Beijing-based rock duo Gong Gong Gong 工工工 are ready to make waves with their spartan setup. Consisting of vocalist/guitarist Tom Ng and bassist Joshua Frank — who were born in Hong Kong and Montreal, respectively — the band eschews traditional percussion in favor of string-focused, hypnotic, spitfire tracks.
Gong Gong Gong made their debut 7″ release last year with “Siren 追逐劇” b/w “Something’s Happening 突發.” Now, fresh off tours with Parquet Courts and Flasher, the duo is gearing up to release their debut album Phantom Rhythm 幽靈節奏 on Wharf Cat.
Today, they’re sharing the record’s simmering lead single “Notes Underground 地下日記.” Like the rest of the songs, it features Ng singing in his native Cantonese. Frank offers some context on the song, which they’ve had in their arsenal for six years:
This was one of the first Gong Gong Gong 工工工 songs we wrote, in 2013. It kind of just emerged fully formed, before we even had a band name—things just clicked. One of the first times we played it live was in this underpass tunnel in Beijing. Here’s a video of it.
Generally speaking, the lyrics are about a relationship gone wrong. If I remember correctly, this was the first song that we recorded in the studio working on this album. It’s a very direct, energetic song, with something about it that feels very natural to our band. We spent time during the recording and mixing process to bring out the percussiveness of Tom’s guitar. That included using a contact mic on the wood of his archtop guitar, which gives his guitar tone a banjo-like element.
01 “The Last Note 最後的音符”
02 “Notes Underground 地下日記”
03 “Ride Your Horse 騎你的馬”
04 “Moonshadows 月後殘影”
05 “Inner Reaches II 慾望的暗角二”
06 “Gong Gong Gong Blues 工工工布魯斯”
07 “Wei Wei Wei 喂喂喂”
08 “Some Kind of Demon 某一種惡魔”
09 “Night’s Colour (Chongqing) 夜色（重慶）”
10 “Sound of Love 愛歌”
Phantom Rhythm 幽靈節奏 is out 10/4 on Wharf Cat. Pre-order it here.