Quick! What’s the first thing you think of when you hear the phrase Chinese band? A sax toting spazz-jazz punk band? A hairy Florida man flipping you off from the stage with his bloodied anarchist hand? A high caliber assault rifle of anti-fascist lyrics screamed loudly from a quadruplet of millennial angst? If so, you’d be 100% correct. Round Eye are all this and 1000x more!
There’s a stigma of being labeled an expat band in China that unfortunately sticks with a band like Roundeye. The DIY-high hooligans, fronted by the good ol’ US and A boys, Chachy and Jimmy, have a rotating cast of musicians from all over our flat earth accompanying them on their decade plus long journey. What happens when being invited to music festivals and big name shows is pretty much near impossible for a well-established expat band? Or you’re told expat artists cannot perform at venues around your own city? You create your own tours, bring in your own international headlining artists and pay for it all your own damn self! Not only is it a challenge to organize your own shows in a tightly controlled communist country, but try throwing in international artists like Steve Mackay (RIP), The Dickies, The Boys and Descendents in your shows all on your own rembinbi!
With the amount of times they’ve had their shows shut down by the popo, tours canceled by the government and who knows what else you’d kinda wonder how the hell they haven’t gotten kicked out of China yet. But that’s all money under the tabl… errrr I mean water under the bridge.
A look at their cache quickly reveals a political disdain for all things Drumpf and oppressive. It’s been done many times over by other artists and is nothing new. The anger and disappointment does bleed over into some pretty gnarly tunes though. I mean it’s either that or they veer over into the government-sponsored gangsta rap propaganda artists like Chengdu Revolution. There’s no in between here. And what delectable tunes have ever been created by sucking up to get government sponsorship? Neigh I say! Keep it up Round Eye!
Let’s blow their sax a little more and discuss what’s in store for 2020 for Circular Oculus! Usually they’d be in the middle of a 900 day self-inflicted European or North American tour. But because of some cough spreading around, the familiar sound of the word “canceled” rings out in their ears yet again. Instead, they’re focusing on getting their newest Mike Watt produced album Culture Shock Treatment out along with a couple music videos for your viewing pleasure despite the shape, color or non-roundedness of your eyes!