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Album Review: Hedgehog - Sun Fun Gun

24 October 2012 | 9:35 am | Howie Tanks

The trio are buzzing with creative energy and verve.

China has an incredibly diverse and thriving underground rock atmosphere, and one of the bands leading the charge is Beijing three-piece Hedgehog. Over the past seven years Hedgehog have straddled various rock genres to create their own sonic stew and on fourth album Sun Fun Gun they've really nailed the formula.

Opening with the thumping exhilaration of Heart On Fire, it's clear from the onset that the band love their power pop loud and fuzzy. This song stands tall, sounding like I Heart Hiroshima covering Superchunk while listening to Kevin Shields on repeat. The band launch into the seven-minute epic Sky Song, a track that slowly builds on top of Fun's bass line – that acts as the Pied Piper of Hamelin – leading to a volcanic eruption of sound in a finale that the Reid brothers would be proud to call their own. Elsewhere, diminutive drummer Atom takes on the cutesy '60's swing of Dear Boy I Wanna Be Your Girlfriend, albeit with a wash of feedback underpinning the bridge; Surf With Shark mines 21st century grunge that Brits Blood Red Shoes wrestle to make their own; hidden track You Are So Famous could have been found at the bottom of a Dunedin bargain bin.

This bowerbird-style approach doesn't sound irreverent nor sacrilegious, however. The perfect example is The Band, a track that takes all of their influences and blindsides the listener with twists and turns that leave them breathless. The trio are buzzing with creative energy and verve – Zo's impassioned vocals and distorted guitar lines smoulder, while Atom proves her moniker is apt with some aggressive metronomic fills that pounds the songs through the speakers. Excellent.