Quieter Than Spiders – Signs of Life

Rating: 4/5
Distributor/label [URL] Anna Logue Records
Released: 2019
Buy Album [URL]: https://www.deejay.de/QUIETER_THAN_SPIDERS_SIGNS_OF_LIFE_2LP_ANNA057LP_Vinyl__937817
Band Website: https://www.facebook.com/QTSpiders/

Band line-up:

Leon Zhang – All Instruments, Vocals
Yifan Zhang – All Instruments, Vocals
Yao Zhang – All Instruments, Vocals


1. Arcade Eight-Five
2. No Illusion
3. I – Disorientation
4. Night Drive
5. II – 2139
6. The Land Of Lost Content
7. III – Distant
8. Shanghai Metro
9. IV – Chang’e
10. Fessenden Grove
11. Hibakusha
12. V – Silent Centre
13. Komarov
14. VI – Brave New World
15. The Signs Of Life
16. VII – Re-Generator
17. The Statues
18. VIII – Zara In The Stars
19. No Illusion (‘Quietli’ Mix)
20. Hibakusha
21. The Land Of Lost Content
22. 2Shanghai Metro
23. 2Night Drive (Mix 2)
24. No Illusion
25. Hibakusha
26. 2Night Drive (Mix 3)
27. The Land Of Lost Content (‘Memorial’ Mix)
28. Hibakusha


First of all, I would like to say: don’t be put off by the extra-long track-listing of this record – granted, it does look a bit elongated for a first studio outing, but Signs of Life, the debut from a Synthpop band from China provides more than enough electronic bliss and much more than expected.

Quieter Than Spiders, all the way from Shanghai, with strong connections to the UK and Europe is composed of three siblings who have managed to mine a fresh nugget of synthpop gold out of the dirt that is current day electronica.

There’s nothing about this release that would put off someone who has spent their formative years enjoying everything from A-Ha to KMFDM – plus it takes a very wide range of influences in its style, for I felt this album doubled up as a “landscape” album, for it did remind me a lot of Kraftwerk, particularly the Autobahn days.

There’s a running theme of trains throughout this album, both in sampling and lyrics, so I would speculate that the guys are talking about their surroundings with how modern life is almost dictated by technology and possibly how their homeland likes to run all things like clockwork.

Synths and drum machines are rife as well as vocals that can be either deep and melodic and blend well like another instrument, or a bit harsher at times, given the nature of the track. I was not put off at all by the eclectic mix of this release, so if you want to know what electronic music from China sounds like, give this album a try.

Review by Demitri Levantis