Round Eye, the experimental, sax wielding, freak punk outfit have accrued a loud and controversial name for themselves since forming in 2012. The Shanghai based group has as of late been a crucial force in bridging a wide gap between the eastern and western hemispheres of DIY punk rock. Along with blazing a trail all over the globe they’ve played host to visiting western punks and some legends as well sharing stages with acts such as Descendents, The Fleshtones, MDC, Verbal Abuse, Mike Watt + The Missingmen, D.O.A., The FUs, The Boys (UK), Paul Collins Beat, Twink, Ceremony, Iceage, and eastern notables such as P.K.14, SMZB, SUBS, Hang on the Box, and during a mainland tour of China with UK punk legends The Boys, they were forced to literally move the tour underground after being banned by the Ministry of Culture for lewd artwork on a tour poster. VICE magazine documented one of their ‘bunker’ gigs in Beijing in glorious baijiu filled detail.
They’ve won the “Best Local Band” title from Shanghai’s City Weekend magazine two years in a row. They’ve released several acclaimed music videos: “Suntan” starring famed Chinese actress Wang Lin (Xue Yi), best known for her role in the Chinese soap opera Romance in the Rain and appearances in Academy Award winning Ang Lee films such as Lust / Caution, the politically and critically charged nightmare “Billy” and “Sifter” which was entirely filmed in Pyongyang North Korea making it the very first punk video ever filmed in the DPRK. They’ve played numerous festivals around the world and honed their unconventional blend of 50s R&B, Free Jazz and Punk with a critically acclaimed EP Full Circle on Ripping Records which featured Greg Ginn (Black Flag), LP Round Eye which featured Steve Mackay (Iggy Pop & the Stooges, Violent Femmes) & Lo-fi legend R. Stevie Moore, LP Monstervision, on Joey Shithead of DOA’s Vancouver-based Sudden Death Records produced by Yang Haisong of PK14 and featured horror movie host icon Joe Bob Briggs as narrator.
With their new album Culture Shock Treatment produced by Mike Watt (Minutemen), mixed by Bill Stevenson (Black Flag / Descendents / ALL) and released by Vincent Fiorello (Less Than Jake)‘s Paper and Plastick Records, Round Eye turn their demented focus to their own place of residence, The People’s Republic of China, and fire on all cylinders.
They have drawn comparisons to the Stooges, Captain Beefheart, Dr. Feelgood and The Fall but have more often fallen into a category all their own. This summer had plans for a tour of Europe, Japan, and China along with an appearance at the UK’s Rebellion Festival but due to COVID-19, all plans have been delayed to 2021. This year will instead see the release of Culture Shock Treatment, 2 new music videos and select dates in the mainland of China.