Double Take on Rustic’s City of Heartbreak and Horror: A Fitting Debut!

It’s a long way to the top, if you wanna rock n roll…. that’s what Bon Scott sang. For Rustic, it might not have been a long way but it has been an interesting journey that has take these 3 kids from the backwaters of Hebei all the way to London/Hong Kong and Kuala Lumpur. As the band prepares to unleash their first record on the world, Ruby and I take a listen or a few… here’s what we think

Beijing Daze on City of Heartbreak and Horror

City of Heartbreak and Horror

What a lovely name for a record by a party band..actually, it’s just a cool name! The cover, judging by the pictures, is simple, red, to the point and quite rustic, much like the band. I’ve been looking forward to this record for many reasons, with one of the main ones being curiosity! How the hell do you package the zoo that is Rustic in a format that takes away the visuals. Hell, is there a Rustic without the visual element? The answer is a thundering YES!

This band is not aiming to save the world, ok? But at the same time, there’s more to them than the glitz and sleaze we tend to see because frankly, it’s almost impossible to understand any of their words when they sing. The lyrics are actually quite witty on songs like “Wild Women” and “living in a world of fallacy”.
The music itself is quite catchy with all tracks being distinctly different: there is no repackaging of 3 chords a-la carsick cars. Poison Beauty opens ups with a Clash like intro and evolves into its own animal, Erotic Films has that oi rock feel to it whereas Summer View has a cool driving bluesy groove. Girls are not Yours is easily my favorite track on the record with a beautiful sing along chorus and nice hooks. For the longest time, I actually thought they were singing “girls like girls”

A lot has been made of the fact that PK14’s Yang Haisong produced this record… rightfully so! Given what he had to work with, I think he made the best call possible in going for a back-to- basics raw sound that lets the feral nature of the band shine. Most producers might have tried cleaning up the sound instead of embracing the band’s intricate simplicity and might have failed at it. I’ll give him a lot of credit in making this record as fun as it is.

Ruby on City of Heartbreak and Horror

What can be said about Rustic that hasn’t already been said in the last 12 months? These three guys from the Shizza have come such a long way since the first time I saw them at Obiwan over a year ago. I love, love, love their energetic, crazy fun, live shows, so when I heard they were recording an album, I have to admit I was a little worried how that huge stage presence that is such a big part of the Rustic experience could be transferred to an album.

I picked up a copy of the Generation 6 album a while ago which gave me a little taste of recorded Rustic (along with Birdstriking who are opening for them this Friday and Flyx) It was good, but I felt just a little tame compared to what I’m used to hearing. City of Heartbreak and Horror is nothing near tame! PK14’s Yang Haisong produced the album and told City Weekend he tried to capture the stage show by giving the record an old school 70’s style. Well, he succeeded, the first thing I thought when listening to the album was how he’d captured the raw essence of Rustic classic punk style perfectly. You can almost see the boys doing high kicks and crazy moves while listening to it!

I usually find when listening to the album of band I’ve seen so many times live, different songs jump out at me on the album from those I like live and this one is no different. ‘Modern Love‘ will always be my favourite Rustic song but I love rocking out to the ‘Rock ‘N Roll for Money ‘N Sex‘ and ‘Girls Are Not Yours‘ and they were the first songs to grab my attention on the album. Lucifer’s vocals stand out much more than in a live show and I keep finding myself singing along with the catchy chorus’ on ‘Erotic Films‘ and ‘Summer View‘. I’m still not sure what I think of ‘Poison Beauty, or the remix of it – catchy song, but more pop than punk? I love the clarinet on ‘Wild Woman‘, one of the things that helped them win over the GBoB judges in London, I hope it will come out on Friday as well! I can’t wait for the album release so I can send it out to friends all over the world who can’t make to a Rustic show!

Rustic Album Launch ( w/ Birdstriking)
Yugong Yishan
April 22, 2011

be there…


a kiwi, a music lover, a traveller & an IT geek hanging around in the 'jing planning her next adventure.

You may also like...