After a short period of doubting they existed, I finally got the chance to catch Wu & The Side Effects at 2 Kolegas and stood in awe/corrected! One hell of a band, putting on one hell of a show, mixing the groovy with the loud and heavy.. infectious is the adjective I was looking for. When the band was kind enough to send in a copy of their soon-to-be-released record for a review with the following instructions:
1. This is not the final order of the songs.
2. On the album they’re actually glued or mixed into each other.
3. Smoke at least one before listening
4. Turn it fucking loud.
Beijingdaze on Wu & The Side Effects S/T
3 out of 4 ain’t bad, you figure it out! Guitar licks, bluesy grooves, funkadelic bass lines and drumming that knows when to get out of the way…. I’m a big fan of Wu Kejia’s voice and it’s growing on me even more: On songs like Train, Besieged on all sides, All Your Loving and 活着, he shines with a snarl/howl that is instantly recognizable at this point. The record sees so many twists, turns and tempo switches it feels like a roller-coaster ride that is just not gonna slow down! Checo is also slapping that bass for all it’s worth, giving hints as to his own ability with strings: If you’re looking for a rythme bass that just hides, it ain’t here: Him and Wu are like dueling axe yielders hell bent on a sonic assault.
These cats have an amazing live presence and such a high octane performance I was worried it might not come through in a record! Worry not: The record is dirty, grim, ugly, groovy, sexy and dangerous – just like a Wu & The Side Effects show.
Ruby on Wu & The Side Effects S/T
It was a long running joke between BD and I that this mythical band Wu & The Side Effects didn’t actually exist, since we’d missed them maybe 4 times. I finally caught the guys at 2 Kolegas 5th birthday and I have to say their dirty, sexy, psychedelic, rock, blues fusion really made an impression on this rock chick! So I was more than a little excited to get my hands on the new album to see if all that live show magic comes through on it. And yes, it totally does.
My favourite tracks so far are Lonely Star 天煞孤星 and A Better Tomorrow 英雄本色 which showcase Wu’s rough sexy gravelly voice over some screaming riffs and pounding bass and drums.
I wonder how many girls are claiming All Your Loving was written just for them? “Was a love I missed loving, Was a kiss I missed kissing, Before I met you baby, I didn’t know what was missing” Swoon! But I have to confess to having a little fan girl crush of my own on bassist Il Roacho, who adds some smooth backing vocals on Besieged On All Sides and Train 火车.
If you have to work this Saturday, better bring your earplugs to this gig. The speakers at 2 Kolgeas are deafening and these boys are not afraid to dial them up to 11!
I look forward to listening to the final version with everything mixed in properly. Catch Wu & The Side Effects Tonight at 2 Kolegas raising hell with Black Cat Bone.. bring a spare liver and extra stamina on this one, you’ll need them both!