Beijing-set indie rock band Hedgehog may not be too well known in the west, despite having recorded their latest album Sun Fun Gun in the U.S., but they have been around since 2004, proving over and over that there are very good Chinese rock bands out there.
Hedgehog are a trio, ZO, Atom and He Yifan, and make a hell of a lot of noise for two dudes and a little lady. Despite forming in the 2000’s, the band’s music sounds very 90’s, early 90’s even, and there’s definitely some Nirvana influence in there.
As you can probably tell from “Wink”:
Trademark characteristics of the band include catchy bass lines, the use of English lyrics pretty often, wild and memorable choruses and Atom’s backing vocals. Though they have angstier tunes like “Wink” under their belt, they also do a great job with slower, moodier, more atmospheric tracks.
Case and point, “The End”:
But it’s not all moody stuff, they do have a good bunch of lighter, more easy-going songs like “Heart On Fire” or even the Ramones-inspired “Dear Boy I Wanna Be Your Girl Friend”:
The band has 7 albums to their name so far and are still going. Their first was Happy Idle Kid, which included the songs “Wink”, “One” and “Cool Bad Girl” and is quite probably their angstier effort. Then came the melodic follow-up, Noise Hit World, which included the fun, lighter “Toy & 6.1” and the rather abstract “Apart”.
Blue Daydreaming was next and included the beautiful title song, which opens the album with a bang. You could tell that Hedgehog’s style had solidified by the time this album came out, with loads of well-defined melodies and just instantly loveable tracks peppering the album. The likes of “In Spring” and “Tree” definitely worth hearing. Drummer Atom gets to also show off her vocals a little more in “Waiting For The Last Bus”.
Honeyed & Killed is the band’s fourth album, released in 2010, and contains the aforementioned “The End” as well as the mellower titular track and the darker “Kill Your Age”. The album was followed by a 2011 self-released effort, DEstroy MeMOries, which was a little more experimental (see “Broken Wings”) while still kept a raw energy, a bootleg called Still Alive and their latest, Sun Fun Gun, which came out in 2012 and which included “The Band” and the explosive “Surf With Shark”:
That Hedgehog have already crammed in so many cool albums in such a relatively short amount of time is impressive and it’s looking like there’s plenty more to come, probably going in an edgier direction.
Anyone into Nirvana or The Jesus And Mary Chain, or into that kind of music anyway, should definitely check out Hedgehog: loads of cool songs, loads of great albums. Be warned, though, the lyrics in some of their English songs aren’t exactly amazing but the songs themselves carry enough charm to keep you rockin’ throughout.