bomb shelters. How about that for badassery?
The official video has the members of the band roaming around Shanghai with a sense of awe, wonder, confusion and mischief – the sort of mischief that would make them stand out in places where the populace is strictly regulated and regimented. But interestingly, the video reveals that most places on our small blue ball are strangely similar. You can go to sections of downtown Frankfurt am Main and it’d remind you of Boston – and in the video, there’s a section of Shanghai that looks quite a bit like Manhattan. And so the very frustrations in city living that the band talks about in the song are profoundly universal.
Expect the band to make a Stateside tour to support their forthcoming effort in July. Hopefully, they’ll make a stop in the NYC area; I have a sense that it’ll be outrageous fun.