A Letter From China

by SMZB

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about

“While most artists are content to sweep political issues under the rug, SMZB have continued to carry the flag. Nowhere is that more true than in their latest album, A Letter From China, in which the band make their intentions obvious from the outset: the cover features a red tank with the caption ‘1989-2014 25th Anniversary’.

While their early lyrics were occupied with poetically squalid ruminations on sex, drugs and rock ’n’ roll, SMZB’s more recent work has honed in on the political and social problems facing China. Their sound, meanwhile, has transformed from a raw fusion of early British punk, ska, and ’80s hardcore into Pogues-style Celtic punk punctuated by bagpipes, flutes and violins. It’s a brighter, even celebratory sound that’s transformed their defiant songs into something more soulful and sustaining.

credits

released September 27, 2014

Vocal: Wu Wei
Guitar: Xu Bi
Bass: Matt
Banjo: Tudou
Drum: Pigu
Bagpipe: Tang
Violin: Melissa

Sound engineer: Xiaowu
Extra Violin by Huang Yu
Mixed & Mastered by Steve Foote

Song translations by Han Chao
Cover artwork by Xiao Chao
Album designed by Wu Wei and Duan Yingjie

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Maybe Mars 北京市, China

Recording our time. (2007 - now)

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Track Name: Song For Chen Huaimin
They used two types of weapons, lies and violence,
cheated everyone to occupy this land.

By means of all means and having no sense of shame, to stand victorious, the real war hero, has long been forgotten by them.

In front of your grave, we will have a look in your honor,
now watching our society, you're certain to be more angry.

We pick up the guitar, as you steer the battle jet,
we will keep on fighting, never give up.

This song is for you, grandpa XuBi,
we'll sing this song for you, in every city and country.
We are so proud of you, grandpa XuBi,
we'll sing this song for you, in every city and country.
Track Name: Chinese Speed
The life of a man and an animal is no different here,
with a little money the body becomes machinery.

Chinese warning signs can be seen everywhere in a foreign country,
I feel ashamed, but they feel proud.

The whole world buys "Made In China", but to think
it over, of the cheap labor do you still feel proud?

Pollution of the ecological environment demolished
our culture and tradition, no real respect even if China made the world.

China speed, the rich richer,
China speed, the poor more bitter,
China speed, on the road to demolition,
China speed, the demons lead the way,
China speed, power of greed,
Made in China, nothing proud.

Brainwashing education makes you stupid faster,
poisonous food helps you to die faster.
Corruption makes bridges to collapse faster,
piracy makes you more money faster.
Track Name: Why? Why?
People are asked why every day, every day there are too many surprised.

Every day people are being hurt, I have had enough of those pretentiousness and nonsense

Maybe you know better than I do, just choose to let everything fall apart

Maybe people are laughing at me, but I can only fell sorrow for them.

Why? Why? Why? Why?

Don't ask me why, only I can understand!

I don't want to explain what, even if you don't understand (in fact, you are very clear!)

Why? Why? Why? Why?

What is the most important, I do not say you know!

Say it and do thing right, so that it can make me happy!

I understand right and wrong, true and false, I distinguish between good and evil and black and white.

I choose my own way, so I will never stop.

I will never feel too tired, because I'm so prepared

I won't spill the wine in my hands, more I will not let loose of my fist.
Track Name: S.U.P.E.R.S.T.A.R
The poor regard you as a star, the mass make you richer.
But when they desperately need you, no one spoke a word.
You gain great fame with the sure shrouding around.
This is all because of the fans who love you the most.
It is too much materialist crave, that let you forget your spiritual needs.
This system allow you to fear, dare not or do not want to tell the whole truth.
When you want to be a star, you're ready to speak for the people.
God made the sun to shine bright, so that the stars in darkness can lit the sky.
S.U.P.E.R super star
All of people lover your face
But when they need some help somewhere
They need your hands and your heart
Oh, super star.
Track Name: Violence In Public
Barbaric society filled with violence in the air,
Whenever and wherever possible, everyone is prepared to treat each other as enemy.
Everyone so easily displays violence.
Whether it is in the subway, on the bus, and even in the plane.
The government treated the people or the people treated their own,
only knows to use violence to solve all the problems.
Tradition and civilization have left the land
And I can't see the world drift away from us.
People fight for stupid reasons, they come from the same family.
They hate each other, that's what I see.
I see too much violence in public, inside and out
I see too much violence in public
I see too much violence in public
Track Name: Naked Punk
Hunan Hubei, bullet train too expensive
Rehearsal across provinces, nothing matters
Harmonious society, who is committing crimes?
They said very ruthless. I am getting drunk.
Several young minds, with little money
Only sharing some ideas, and some time
Society is changing the government officials who fled
Plunder all there's left to the people of the unknown tomorrow
At the age of twenty, I formed this band
Singing my heart out only to give myself a sense of security and comfort
I sing for the pain that's been inflicted in society
Exposing the scars of history, I just want to express I never felt fear.
We don't want to be stars, but just stay in rock
No citizens in China, but only prisoners
They are society's killer, we are punk rockers
They are naked officers, we are naked punk
Track Name: A Letter From China
Six poor Chinese guys and my American wife
We play punk rock music, with violin and bagpipes
We sing in two languages, English and Chinese
We don't care about our accent, we just sing what we want
When I drink the whiskey, I write some good melodies
When I sing on the stage, I know this government is angry
When I drink beer, I feel better and better
Sometimes I get drunk, a bed is only what I want
Since the year 1996, I started to play punk rock music
Scream for life, freedom and rights, dignity and family
This is a letter to all the world, No more racism, no more fucking war.
Cherish your freedom, what we have never had
This is a letter from Wuhan, China
A letter from China
Track Name: Smash His Statue
In public squares or parks, Even in many universities
You can still see his statue. What a fucking disgusting thing.
It makes me wanna vomit. It really makes me angry.
Every time that I see them, I want to destroy them all.
Remove all his images from the bloody square
Push the statue down, clean the bloody ground.
Smash, Smash, Smash his statue!
Smash, Smash, Smash it down!
How many people did he kill?
How many people are brainwashed?
He is the biggest demon in the world
He needs to be rejudged for the system to change.
Track Name: Waiting For The Day
The government has been cheating and fooling the people
Don't keep being indifferent unless you have been brainwashed
What blinded your eyes, or are you just turning a blind eye?
The truth is behind the window, just open it
I'm waiting for the day, waiting for the government to apologize
Confessing all the sin is the real beginning of all changes
But they are still covering up the facts, faking the great image
To continue the Monopoly Capital
To consolidate their own positions and interests
Confess! Confess!
How could the government service the people
if it doesn't dare to admit its fault?
Confess! Confess!
A government which doesn't admit it's faults
here comes a nation which never admits it's fault
Waiting for the day!
Waiting for the day!
Track Name: City Folk
I'm standing high above the city
Looking at all those people and buildings
I'm singing exhausted
but no one responds no one sings together
I'm standing inside the woods
being surrounded by flowers and trees
I'm singing exhausted
and hearing the animals singing from far away
I came to the darkest corner of the city
felt people's grudge and anger
I'm drinking and singing alone
drinking myself to drunk and singing myself to cry
I'm singing exhausted, don't need anyone to sing together
Track Name: Joy And Sorrow
I hold my head high, towards one direction, never looked back
I speed up, walking through the cold wind
The wind messed up my hair, couldn't mess up my mind
I wrote new lyrics, finished the music
humming the new tune, arrived the Prison bar
Ran into a few mates, drunk a lot together
too drunk to speak, but still know right from wrong
Came to different cities, read local papers
Just like the CCTV news, worthless
We flight by air, took the crowded bus
People throw rubbish and spit everywhere, first in the elevator
I can't stop singing, can't stop thinking
Why people behave like this?
I can't stop singing, can't stop thinking
How the flower of society grows right?
One world, different thoughts
Will civilization grow beneath our feet?
One world, different dreams
Might need a hundred years to heal the wound of the ten years?
I'm seeking the truth, searching the history
Found out all the truth I know is not true
I started to exercise, control cigarette and alcohol use
Just to wait to see the end of this regime.
Track Name: Conjecture Under The Sun
Lying on the bench in the park, sunshine made me close my eyes
But don't know why I saw my own face
Remembered my family said that I was obstinate to make any change
But I knew that someone understood that I had my own faith
Warmth of the sunshine can't let me forget the darkness of this society
No matter how much sunshine couldn;t light up all the filthy
The only thing I can do is keep awaking
Coz I don't wanna be the victim No. 12 billion
Saw group by group of people, walk along with the winds and sands from far away
Don't know if they ever thought about what they live for
If they realized that unity will have more power
Silent majority is the greatest harm to the society
Jasmine is blooming at other's home, how could you smell it?
Will I still be singing, when people stand up?
How long can I keep calm and awaking?
I don't know the answer, just a conjecture under the sun
Track Name: Off Your Mask
Set off your mask, let me take a look at your eyebrows
Your eyebrows thin and long, it seems like the new moon up on the tree

Set off your mask, let me see your eyes
Your eyes clear and bright, it seems like that Wink general

Set off your mask, let me take a look at your face
Your face red and round, it seems like the Autumn's apple

Set off your mask, let me take a look at your lips
Your lips are red and small, it seems like the new cherry in May