P.K. 14, often described as China’s most influential band, plays a blend of straight-up punk dosed with a sensible hit of experi-rock play. They’ve been affectionately described as “Sonic Youth meets Gang of Four in China,” or, more succinctly, Nation of Ulysses singing in Mandarin.
They play aggressive, steady guitar parts backed by equally tight drums with half-sung, half-screamed vocals cutting through the rest of the noise. P.K. 14’s lyrics, written by part-time poet and lead vocalist Yang Haisong, are sung in Mandarin and often address China’s disaffected youth.
P.K. 14’s acronymic name has at various times stood for Public Kingdom for Teens, Pent Kilowatt One More Than Thirteen, Pelikan Kraut Seven Times Two, and Psycho Killer Two Less Than Sixteen. Like their name, P.K. 14’s line up has changed considerably since their formation in 1997 with Haisong remaining the only stable member.
In nearly 15 years, the band has become the “elder statesmen of the Beijing rock scene.” Despite their reputation at home, P.K. 14 are only beginning to make serious waves abroad. With an inaugural New York City show in 2009, P.K. 14 tested the US waters, finding waves of fans more than ready for their alt-punk onslaught.
Yang Haisong, Xu Bo, Shi Xudong, "Tan Tan"