«If you find it necessary to pin-point their style, they’ll remind you of early Patti Smith, Riot Grrl, Bikini Kill, Le Tigre or Slater McKinney. LCD Soundsystem was an influence also, less so now and it’s not surprising that the only cover on their album is a PJ Harvey song.» Berthold Seliger, concert agent, author, El Lokal friend
All girl Chinese indie-rock-punk group The Hormones, presents Ming Ming on bass and lyrics, Xiao Lijing on keyboards and guitar, Juan Juan on drums and lead vocalist Zhu Meng Die. They’re from the «green» city of Chengdu and the girls met at the Sichuan Conservatory in 2011, began to tour China extensively but facing considerable headwind to their artistic integrity.
Far from just being eye candy - yes, they’re a girl band but that’s not their essence - there’s some steel there inside the velvet glove. In an interview, charming and outspoken Ming Ming touched on subjects like menstruation cycles, their tough early years, the mixing of English and Chinese lyrics (she finds her own language to be more direct) and the band’s preference for spicy food and drinking. She explains the story behind the title song on their current EP, the hypnotic single «Elephant», this way: «A baby elephant got lost and trampled the crops of a village and was killed for it. After some time, a group of elephants returned and destroyed all the villager’s fields. The guy who killed the pachyderm went to jail but his wife, who carried his scent, also became the focus of their rage… with a disastrous result.»
Socially engaged lyrics are highlighted by their sound which alternates edgy guitar riffs with melancholic passages and the band paints furious electronic soundscapes, interrupted by extreme screaming and more civilized passages. There’s still a touch of innocence to the artistic and exotic ways of The Hormones. In other words, they’re untouched by the arena shenanigans of a well-oiled rock machine. And if we’re lucky, they always will be.
Live at El Lokal, from China, The Hormones. You’ll feel them.