Carsick Cars was the first band we'd heard from this new crop of Chinese indie rock and noise pop bands, and we were initially intrigued cuz of the band name, but then ended up digging both their other records quite a bit. We'd been dying to hear this new one after getting a little tease/taste via their recent split 7" with Flavor Crystals. Their song on that 7" found the band sounding better than ever, super polished, and crazy catchy. We posited in our review of that 7", that part of the new sound might be due to the fact that it was recorded with Pete Kember, aka Sonic Boom, from Spacemen 3, and Hamish Kilgour of NZ pop legends the Clean. And it might just because we know that, but we're hearing a sound that definitely sounds like it's right between the druggy hypno-rock of Spacemen 3 and the fuzzy, NZ jangle of the Clean. Regardless, 3 is a stunner, from the very first track, a very nineties indie rock influenced instrumental groover that actually also reminds us a bit of Pell Mell, sort of driving and hypnotic and a little bit krautrocky. But it's on the second track, "15 Minutes Older", that the band get super poppy, and that Flying Nun / New Zealand influence really shines through. In fact, if you told us this was actually some long lost Flying Nun rarity, we would have totally bought it. Keening vocals, dreamy melodies, fuzzy, buzzy guitars, plenty of jangle, hooks galore, but with a bit of Sonic Youth style noisiness woven into the sound, it's infectious and pretty goddamn great. As is the whole record really, every song here a jangle pop gem, some sung in English, some not, some sort of proggy and mathy, others straight ahead pop, but all of them hooky and heavenly, and easily the best CsC record yet!
We have both the lp and the cd, apparently, they're both slightly different, different mixes, some songs are in English on one format, not on the others, we haven't really done a side by side A/B comparison, but we're guessing unless you're crazy anal or a super collector, you'll likely be happy whichever one you pick, if it matters, this review is of the vinyl version, which includes a download code as well!