If you didn’t get enough smog-damaged psychedelic overdrive noise rock from Beijing last year, Maybe Mars has just the late-Spring release for you: Bird to Otherside, a crossover LP presenting outtakes and overflows from Birdstriking’s Holey Brain and Gate to Otherside’s Dragon Bus Terminal, both of which were standout 2017 albums from the Chinese capital.
Birdstriking occupies the A side with three extended takes that were too loaded to make the cut for Holey Brain. “记忆线” is a provocative, cryptically Orwellian assessment of the memory holes that puncture contemporary Chinese society; “No More Rock and Roll 2” is a drawn-out sequel to a standout track on the band’s 2012 debut; and “Indian Summer” is a sometimes faithful, sometimes gleefully irreverent cover of one of the band’s major influences, Beat Happening.
On the flip, Gate to Otherside present three extensions of the psychedelic wormhole through which they traveled on their widely acclaimed debut album, Dragon Bus Terminal. The trip dips deeper into the ether with these outtakes, including “Triple Kill,” a gritty etude for frustrated dreams; “Zombie Dance,” a psychobilly groove that wouldn’t sound out of place on a Cramps record; and “Underground Sun,” a rollicking closer matching minor-key guitar solos with percussion pounded on piano and tambourine nailing it to the floor.