Round Eye Culture Shock Treatment LP

Shanghai’s favorite expats set the bar high with 2017’s Monster Vision, but Culture Shock Treatment is a next-level masterpiece. An astounding collection of songs and sounds (and hooks) that defies categorization while drawing liberally from classic punk—and then contorting the shit out of all of it. Slogs like “8000 Years” rely on moody sax and keys to drive the songs over one gloriously repetitive riff, while “Catatonic (I’m Not a Communist)” is a searing (and screaming) punk burner that rolls into the death march of “An Opportunity of a Lifetime,” both highlighting the band’s take on living in China as (Western) outsiders. The hooks on this record will pull in fans of SOVIETTES and/or RADIOACTIVITY, but the songs are simply advanced and so totally far-out. Who doesn’t want their BUZZCOCKS tempered with DOA and BEEFHEART? Dummies, that’s who.