SMZB – Wuhan Punk
Since they formed in 1996, SMZB has been recognized as one of China’s most important punk bands, not to mention the founders of Wuhan’s vibrant underground scene. In addition to being the country’s longest-running punk band, they are also only the second-ever punk band to be released on vinyl. In 2001 SMZB’s “Wuhan Punk” 7” was released on the German label Nasty Vinyl in conjunction with Sabbel Fanzine. Nasty Vinyl caught wind of SMZB when Sabbel creator Ingo Rohrer released a split tape including both SMZB and Si Dou Le. Excited over the new punk movement erupting in China, Nasty jumped at the chance to release the band’s 7”. The recordings, which were made in 2000, were completely financed by the band, though the songs also appear on Scream Records’ 2001 release “50,000.”
The 7” starts off with an energetic and playful cover of the Violent Femmes “American Music” renamed “Chinese Music.” The song contains a series of questions and answers that go, “Do you like Chinese Music? I don’t like Chinese Music. Do you like Chinese football? I don’t like Chinese football.” The song ends with the line, “Do you like Chairman Jiang Zeming? I don’t like Chairman Jiang Zeming.” The second track “Save Indite Association” starts off with a much heavier riff that breaks down to fast skanking ska-punk that captures the brutal power of SMZB’s early live shows. The B-side contains the catchy “Pornographic War” and the blazingly angry “Gamecock,” both toying with the idea of rebellion as a form of release.
Drawing from both the punk and art scenes, this 7” offers up powerful but fun songs underpinned by social and political commentary. The liner notes also voice an optimism—some would say naivete—that became rare in China’s later punk scenes, but conveys the power and excitement of that time. SMZB’s “Wuhan Punk” is an important document of China’s early scene from one of the country’s most influential bands.
1. Chinese Musik
2. Save Indite Association
1. Pornographic War