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Omnipotent Youth Society

Eclectic Prog

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Omnipotent Youth Society Inside the Cable Temple album cover
3.50 | 15 ratings | 1 reviews | 40% 5 stars

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Studio Album, released in 2020

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Zao (1:23)
2. Ni He (5:48)
3. Ping Deng Yun Wu (1:26)
4. Cai Shi (8:56)
5. Shan Que (3:18)
6. Rao Yue (2:43)
7. He Bei Mo Qi Lin (11:28)
8. Jiao Mian Si (9:40)

Total Time 44:42

Line-up / Musicians

Not available at present, if you can help with the details, please contact the site.

Releases information

CD - Self released (2020, China)

Thanks to tapfret for the addition
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OMNIPOTENT YOUTH SOCIETY Inside the Cable Temple ratings distribution

(15 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(40%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(33%)
Good, but non-essential (27%)
Collectors/fans only (0%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)

OMNIPOTENT YOUTH SOCIETY Inside the Cable Temple reviews

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Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by siLLy puPPy
COLLABORATOR PSIKE, JR/F/Canterbury & Eclectic Teams
3 stars Despite hosting the largest population on the entire planet, China has not exactly been prolific in producing legions of stellar art rock and more progressive leaning groups although a scant few have emerged as China continues its fast-paced development into the brave new world. One of the most interesting bands to have emerged from the city of Schijiazhuang in Hebei province was the OMNIPOTENT YOUTH SOCIETY aka 万能青年旅店 in its Chinese character form. This collective began all the way back in 1996 under the moniker The Nico before changing it to the current one in 2002.

As OMNIPOTENT YOUTH SOCIETY, the band headlined major festivals in China after its self-titled debut was finally completed and released in 2010 which made the band an national sensation. That album told the tale of life in a huge industrial city and the trials and tribulations that ensued. The band's sound incorporated rock guitar riffs that added the jazzy extras of trumpet and sax parts. Rather than focusing on rushing out a sophomore effort, OMNIPOTENT YOUTH SOCIETY opted to attract a larger fanbase through incessant touring and after all was said and done it took an entire decade to bring the followup to fruition.

At long last in 2020 the second album INSIDE THE CABLE TEMPLE 冀西南林路行 has emerged. SInce Mandarin Chinese is so very very different than Western languages, the English title INSIDE THE CABLE TEMPLE is not a direct translation which would be more something like "A Walk In The Woods Of Southwestern Hebei" which also hints more upon what the actual theme of the album is, namely by taking a 180 from the focus on city life and instead celebrating the natural wonders that can be found in Hebei province. All lyrics are in Mandarin Chinese so the concept of the album will be completely lost to all but those who speak the language but despite the language barrier, China has finally entered the prog scene.

INSIDE THE CABLE TEMPLE 冀西南林路行 is an art rock album that incorporates elements of progressive rock, jazz-rock, chamber folk and jazz-fusion and appears as a single 44 minute track as well as eight separated tracks but so far as only been released as a digital file. While clearly inspired by Western acts such as Pink Floyd's space rock, the 90s pop folk of Blind Melon as well as violin and cello led chamber rock bands with sprinklings of other bands, the album mostly breezes by in acoustic guitar mode with a few traditional Chinese sounds added. While the focus is clearly on the storyline and lyrics, this album may not appeal to non-Chinese speakers but nevertheless features some beautiful melodic hooks and clearly displays how even a tonal language such as Mandarin Chinese can be adapted to Western musical styles and still sound beautiful. Only occasional outbursts of rock and jazz occur making this a rather mellow album.

While the idea and concept are good ones, i can't say the execution of INSIDE THE CABLE TEMPLE 冀西 南林路行 is as satisfying as i'd like it to be. Basically the album seems unbalanced with too much folk rock and only scatterings of other styles. I really wanted the more rocking parts to stick around longer as well as the jazzier motifs but the default setting always ventures towards dreamy acoustic guitar led strumming sessions with light safe as milk vocal utterances. Considering i have no idea of the sensibilities of popular music in China i can only go by my own preferences as to how i relate to this music and in the end i find it an interesting and even entertaining listening experience but i can't seem to shake off the fact that it needs a bit more compositional fortitude to really compete with the Western art rock scene which has a half century head start. Still though China is emerging quickly so i'm confident that better things are to come.

3.5 stars

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