成长瞬间 (Reflector)

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Cover

General Information

Artist: Reflector
Title: 成长瞬间 (chéngzhǎng shùnjiān) / Moment of Growth
Release Date: 2007, October 11
Label: Pilot Records
Type: CDDA
Catalog No.:
Language: Chinese / English


Track Listing

  1. 成长瞬间
  2. 无烦恼
  3. 晚安北京
  4. 果儿
  5. 还我蔚蓝
  6. You Are My Sunshine
  7. 陌生的房间
  8. 毒药
  9. 无奈
  10. 坦白


Reviews

  • (c) that's Beijing Magazine and Blogs, Berwin Song, December 31, 2007

Moment of Growth seems to be the best interpretation of the title for Reflector’s latest album, which gives only a Chinese name: Chenzhang Shunjian. The album kicks off with the title track, and various readings could apply: Perhaps the band’s preparing to turn a new leaf. Perhaps they’re declaring that it’s time to grow up.

Whatever the case, the album marks the band’s tenth anniversary, and that makes them relative elders in the Beijing scene. Certainly, they’ve been trailblazers: They were one of the first punk bands (ska variety) in China, part of the Wuliao Contingent (together with Hang on the Box and Brain Failure), as named by a seminal 1999 compilation put out by Scream Records. Reflector was also the first Chinese band to tour the US, on a 2001 tour that climaxed with an impromptu opening for Anti-Flag in Sacramento.

Reflector is arguably on the downward slope of their popularity arc – they’re certainly not as visible on the local circuit these days (Brain Failure, for instance, one-upped them with a full tour as the openers for Dropkick Murphys in 2006). Their lyrics are serious and thoughtfully poetic (inconclusive even when translated from Chinese) – save for a basic punk cover of You Are My Sunshine (which, incidentally, brought some mainstream attention to the band when it was used in a Yi Li Milk commercial nearly two years ago) – and the album is certainly slickly finished (think a clean, Chinese version of recent Green Day). Nevertheless, the entire project feels generic and sanitized of anything particularly stirring. On the other hand, it’s another notable release for the up-and-coming Pilot Records.

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  • (c) 8 Inches Productions, Nicholas Breakspeare

While their peers elsewhere in Beijing are busy forging new musical identities for themselves and their city, Reflector remain obstinately recidivist on this, their latest offering of nourishment-free ‘punkrock’. There’s a war being fought in the recording studios of the Capital and, make no mistake, this band are the enemy.

Too raucous to be pop and not nearly raucous enough to be interesting, 成长瞬间 offers us twelve slabs of pompous, overblown, would-be stadium rock (‘路’) and extremely dull, characterless poppunk that no amount of ‘Na Na Na’ choruses can justify (‘坦白’), despite their evident belief to the contrary. On a good day, Reflector can tear it up live, so why they insist on donating this kind of bilge to posterity is a bit of a mystery for the ages.

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