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Loud, proud and singing their song

By Chen Nan | China Daily | Updated: 2020-09-09 07:30
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The trio (from left), Kool, Soon and Folder, are graduates from Guangdong University of Technology. [Photo provided to China Daily]

Hyper Slash is more than just a decibel raiser as the brash group attracts a legion of die-hard fans.

Its eye-catching cosplay costumes and the wild gesturing of the female vocalist gave the trio a distinct energetic style that was both raucous and endearing, in itself an unusual feat to pull off.

When Hyper Slash appeared in The Big Band reality show this summer, the three-member Guangzhou-based ensemble rose to stardom as the most visually recognizable group of the 32 indie Chinese rock bands. The show was produced by online streaming platform iQiyi.

Hyper Slash impressed both the audiences and other competitors with the band's use of cosplay. The band members have even developed their own hand gestures for introducing themselves.

However, the band refuses to be defined by its look or onstage theatrics. Its music is equally, distinctly undefinable, combining elements of up-tempo electronic dance music-such as electro, techno and synthpop-with the thumping, distorted guitar and vocal stylings of hardcore heavy metal.

The vocal onslaught, which is equal parts screeching and growling, is delivered by the only female member of the band, who goes by the stage name Soon.

The members declined to give their real names since they wish to be labeled like characters in Japanese animations, comic books and games.

The band's debut performance in the show featured its original composition, Monopoly, which, sung in both Mandarin and English, is named after the classic board game.

As the guitarist, nicknamed Folder, says, they felt like characters in the game. "There are lots of peaks and pitfalls. As players, we throw the dice and wait to be surprised," he says.

Guo Long, another performer on the show defined them as "young, energetic and creative".

"We came to the reality show, hoping to meet new Chinese bands and Hyper Slash is definitely a surprise. We also learned a lot from them," says Guo, who plays the accordion in Wild Children, an established Chinese folk music band that has been performing for 25 years.

To many music fans, Hyper Slash was a dark horse. Shi Fuyuan, a 20-year-old music lover from Beijing, says after watching their performance on the show: "I didn't know them before, but they are so different and their music made me excited. I am looking forward to watching their live shows afterward."

Folder, Soon, and bassist Kool, all from Guangzhou, Guangdong province, make up the band, which was founded in 2016. All in their early 20s, they graduated from Guangdong University of Technology and were members of a student club called "the musicians' association" at the university.

The show has been the band's lucky star-before its performance on the show, the group only had about 3,000 followers on microblogging platform Sina Weibo. But since the show, that number has grown to nearly 24,000.

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