Guai Li, Zippo Hot List 3, YGYS, 2010, Photo: (c) Beijing Daze
The band first began under the name "The Dirty One" in spring of 2004. Guai Li was then formed in 2006 by PK14 bassist Shi Xudong, who wanted to start a new band to showcase his percussion skills. The resulting four-piece includes singer Wenjun, a brilliant performer who singing style has been compared many times to a young, hungry Patti Smith growling and thrashing on stage. The name of the band comes from the Chinese idiom "guai li luan shen", which means the things of evil and hero and rebel and god that can’t be explained.
They have been compared to a host of bands and artists, from Pavement to Big Black to Patti Smith, and their audience tends to include a healthy does of local musicians – Beijing wonderboy Shou Wang calls them his favorite band. Their music ranges from slow, sludgy drones to hard rocking performances veering on pure punk. They have a big, heavy sound built around a very strong bass and percussion section that drives the music forward relentlessly. Equal parts British industrial rock and CBGBs punk the band puts on sizzling, fast-paced performances that have made them one of the breakout Beijing bands of 2007.
On January 2nd 2010, Beijing's Guai Li performed at the Yuyintang. According to Jake Newby: Until about half way through their set. the headliners (Guai Li) had been underwhelming and seemed a little put out by not playing to a packed venue. Then, for the last five or six songs, lead singer Wen Jun came alive and started performing with the energy for which she is renowned. It was a rousing last twenty minutes or so, it was just a shame the rest of the set had lacked such force. On May 3rd, they performed at the Strawberry Music Festival 2010. According to Beijing Gig Guide: It was a little too punky for me, so we went for a wander to the School of Rock stage where Poshangcun were doing a very involved soundcheck. They did half of a few songs, which all sounded great, and I definitely recommend checking them out next time you can. July 30th, they performed during the Zippo Hot List 3 at the Yugong Yishan. According to Beijing Daze: The band is tight, they can play their instruments and their songs are multi-faceted multi-layered compostions that are a refreshing breeze of fresh air in a monotonous sea of copycat 2 chorders! Vocalist Wen Jun might well be the skinniest tiniest thing to grace a Beijing stage but her stage presence is completely oversized! She performs with an intensity and passion that are unfortunately missing from many of the local bands. August 9th, Guai Li released their MV for Killer Rabbit online at Douban and announced that they are now signed by Maybe Mars Records with an album coming out soon.