Top Band 2 Auditions: Remnants of the Fallen, hakdong-8gate, The Four Brothers, Microkid

With this post we’ve made it halfway through the series where we introduce the bands that made it through the first round of auditions for KBS band survival show Top Band 2. Fifty two down, forty seven to go! Sharing their opinions with me on the middle four are Lightinthemind of Korean rock is real,  Dahee of Dahee’s Plastic Castle and Ranya of K-Underground Sweden. If you too would like to share your opinion, put it in the comments for all to see!


 

Remnants of the Fallen

Melodic death metal band Remnants of the Fallen formed in 2009 and claim to be the TVXQ of the underworld. Their first official demo was released on Dada Music in 2010 and end of February came the band’s first EP, Perpetual Immaturity, though none of the releases include the audition song. Remnants of the Fallen auditioned already for the first season of Top Band, but didn’t make it past the second round that time.

Remnants of the Fallen – “God Idolatry”

Anna: For reasons other than this commentary series I’ve been listening a bit to Perpetual Immaturity lately. I find their choice of audition song questionable, but I know they’ve got a couple of other songs that are very good. I hope they’re able to impress better this time with their fast guitar and drumming.

Lightinthemind: Mmm, not having success in the first Top Band and going to the second? They are brave enough. Thinking that they just want to prove that Korea has metal it is a good attempt. But as for music I can’t say that they have anything original not taken from other famous bands. I need Korea to go more into this metal, especially melodic death metal, since my youth was with it. I liked the song “The Afterlife”.

Dahee: The “TVXQ of the underworld”? What the hell is that supposed to mean? Do they do their best metal screams on how they want to set fire to some poor girl’s bed for a day? *ahem* ANYWAY. I remember them from the first season, and while I found moments of that audition a tad questionable, I think I liked them overall. Hopefully they’ll do better this time. But I have to say, listening to them now, I agree that they’re not all that original, and their sound isn’t really for me.

Ranya: Can you imagine people talking about metal bands and saying: “They’re okay, but they’re no TVXQ of the underworld.”? That would be kind of hilarious. Remnants of the Fallen are okay, but they’re no TVXQ of the underworld.

 

hakdong-8gate

hakdong-8gate formed in 2010 and took the name from the location of the music school where the members first met. They’ve been performing on various festivals throughout Korea since, but have yet to release any music. Just like Remnants of the Fallen, hakdong-8gate auditioned for the first season of Top Band, but failed to make it through the second round.

hakdong-8gate – “Hot Summer”

Lightinthemind: My head is going round. It is catchy song perfect for some beach disco and at first I thought it was a sort of pop that should be somewhere on music shows like Inkigayo, more perfect for idol bands. It is made with a lot of efforts towards mass audience. Not quite sure that this band is for Top Band. Also it occurred to me that they also have been auditioning at the first show. This performance I like more than the audition song.

Anna: Seeing the title I had expected an f(x) cover, but it is actually a song of their own. I couldn’t get into the audition song at all and searching for more on YouTube all I find is the kind of funk infused band music I simply cannot stand. They may be talented people, and having had another year to grow they may even become the new WMA, but I’ll have to see them make the same transition WMA did on the show last year before I even consider listening to them for my own sake.
Dahee: Their audition in the first season wasn’t bad, although it wasn’t really my thing. But this song…eh. Still not my thing. Is it really necessary to have four vocalists and all that harmonizing? It seems like overkill.

Dahee: Their audition in the first season wasn’t bad, although it wasn’t really my thing. But this song…eh. Still not my thing. Is it really necessary to have four vocalists and all that harmonizing? It seems like overkill.

Ranya: Sometimes the harmonization sounded really off and kind of made the listening experience awkward. I’m not very fond of this kind of music, the performance reminded me a little of it being some after-work karaoke session, but for other people I can see that this would be easy to get into.

 

The Four Brothers

The four members of The Four Brothers formed their band in 2009 and struck a record deal with Cavare Records two years later. They have yet to release anything, but the first full-length album is scheduled to be released sometime this year.

The Four Brothers – “세기말 반동자”

Lightinthemind: I think they have potential. Really, why not do some old rock’n’roll? But guys, could you practice a bit more to have voice and guitars performing all at once? I prefer their performances at Ssamzie Festival, for example ska-turned song “”.

Anna: It’s probably the name, but when I saw their name and the mention of rock’n’roll in their presentation I expected something closer to Oh! Brothers. That could’ve gone either way with me, and even when hearing what The Four Brothers really sound like I’m not certain whether I like it or not. A trip to YouTube and I’m leaning towards me liking them, but I’d probably have to see them last a while on Top Band to really be sure.

Dahee: The audition song is too repetitive for me and feels a little amateurish, although I like what they’re trying to do. Watching other performances of theirs, I like the songs better, but my first impression hasn’t gone away. They’ll have to work to impress me.

Ranya: It’s not that I don’t find them good, I actually do find them quite good indeed, they’re just very uninteresting for me so far. I just want to see more from them.

 

Microkid

Female fronted ‘intelligent punk band’ Microkid formed in 2005 and released their first EP the same year. Since the start they’ve been trying various styles, centered in modern rock but making an early effort to also include some electronica elements as well as a bit of soul and rock of the harder kind. Microkid released their first full-length album in 2009 and are auditioning with a new song.

Microkid – “Brothers Fantastics”

Lightinthemind: From the first tacts I began shaking my head. I like everything, the music, the performance and that inscrutable face of the vocalist made me laugh. I think they could really be formed somewhere in Europe and would have success. Want to listen to their full album!

Anna: I liked In My Transistor when it came and at the time sort of imagined Microkid turning into the female version of Peterpan Complex, possibly influenced by Peterpan Complex releasing an album with the title Transistor a year earlier. After also liking “Goodbye” from their next single I was quite disappointed to hear their contributions to the Ghost On Summer 2007 remake compilation, finding them extremely disengaging with the vocal efforts more lax than charming. I pretty much stopped paying attention to them after that, but when I first came across the audition song was happy to hear they were headed in the right direction again. Not quite as strong sound as when they first came out, and they’re another of those bands that shouldn’t really audition for Top Band to begin with, but I can’t help but hope this’ll lead to more of that Microkid I want them to be.

Dahee: I have their album on my iPod, and it’s been a fairly regular listen for me since it came out in 2009. (Note that I haven’t listened to their EP.) So clearly I like them, even if I’m not head over heels in love. That vocalist’s tone just makes me melt, and I’m liking this audition song. And while I am massively annoyed that they’re a part of this competition at all, I will definitely be rooting for them. Very generous of me, I know.

Ranya: The audition would not load for me, so I decided to check out their other songs in the meanwhile and I really liked them! I quite like the singer’s voice and now that I have had a chance to listen to the audition song, I think their overall sound is fun and really catchy! Sure, the vocalist could have looked a little more enthusiastic in the video, but other than that I hope they do well!

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