Guai Li is a female-fronted Chinese punk rock band Beijing formed in 2005. The band, currently, consists of Wen Jun (vocals), Xu Sheng (guitar), Liu Yue (guitar), He Yi Fan (bass), and Shi Xu Dong (drums). Their name is taken from a Chinese saying that, according to Wen Jun, “refers to something that happens that can’t be explained by science.” She cites as Kate Bush as an inspiration, but, I would think Patti Smith as well. Punk bands are few and far between in China, especially female-fronted, but Guai Li is not politically-charged like Russia’s Pussy Riot. Guai Li‘s music is more avant-punk, even indie rock. Wen Jun sings, mostly, in English which is good since Chinese is a difficult language, any dialect, to embrace in rock music, if you don’t speak it.
Guai Li‘s debut, Flight of Delusion (2010), balances an ’80s deathrock sound (“Hospital,” the title track), intentional or not (think Super Heroines), with a ’60s garage rock vibe (“Be Cool,” the Stooges-ish “Devil Rabbit,” the Zombies-esque “Slow Dream“). “Laughing Gas” is kind of like Patti Smith meets Petula Clark, complete with three minutes of guitar noise à la Smith’s song “Radio Ethiopia.” But, “Death Rabbit” is the best, and punkiest, track.
Watch the weird video for “Death Rabbit” here:
Guai Li Discography
2010.10.01 – Flight of Delusion [Album]