Top Band 2 Episode 4: Triple Tournament Part 4

More Top Band 2 coming up as we are now ready to offer our opinions on episode 4 of the show, aired on May 26th. KBS offers VOD to anyone with a KBS account if you want to watch the full episode. Daum does not allow video embeds, but if you follow the links below you’ll get to see the full versions of the performances with the bands shown on TV as well as the performance that did not make the cut for the show.

In addition to myself the Top Band 2 commentary panel consists of Lightinthemind of Korean rock is real, Dahee of Dahee’s Plastic Castle, Ranya of K-Underground Sweden and Xtian aka drowningn00b. This episode offered a few surprises, though the editing has not improved since last week.


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During the first three episodes of Top Band 2 54 out of 99 bands have already faced each other in Triple Tournaments where the four judges can pick just one winner but may choose to use a Top Choice card to save a particularly deserving band when competition is tough. Before the Triple Tournaments continue in the fourth episode, Pia and The Koxx get to say a few words about the setbacks they’ve faced while participating on the show so far.

Dahee: Pia’s vocalist talks about how awful it felt to have his vocals criticized so publicly like that – especially since it was a problem that he was aware of even before this competition. That’s the price you have to pay for choosing to come on this show, dude. The Koxx promise that they’ll only improve from here on out, and they wish that people wouldn’t call their first performance a moment of humiliation. Uh, but wasn’t it…?

Anna: All the bands exposed themselves to such criticism by auditioning. These two bands should appreciate that they could advance in spite of subpar performances, simply because the judges knew what they are really capable of beforehand.

 

Round 1: Mary Story vs. VenEZ vs. Story Seller

Mary Story: “제발” (Lee Sora cover)

Bonus: “너 없인 행복할 수 없잔아

Anna: They sound just like the Mary Story I remember! The cover is gorgeous and so is their own song. They’ve even updated the way they perform their own song a bit. I hope we’ll get to see plenty more of them!

Lightinthemind: Quite amazed with the cover they did cause it really sounds like their own song (agreeing with Anna here ). I know I’m biased here, but since they were not around for a while only seldom appearing in the clubs, I really want to see more of them. I hope that the expression on the face of Kim Kyung Ho is a promise of good impression made on judges. While listening to their own song I got caught up by memories, that is always like this with Mary Story…

Dahee: Mary Story!! I heart them. I heart them hardcore. And oh, I  really like this performance. It’s everything I expected from them, and everything that I wanted. Please let them move on!

Xtian: The cover has a great drum build up, but I don’t like the vocals much. Strained or nervous, but not connecting to him. The song choices are also off. From mid-tempo to mid-tempo? Really? Still love the drummer… err drumming.

 

VenEZ: “Since You Been Gone” (Rainbow cover)

Bonus: “Hey! You!

Anna: Oops, I had them down as Band EZ until now because of their Daum Café address, but the photo shown ahead of the round says VenEZ. Not too fond of the cover, but their own song is not all bad. Don’t particularly like the rock vocals the vocalist is attempting though.

Lightinthemind: Not interesting at all. Quite an old sound and with those rock vocals makes me bored.

Dahee: Eww, I don’t like this at ALL. That vocalist is SO ANNOYING. He’s all over the place. No control whatsoever. This is a bad cover, in my opinion, but the judges seem to love it. The vocalist says that when he was younger people told him he sounded a lot like Kim Kyung Ho, so he worked hard to change his voice. So he demonstrates for them, and Kim says he’s great, but that he sounds nothing like him, hahaha. Yeah, I don’t hear the Kim Kyung Ho resemblance…

Xtian: Lead guitarist looks like Kim Jo Han from certain angles. The cover’s not doing it for me. Their original, for an angry song, isn’t getting me riled up.

 

Story Seller: “은퇴선언” (Sinawe cover)

Bonus: “어젯밤 그냥

Anna: Go Story Seller! They’re rocking the cover song very well. I don’t really like their own song, but they’re performing that one well too.

Lightinthemind: Gosh! How I do like these girls! Strong voice, skills and that balance between girlish appearance and self-esteem. And I liked the smile of Shin Dae Chul in the middle of them singing a Sinawe song.

Dahee: Oh, they did well! I’m glad. I heart them, too. I want an all-female band to go through! Shin Dae Chul seems to approve. Rock on, ladies!

Xtian: Great energy, vocals and guitar work. And they played one of my favorite tracks off XX. C’mon, how can you not like this stuff? Galloping drums, crazy guitar shredding and a more than capable frontwoman, no, frontlady, are more than enough to turn any rock fan.

 

Winner: VenEZ

Anna: No!! I had difficulties deciding between Mary Story and Story Seller, but the judges apparently had other preferences. Maybe it was that the VenEZ vocalist can sing like Kim Kyung Ho?

Lightinthemind: What? Really? And no Top Choice? I think it was really strange day for judges. To put aside bands with good and clear voices who really would be able to do the show? Can’t understand this decision.

Dahee: UGH. Of course the one band I don’t like gets through. Poor Mary Story and Story Seller. :( This is a tragedy. I can’t understand it. Shin Dae Chul comments how he’s always the lone judge who likes a band no one else appreciates. I have a feeling he liked Story Seller.

Xtian: Wha…? Huh? *Hyperventilating* No Top Choi… A second thought, I am riled up, and confused. Why did they win over Story Seller?! What the hell, man! VenEz SUCKED compared to Story Seller. What are they thinking? I can’t believe the injustice. *walking in a daze* @_@

 

Round 2: Nevada#51 vs. Remnants of the Fallen vs. Wings of the ISang

Nevada#51: “I Gotta Feeling” (Black Eyed Peas cover)

Bonus: “Sylvia

Anna: Interesting choice of cover. They’re doing it very well. And the judges seem to approve.

Lightinthemind: What a surprise! It appears that this band is playing in the musical 6 Hours Work! I never heard about it and I never read about it. Anyway, maybe it is the cause for the band to become more polished than in the beginning of their career. As for the cover I like it and agree with Shin Dae Chul that it was an active and bright performance. I don’t want to talk about their own song, since it is frequently on repeat in my playlist. Just some funny things: did you see that red toy on the stand of guitarist and did you laugh at that strange and joyful expressions drummer made?

Dahee: Oh, I really like this! This took me by surprise. They’re super fun. The vocalist needs to learn how to show facial expressions, though. He looked like a jumping robot.

Xtian: It’s a bad thing when I’m watching the drummer more than the singer. He’s clearly excited to be there. Cover sucks. Too by-the-numbers. But their original’s better with a great bass line. As for the singer, his growl can take the band to darker, heavier rock, like hardcore and metal. I’m intrigued now.

 

Remnants of the Fallen: “아이야” (H.O.T. cover)

Bonus: “The Afterlife

Anna: You Young Suk remembers them from the first season. And they’re going for a cover of my very favorite H.O.T song!!!! I used to be a major H.O.T fangirl. I love this!!!! Please, please, please let me see more of this goodness!!! The judges are laughing. And the guitarist gets a guitar lesson from Kim Do Kyun? Is this good or bad? I can’t tell. Their own song is much harder, but I’d argue it sounds better on record than they manage in front of the judges.

Lightinthemind: I enjoyed them even not knowing the original song^^ The best parts of this performance were expression of judges faces and opened mouth of Kim Kyung Ho cause he didn’t see them in the first season and headbanging was quite a surprise for him^^

Dahee: LOL at the judges’ reactions. They love the headbanging, and so do I. This was a good performance. Kim Kyung Ho requests that the vocalist teach him growling, haha. And Kim Do Kyun requests that the guitarists demonstrate their skills, and after a lot of build-up, says that the downward picking was very unique. Haha, so cute. You Young Suk teases him and says that what he said will probably get edited out, and Kim Kyung Ho comments that he sure is kind and serene. Heh. It’s okay, Kim Do Kyun, not everyone has to have a way with words.

Xtian: Synchronized head banging should be an Olympic sport. It’s interesting to see a k-pop song done in metal. Though I’m not a metal head, their original is pretty good. Props to the singer becaue I can’t imagine growling like that to be easy on the vocal chords. Hope they pass through; Top Band needs more metal.

 

Wings of the ISang: “Karma Police” (Radiohead cover)

Bonus: “상실의 시대

Anna: Not really related to their music, but I enjoyed reading this post on Yun Isang, the poet that inspired their name, earlier today. I love this song, but they’re making a pretty straightforward cover and it turns out pretty boring. I had hoped for more from them. Their own song on the other hand is really strong and impressing me a lot more, especially the instrumental part midway. Beautiful!

Lightinthemind: Editors, you’re freaking me out. Why show this cover which is not really a cover but a band singing Radiohead song instead of their own song which is really worth watching and listening to?

Dahee: Not a memorable cover. In fact, I actually forgot to write down my impressions of it in my notes while watching this episode. That says a lot.

Xtian: Meh cover, but the guitar solo was cool. The vocals were muted for a second in the beginning, but came back screeching. However, after Nevada51 and RotF, WotI isn’t the band to go against. They’re too calm and soothing, especially with the piano break in the middle.

 

Winner: Nevada#51

 

Anna: Not all that surprising considering their long experience, but I had wanted to see more of both of the other bands.

Lightinthemind: I’m happy!

Dahee: Yay! Very deserved.

Xtian: Glad for Nevada51, but would’ve loved to see more from RotF, especially how they would fair against the pop-oriented contestants. Lighting a match for you guys, RotF.

 

Kim Do Kyun’s Top Choice: Remnants of the Fallen

 

Anna: Yay!!!

Lightinthemind: Now two times more happy! To have such good bands going further!

Dahee: Another yay! Very expected. The suspense was in whether they’d give them the win or the Top Choice card, really.

Xtian Yay! *shaking the match* Nearly burned myself.

 

Anna: Even more Rose Motel? People must really love them! It’s great to see that at least one of the new bands has managed to get some serious attention through this show.

Lightinthemind: I hope that in this episode we won’t see such cuts like in the previous. Then I would be angry at Rose Motel for appearing here and stealing time from other rookies.

Dahee: Wow, Top Band 2 is really pimping this band. Cute logo song, though? It seems that out of all the rookie bands so far, them and Harry Big Button have gained the most popularity.

 

Round 3: Psychics vs. Tacopy vs. Nickea

Psychics: “개구장이” (Sanullim cover)

Bonus: “You’re Gross But Beautiful

Anna: I only ever really liked the Turbo version of this song and Gummy ruined it for me completely on I Am A Singer. They’re probably doing it pretty well, but I wish they’d picked another song to cover. Their own song is a lot more to my liking. It’s a shame they have to go up against Tacopy, but at least they gave it a shot.

Lightinthemind: Oh, the film about the daddy in the beginning is so sweet. Is he really raising his son alone? That might be so hard to be dad, to work at the filling station and be part of a band as drummer… If talking about the music, I like their approach and the vocals put together with guitar and small amount of electronics. Mixed and shaken it gives good results. Just to add some acting on the scene and they would be covered with that rockish attitude that judges like. As for now they are seen like just a band fresh out of university.

Dahee: Wow, the drummer for Psychics is a really young single dad! Only 26, and with a 5-year-old kid…How tough. I hope the band becomes more successful for his sake, at least. Anyway, I like their performance, although it wasn’t super memorable. And please don’t remind me of the travesty that was Gummy’s performance of this song on I Am A Singer. Just thinking about it gives me hives.

Xtian: Groovy cover with a cool electro-bass break. And their orginal is awesome! I agree with Lightinthemind that the electro-rock mix works here; just enough of both to make the tracks stand out. So good. They need to work on their stage presence, though.

 

Tacopy: “치고 달려라 2012

Bonus: “이등병의 편지” (Kim Kwang Seok cover)

Anna: It’s always so weird to see bands making this kind of music turn into ajusshis, but with a vocalist going on 37 it may be difficult to hide. To their benefit they sound like they always have. It’s catchy and nothing not to like about it if you’re into this kind of music. The cover was an unexpected pick. I would probably enjoy their pop punk version more if I wasn’t already so fond of the calm original.

Dahee: Tacopy did well, even if this isn’t really my thing. I just hope they’ll become more well-known in the mainstream through this. There’s something rather sad about their song being popular, but the band itself being unknown. As for the cover…Well. Let’s just say that I hope the other bands won’t join in on butchering my favourite Kim Gwang Seok songs.

Xtian: Internal conflict going on. Love Psychics, but I’m a fan of TA Copy since their last EP. Damn you random selection process! Would’ve preferred a harder punk sound for the original, but I still like it. And the cover is interesting if only because the vocalist is using his throat more. Initially, I was turned off by his nasally delivery, so its good to see he can change it up. But man, 37? If TA Copy lose, they have more to lose than the other two in this round.

 

Nickea: “리듬속의 그 춤을” (Kim Wan Sun cover)

Bonus: “Deep End

Anna: Wow, Nickea! I had no idea you were this good! I always liked her own music, but this cover sung with that unique voice is even better! Very good job. “Deep End” sounds a bit boring in comparison, but it’s still good.

Lighinthemind: I think uniting with the other guys and forming a band was a good decision since I hear some new things in the cover. So please, please, follow this way!

Dahee: Yes! I knew they had this in them! I like the way they approached the cover. Very atmospheric. I agree with Shin that there’s something about them that just sucks you in. But yeah, they’re not quite on par with the other bands yet…which is SO UNFAIR. *grumble grumble*

Xtian: Oooh, moody with a dash of cheesy Christmas sweater; love it. The overall sound is very singer-songwriter, but I like how moody and melodic “Deep End” moves along.

 

Winner: Tacopy

Anna: Anything else would’ve surprised me greatly. Would’ve wanted to see more of both of the other two though. Psychics are singing the Tacopy song as they walk away.

Lightinthemind: Of course. Who else? To sing at this show the song of ages and come out with free hands would be silly. But I feel bad for the other bands.

Dahee: No surprise here. The judges talk about how Nickea has charm and a lot of potential, but they’re not yet at a level for competing with the other bands. So no Top Choice for them, which is just…boo. Yo, producers, give the judges some more Top Choice cards, please!

Xtian: Bummer Psychics and Nickea lost. Both had good things to offer Top Band, but oh well. TA Copy all the way.

 

Round 4: Vanilla Unity vs. YaYa vs. Cretem

Vanilla Unity: “With or Without You” (U2 cover)

Bonus: “Hero

Anna: Bassist Nick’s students seem very impressed by his band activities. Out of all the bands in this season of Top Band Vanilla Unity is probably the one I’ve listened to the most in recent times. This band has plenty of fans for good reasons and they’re not holding back with the cover. They’re doing a good job with their own song as well, though one of the ‘Hero’ outbursts was a bit off tune. The others will have to really bring something extra to have any chance against them.

Lightinthemind: Wow… that surprises me… never thought that U2 covers could be like that, clear and full of feelings. I can’t help but like Vanilla Unity for their strong skills and the remaining passion to music. And you know, I like this episode showing the personal side of band members, like we saw the drummer of Psychics and now teacher Nick. He is really handsome and seems so young! And alas, already a teacher!

Dahee: I think they did well, but the cover felt a little safe to me. But yeah, it was nice to see some personal stories. I want to know more about the band members as people.

Xtian: Good cover, though I wanted more from the band than just the singer. Umm, no. The vocalist had me right there with him, until he started screaming. The shrieking pulled me away from the song. And it’s a bummer because the song was working for me.

 

Cretem: “Can’t Take My Eyes Off You” (Frankie Valli cover)

Bonus: “Rainbow Comes

Anna: The cover was too squeaky in the beginning, but it shaped up nicely after a while. Shin Dae Chul doesn’t look too happy about it though. They do their own song better than the cover, but they could put some more focus on the vocals also during verses. I like them.

Lightinthemind: I made that ‘errr’ face as soon as I heard then synth, then again when the vocals jumped out of tune and again when everything suddenly ended. They really did their own song slightly better, but I agree with Anna, they need to work with the vocals. During “Rainbow Comes “I couldn’t help but stare at the red pants of the vocalist O_o

Dahee: Ugh, that cover is not my thing AT ALL. I was cringing through all of it. It seems they’ve moved on from being boring to being insufferable. I guess it doesn’t help that I kind of can’t stand that Frankie Valli song.

Xtian: Lol, oh god! My teen years are coming back. But argh, what is that synth? He hiccupped the lyrics close to the end, but the cover was passable. And it doesn’t stop there. He needs to speak up! I could barely hear him in the original. The band was doing well, but the vocals need more work. Maybe next time, Cretem.

 

YaYa: “My Favorite Things” (Sound of Music soundtrack)

Bonus: “거미의 숲

Anna: Aha, so it’s not just the duo YaYa but the session players too? I had thought there would be rules against that, but I suppose not. The cover doesn’t sound at all as unique and interesting as I had expected of them and I can’t even hear the drums. It is still rather pop, just with an annoying arrangement. Shin Dae Chul is singing along. Their own song is much better. I wonder why that one wasn’t shown on TV instead.

Lightinthemind: Kim Kyung Ho praised them for the mix of strings, vocals and good tempo which were not blended. And Shin Dae Chul respects their individuality and stage presence. And You Young Suk says he can’t understand this music. Strange quarrel between Shin Dae Chul and You Young Suk… One says they have their unique style and another can’t agree. As soon as I like YaYa, I’d probably agree with Shin Dae Chul, but while watching You Young Suk’s explanation, that he listened to them after returning home and showed some accords the band used  and how simple they were and pointing out that they made a really good stage presence only with that orchestra… I find something reasonable in his words. But anyway for me YaYa stands out and I’m really grateful to Shin Dae Chul for doing everything for them.

Dahee: I would never have thought of remaking this song in this fashion, but I think I like it? There were moments when I was like, “This is TOO hard on the ears…” but otherwise, it was better than the other stuff I’ve heard from them before. Kim Kyung Ho and You Young Suk admit that they don’t understand their music at all and that it was too discordant, while Shin says that he likes them because they’re unique and have good stage presence. I’m not sure where I sit on this one. On one hand, they’re just too discordant at times, and it feels a bit like being different just for the sake of being different…Then again, I agree that there’s something rather brave about approaching music and this competition this way. Hmm…

Xtian: Oooh, violin and string bass in a rock band? The image I got from the cover was a chanteuse burlesque singer coming through a Victrola. Great singing, though. But whoa, that original is something else. How can I describe that? Even at their weirdest, Jaurim can’t pull this off. But it was so good! The vocal distortions, the strings and the overall demented feel fired on all cylinders. And she’s magnetic to watch! No question they’ll win.

 

Winner: YaYa

Anna: So this is where You Young Suk walked out! I heard one of the judges walked out during another judging as well, so it seems like the producers haven’t been playing the drama as much as they could’ve. Why is that, I wonder? Before listening to the songs that didn’t make it to TV I thought the ruling unfair to Vanilla Unity, but after hearing “거미의 숲” it makes more sense. Probably this was recorded after the judges had already run out of Top Choice cards.

Dahee: Honestly, You Young Suk, was it really necessary to walk out of the room like that? Why not just sit there quietly? I understand you’re tired and frustrated, but still…The rest of them sit there for 40 minutes not being able to decide, and finally Kim Kyung Ho tells Shin Dae Chul to make the decision himself. And so YaYa wins. You Young Suk does an interview where he explains that there are different kinds of disharmony. It’s up to the musician to discover which kinds are beautiful. But YaYa has failed in that respect, at least on stage. I definitely see his point.

Xtian: Bah! Mr. You should man up and eat it. I liked Vanilla Unity enough, but they don’t hold a candle to YaYa and their creativity. Glad the right choice was made.

 

Midway each judge gets highlighted with clips showing their respective characteristics.

Dahee: Why did they do this in episode four? Why not earlier in the competition, or after the Triple Tournament ends as a wrap-up of the judges’ reactions? Bizarre placement, that’s for sure. But it’s cute, and sums up the judges and their styles rather nicely. I kind of love that Kim Do Kyun is the serene Buddha figure, lol. And I don’t understand why they chose to showcase that Kim Kyung Ho clip out of all the clips they could’ve gone with…

Anna: I enjoyed what little I could understand of it as well, but you’re right they could’ve done it later. Would’ve given time to show if only a little more of the next triple tournaments as well.

 

Round 5: Magnum69 vs. Wise Apple vs. Coreyah

Magnum69: “Hound Dog” (Elvis Presley cover)

Bonus: “Stylish

Anna: More crap editing this episode with barely anything shown from some of the artists. The cover wasn’t at all something I could enjoy and their own song while better still represents a kind of rock I usually refrain from listening to.

Lightinthemind: Ok…. I can’t hold myself. I’d better refuse to comment this shitty editor’s work. As for the sound of the band – it is very simple and doesn’t have any own accent. I was wondering why I wasn’t against the cover of Elvis but when I heard their own song I understood. Elvis’ approach is almighty )

Dahee: Congrats, editors. You have gained an anti-fan in me. Anyway, the cover was rather safe, and their nervousness was very visible. It was decent, but not particularly memorable. And someone should tell that vocalist that his hairstyle is not exactly flattering.

Xtian: Aren’t these the guys claiming to be sexy? Right, so much for that descriptor. Awful blues break in the cover. The original is better. The guitar solo and the hard bass were killer, but not feeling the singer. Not my type of sexy.

 

Wise Apple: “To Be With You” (Mr. Big cover)

Bonus: “나를 봐

Anna: I want to like Wise Apple, but what they’ve done with their cover just isn’t right. It’s the kind of song supposed to make you feel all warm and fuzzy inside, I always have this mental image of a blanket wrapping me. There’s none of that in their version. Fortunately their own song is performed much better and doesn’t suffer at all from the same poor arrangement.

Lightinthemind: I don’t like the cover, everything is messy. Their own song has a rather catchy tempo but I want to hear more of the voice and harmonious instruments playing. Just maybe this band is rather young and I hope everything is in their hands.

Dahee: Ugh, that cover was just a mess. I shudder, I wince. And I feel like you could mop the floor with that frontman’s hair. This is not necessarily an insult, by the way.

Xtian: I really like his voice. Impressive ad-libbing for the cover. The band needs its own color, but his voice (and the acoustic guitar riff in the beginning and end) make the song for me. C’mon Wise Apple.

 

Coreyah: “Norwegian Wood” (The Beatles cover)

Bonus: “돈돌라리오

Anna: I thought the cover uninteresting, but their own song, like in their video audition, had far more speaking in their favor. A bit uneven at the moment, but with the right guidance I still feel like their arrangements have potential to take them many places outside of Korea.

Lightinthemind: I wasn’t caught… I got bored… And at times annoyed with the voice. I still think that for the Korean national instruments a deeper voice like Jang Goon of Ninano Nanda would be a better fit. I see only one escape for Coreyah here to add some modern instruments and to shake everything better…

Dahee: I think they chose a good song to cover. It suits their style. They still aren’t for me, though, and I agree that the vocalist is annoying. They need some more work to smooth over their sound.

Xtian: World music enters Top Band, ladies and gentlemen. She croaked a bit near the middle, but sailed better as time went by. Not asking to be ironic, but can she sing? This speak-singing is fine for now, but how will she do against stronger singers? Time will tell.

 

Winner: Coreyah

 

Anna: A very weak triple tournament overall so I can see why they’d chosen to show as little of it as possible, but I still don’t think it’s right. I would’ve wanted to see at least some of the reasoning behind picking Coreyah even though I’m supporting the decision.

Lightinthemind: I think the judges were just bored with same rock/indie sounds and chose at least one band that differed.

Dahee: Yet another example of why the triple tournament format annoys me so much. I would so rather have had Gostwind, another band mixing traditional instruments with more success, advance instead of them.

Xtian: Eh, Wise Apple isn’t a total loss if Coreyah is the winner. Would rather have unique talent than personal favorites win.

 

Round 6: Analog Freak vs. Gogoboys vs. Rock’n’Roll Radio

Analog Freak: “커피 한 잔” (Pearl Sisters cover)

Bonus: “Taste My Sin

Anna: Great song in original but what is this horrific cover? I would have barely recognized the song if I hadn’t seen the title, and in this particular case I do not think it shows any great creative initiative from the band’s side. And their own song? No, this band has no redeeming qualities in my ears.

Lightinthemind: Why did they need a vocalist when both songs had a synthetic voice? Terrible sound, absolute absence of melody and everything else needed for the composition. I see them as a company of musicians gathered together just sporadically.

Dahee: Ladies and gentlemen, this is a perfect example of how NOT to approach a cover. This is noisy, chaotic, and rather disrespectful to the original song.

Xtian: Is the synth player videotaping himself? Shit ton of noise, which is fun, especially with that sick guitar shredding. But there’s a way to do vocals on electronic music. Analog Freak aren’t doing it right. If they did it like Kim Bum Soo’s “Wet Firewood” from I Am A Singer, they would have something palatable for the wider audience.

 

Gogoboys: “모여라” (Songgolmae cover)

Bonus: “비가 내리네

Anna: I had expected a bit more playful cover from Gogoboys, but it is still decent enough and definitely their style. Their own song is a bit different from what I had expected as well. Vocals sound rougher than usual, somehow. I think I prefer their songs when smoother, but in this triple tournament they should be able to get away with it anyway.

Lightinthemind: Oh… like a bliss after Analog Freak. Thank you, Gogoboys! Decent cover and good song, I wasn’t expecting anything weak from you .

Dahee: They are so cute! I love their outfits.

Xtian: Good energy and vocals, though I would’ve preferred one of the more high energy tracks off “Jukebox”, like “Can U” or “Wink”. I was afraid it was going to be a by-the-numbers performance of the original, but the calm break was just what the song needed. Great job, GoGo Boys!

 

Rock’n’Roll Radio: “Like A Virgin” (Madonna cover)

Bonus: “Red Moon

Anna: The cover isn’t bad, but it’s far from convincing. I’d need some more weight behind those vocals, and the instruments too for that matter. And I think I liked their own song more during the first video audition. It’s not bad, just not at the same level as most of the other bands in this competition.

Lightinthemind: Weak sound and plain cover, nothing to amaze me.

Dahee: YAWN. Very weak cover. They need more power and stage presence. The singing needs to be clearer and louder, too.

Xtian: Too many R’s. Get over yourselves, gents! NONE of you believes those lyrics, nor are you playing with the song ironically. Though you do look like virgins, so maybe that’s the irony. -_- Do they want to be there? Where’s the fire, the passion? He copied the hair, but even a robot like Astro Boy has more life than these guys.

 

Winner: Gogoboys

 

Anna: Anything else would’ve been a great injustice to Gogoboys.

Lightinthemind: The only choice here. But for a good band.

Dahee: Hurrah! I look forward to seeing what else they’ll do.

Xtian: Ditto what Anna said, though I’m curious what Analog Freak will do next.

 

Round 7: Bang Bang Tree vs. Jung Band vs. The United93

Bang Bang Tree: “Smoke On The Water” (Deep Purple cover)

Bonus: “라면

Anna: They seem so sympathetic from the clip ahead of their performance. A robot playing the drums is awesome! Too bad they’re still doing “Smoke On The Water”. There is simply no way I could approve of this. I’m impressed they have a song of their own, but even though it’s not all that bad it sounds a bit tame.

Lighitnthemind: Ouch… it would be better if they showed their own song which is presenting good vocal skills and quite decent melody than that cover…

Dahee: Ugh, not this cover again…

Xtian: Finally, a band with a drum solo. But the cover just passed me by. Sorry dudes. And the orginal put me to sleep.

 

Jung Band: “Heavy Chains” (Loudness cover)

Bonus: “All Guns Blazing” (Judas Priest cover)

Anna: The Loudness cover is a much better choice than Judas Priest. The Loudness cover I actually like. The Judas Priest cover, same as they offered in the video auditions, is still not something I can listen to.

Dahee: They did well! I’m bopping my head to this. There’s something rather cute about them, too, but that might just be my ahjusshi-loving heart talking.

Lightinthemind: Ok, strong voice and well-coordinated playing, but I can’t get rid of the feeling that a cover band doesn’t have as much to offer to and audience as bands creating music by themselves. As for me you’ll rarely find me watching or listening to covers, so it is not my band.

Xtian: A cover band? Why the…? Man, pass!

 

The United93: “쿵푸파이터스

Bonus: “Umbrella” (Rihanna cover)

Anna: They’re young and show so much energy. How could anyone possibly not to be impressed by their performance? Their pronunciation takes away a bit from the cover, but even though they’re not jumping around the state they still manage to deliver a bit of energy. Very nice work with the arrangement.

Dahee: This feels too…chaotic(?) for me. It feels like they’re just doing a lot of playing with no control? I don’t know how to put it. They certainly are energetic, and I can see their appeal, but I feel like telling them to calm down a bit. Maybe I just want the arrangement to have more breaks in it.

Lightinthemind: Hey! They are a rock band! They are supposed to deliver their energy, to share it with listeners! That’s why they have both my hands! Youth and passion create a strong elixir for my tired soul. I like their own song as well as the cover. I’d say their album would be one of those to settle in my playlist)))

Xtian: Yes! A true punk pand, finally! I hope 93 doesn’t stand for the year the dudes were born in. Soo much fun! Who knew all you needed was a chorus for lyrics? Even the cover works! Still punk for a pop song. For both, the DJ and synth elements work in their favor, in keeping with Korean tastes but still “chaotic”, to use Dahee’s word choice. Someone get the mosh ready.

 

Winner: Jung Band

 

Anna: What? How is this possible? They’re a cover band! What about The United93?

Dahee: I’m happy with this. Aww, they’re putting a smile on my face by how happy they are. Besides, isn’t Top Band really about doing covers more than anything else? They can always produce original music later.

Lightinthemind: How?????!!!!!! What are the judges expecting of them??? To start creating anything? For so many years not to make anything to show at the contest and to create smth decent just in few weeks? Really silly choice!!!

Xtian: Jung Band goes through but Story Seller gets the ax? This isn’t Top “Steal the Best of Others” Band! And what an injustice to United93! They killed on that stage! Gotta pull a Ranya on this one.

 

Kim Do Kyun’s Top Choice: The United93

 

Anna: Good. They deserved it.

Dahee: Another expected outcome. I kind of wish they’d saved the card for another band, though…And next week is the finale of the Triple Tournament! Yay! I hope they’ll show lots of No Respect For Beauty.

Lightinthemind: Oh yes! Thanks our kind heart buddha!

Xtian: Finally! Justice is served on this episode of Top Band. Still hurt by Story Seller