Kowloon Walled City – “Container Ships”
I can read about megastructures, proposed and existing, and other urban oddities for hours. Yemen’s Shibam, King Abdullah Economic City, the Burj Khalifa and the Ultima Tower have taken up significant amounts of my time. These San Franciscans go a step further by naming their band, album and its flagship song after such things — Kowloon Walled City has a long and fascinating history as a densely populated continuous cluster of buildings in Hong Kong evicted and demolished after years of lawlessness. It’s a perfect name for a post-rock-style outfit, coming from a genre that seems to relish in the wonders and horrors of real life, compared with say the fantastical nature of black metal. “Container Ships,” from their album of the same name, due Dec. 4 on Brutal Panda, creates a grounding out of croaking fuzz and seems to shoot out from the ground like said structures in bursts of ugly yet contained noise. It does sort of feel like driving down the 710 and failing to exit the freeway before arriving in the Los Angeles harbor and being surrounded by these alien and massive ships carrying loads of seemingly pointless cargo, like grotesque tumors of excess — but in musical form. Happy Thanksgiving!