China Expat: Car Sick Cars – Car Sick Cars

Perhaps I’m reading too much into the connection with Sonic Youth, but everything about Beijing band Car Sick Cars’ eponymous album drips with flavours of the legendary New York Rockers.

Take, for example, the album artwork. While Sonic Youth’s Daydream Nation portrayed a candle on the cover, Car Sick Cars’ is more prominently modern and youthful, showing a four-eyed cartoon alien run across a yellow landscape dotted with electric pylons. No similarity there, right? Not quite. If you have the tendency to make strange intuitive connections, then you would also see that both Daydream Nation and Car Sick Cars are coloured in a particular shade of mustard yellow, not very often seen in the world of music.

In Car Sick Cars joined Sonic Youth in 2007 on their European Tour, going from being a group of part time musicians to jumpstarting the idea in China that music was a viable livelihood, and not just another form of youthful antisocial behaviour.

Female vocalists pop up every so often on Car Sick Cars’ album, shrieking in a tenor reminiscent of Kim Gordon. The most memorable song on the album, Zhong Nanhai, is eerily similar to Silver Rocket off of Daydream Nation.

So there you have it, Noise Rock was, and is alive and well in China, will its heir to the drone throne, shoegaze, continues to grow.

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