MUST Era Of The Band Episode 2 : Taboo

Continuing where we left off last week, we’re back with commentary for the second episode of Mnet’s band survival show MUST Era Of The Band. This week I’m joined by Youngmi of Dream, Girl, Lightinthemind of Korean Rock is Real and Dahee of Dahee’s Plastic Castle in sharing opinions on the episode that aired on May 28th. Watch the episode yourself through Mnet’s free VOD service.


 

The second episode of Yoon Do Hyun’s MUST‘s summer special sees Deli Spice return to the competition, this time facing Peterpan Complex, Galaxy Express, Romantic Punch, Goonam and Thornapple.

Anna: Do we get to see Deli Spice again because they got the second highest score last week? So happy for a chance to see Peterpan Complex on TV and very excited to have both Galaxy Express and Goonam here. Thornapple seems like the odd one as they, from my view overseas, seems to be the least accomplished band in the bunch, even though their music is well worth recognition.

Youngmi: It looks like there’s a theme to each week. The theme of the second episode is “taboo.” So I’m assuming bands will take advantage of this great freedom and be more than a little rebellious with their song choices and performance antics! How exciting! It feels so good to be bad!

Dahee: I’m a little confused about Deli Spice returning to the competition so quickly…not that I’m complaining. I just think it would have been okay to wait another week. I’m loving the line-up though. And like Youngmi, I’m digging the theme of taboo. Hopefully this will encourage the bands to be more badass.

 

1Round: Peterpan Complex vs. Deli Spice

Anna: Peterpan Complex will cover Nami!! I hope to see some well placed dance moves from Jeon Ji Han borrowing from the original choreography. Oh, and Jeon Ji Han goes camping with Kim Min Kyu and Yoon Jun Ho? So sweet! Would love to hear a collaboration between the two bands.

Youngmi: Are they preparing for the Grammys or something? Goodness, they’re putting a lot of effort into this! It seems like Peterpan Complex and Deli Spice have been friends for a long time. How cute is it to see them camping together?

Lightinthemind: Started to watching the show thoroughly from this episode but gosh! I’m so glad that producers give lots of freedom to bands to have the chance to create the sort of performance that they really want to do.

Dahee: What I’m really liking about this show so far is its laidback feel. The bands are competing against each other, sure, but there’s no real pressure about it. It’s such a refreshing change of pace from all the overly dramatic audition shows out there. And yes, the camping is adorable.

Peterpan Complex – “보이네” (Nami cover)

Anna: Jeon Ji Han singing in front of a video of himself playing the piano! It’s not one of Nami’s more energetic songs and Peterpan Complex keep it dull in the start, but after a while they’re making it seem like it was a dance track all along. I wouldn’t say this is Peterpan Complex at their best, but nevertheless it is an entertaining enough performance.

Youngmi: I really like their concept of showing logos of diverse brand names on the screen which is totally not allowed on Korean television. I think this is one of those arrangements that I will randomly find myself singing along to while grocery shopping. It’s pretty darn catchy.

Lightinthemind: I wasn’t very optimistic with the cover from the start of the song, thinking with a sign that it is one more boring ballad-esque version with piano and pretty vocals but thanks god everything changed) I think I should trust Peterpan Complex more. They didn’t disappoint me by decorating the main theme with elements like electronic drums amplifying the drum part and the distorted vocals of Kim Kyung Min. I must say they showed a good example of authentic synth pop.

Dahee: This was fun! While I agree with Anna that this wasn’t Peterpan Complex at their best, it was still quirky and energetic and engaging. I also love the logo concept, and had fun reading all the deliberately misspelled brand names. Although I think that as long as Jeon Ji Han keeps dancing, I could dig anything they do, really…

Deli Spice – “행복의 나라로” (Han Dae Soo cover)

Anna: Oh! So the camping part with the ukulele was actually part of setting the stage for this week’s Deli Spice performance! As much as I enjoy a good ukulele tune, I can’t help but think Kim Min Kyu’s voice deserves so much more so I’m relieved when the band joins him. Another very Deli Spice-esque performance and as formulaic as it is I gotta love it. But those clowns jumping in on stage with huge balls? Would’ve been much better without them.

Youngmi: What better way to stick with the theme than performing a banned song that suggests individuality and freedom?! Yeah! Anyways, I liked the performance because I felt Deli Spice was really trying to bring the song (and its meaning) justice which wasn’t appreciated much at the time.  Yes, the clowns and the balls were a bit confusing, but it was an attempt to express the joy and expression that are found in the lyrics. I embarrassingly admit I wasn’t that aware of the veteran indie band Deli Spice, but I’m quickly becoming a big fan!

Lightinthemind: I feel like for Deli Spice this sort of fancy decorations at the performances is probably a habit cause when I saw them at the Grand Mint Festival everything was brighten up with led screens and lots and lots o  varicoloured fireworks that lasted really long, not as usual for the bands. Anyway, about the song I agree with Anna – they showed true Deli Spice song with the energy needed for modern rock. There’s not that much to say about a band which each time is performing on the same high level.

Dahee: They seem much more relaxed this week. The vocals are way better, too. And yeah, the arrangement is formulaic, but who cares when they’re having so much fun and are clearly so intent on getting across the message of the song? And I actually liked the ukulele, balloons and the clowns…I thought it really suited the lyrics, and gave the performance the boost of whimsy that it needed. I think this could easily have become a boring performance without all the added bits.

Result

Peterpan Complex: 249
Deli Spice: 221

Anna: Both bands are great, but in my mind it will be difficult for any band to win over Deli Spice. Still, it was a fair win for Peterpan Complex.

Youngmi: Does this still not add up to 500? Were they not able to get 500 audience members for the show? Hmm

Lightinthemind: I’d better choose Deli Spice, but again, it’s hard to say who is better here.

Dahee: I’m a little surprised, since I thought the audience would surely pick the more standard performance. But I’m not complaining, since I enjoyed both.

 

2Round: Thornapple vs. Romantic Punch

Anna: Both bands will be doing k-pop covers–I like it!

Youngmi: The Thornapple members are so young and awkward it’s adorable. I’ve never heard of them before, but I’m excited to see how they will cover f(x)’s “Pinocchio”! I always tend to prefer Kpop covers over the original songs. Let’s get this round started!

Lightinthemind: Wow! They even made a video with f(x) cheering on the band! That is cute! And it’s good that they invited Thornapple, who are not a new band but still don’t have much experience within such shows.

Dahee: I’m not overly familiar with Thornapple myself, but am digging that both bands went with K-pop covers. They’re sure to make these songs a lot more digestible for me. And I’m just happy to see Romantic Punch again after Top Band 2. Look, it’s Kim Kyung Ho, their rocker coach with the beautiful hair!

Thornapple – “피노키오” (Danger) (f(x) cover)

Anna: I’m loving the vibe from Thornapple as the song opens. A bit psychedelic with props that really do set a somewhat dangerous mental hospital vibe. And the make-up! Do the Thornapple guys always look like this? After the first refrain I feel like that this depressing thing has been going on for too long already and keep waiting for a change, but that could just be that my attention span is not what i used to be. By the second refrain the arrangement takes a welcome turn adding a bit more drive and I can get into it again. Good choice putting them on the show!

Youngmi: Thornapple looks great on stage first of all! They have every right to be a little nervous, but are truly engaging the audience through this dark cover. There’s definitely a sense of eeriness and even a little creepiness in the lyrics that I’ve never even noticed before. YB’s bassist compliments them on their bass riff and I took thought their overall sound was stellar! Looks like I’ve found a new band to listen to!

Lightinthemind: I’ve seen Thornapple on the Club FF stage this spring and should say I totally like their vibes and psychedelic sound. Usually they don’t wear that make-up but the stage behavior and energy is almost the same. At first I really wondered what they can do with that pop song made for female voices and worried about the result. But the outcome! Strange, partly gothic with a scene creepily arranged with those naked mannequins. Maybe a slightly flat main theme but after you get into the mood you don’t even see that, you are diving into the song. So yes, I liked it.

Dahee: I’m really digging the mood and vibe that they’re going for, and I think they have some good ideas…but parts of this performance definitely fell a little flat, and the intro really was too long. I guess the original song itself was too repetitive for them to do something more interesting with the singing bits sooner. On the other hand, that ending was stellar. Basically, I really liked the beginning, then got bored and a little confused, and then was brought back to their side by the awesome instrumental at the end. I am definitely going to check out their music after this.

Romantic Punch – “주문 (Mirotic)” (TVXQ cover)

Anna: Hear the girls scream as Romantic Punch prepare to enter the stage. Very gothic setting. As the song gets started it’s heavier than I had expected, but wow it’s good! What an amazing chorus! And when Bae In Hyuk takes off his sun glasses and reveals those vampire eyes! Wow! The entire performance is fantastic.

Youngmi: “Mirotic”? More like erotic, am I right? Hehe. Anyways, bad jokes aside Romantic Punch brought out all the stops for this performance. Bae In Hyuk has such a dynamic stage presence I think he is what makes the band so special and why this kind of thing works so well for them.

Lightinthemind: I screamed like those girls when I heard that Romantic Punch covered “Mirotic” cause this song made me  jump into the world of Korean music. If not for “Mirotic” you wouldn’t be able to read my blog. Sounds strange but it is the fact. But you know what? Bae In Hyuk’s stage presence is awesome, but I wasn’t able to get rid of the feeling that their series of joint concerts with Wiretap in My Ear played a huge role in this cover. Just take a look at the feather decoration of the guitarist! At the manicure with long nails and just all the gestures of Bae In Hyuk! No doubt, I see Lee Hyuk’s influence in him. There was only one thing disturbing me – those backdancers who at first were just dancing out of sync with both music and style, but when they turned into zombies I felt like they had the right to be on the scene.

Dahee: I am kind of blown away right now. AWESOME. Bae In Hyuk is always incredible, but he was especially amazing in this performance. Those screams! Those growls! And those vampire eyes! I love everything about this…well, with the exception of those back-up dancers, who I felt were unnecessary. This band has Bae In Hyuk, that’s all the entertainment we need!

Result

Thornapple: 211
Romantic Punch: 274

Anna: Thornapple did well and I would’ve loved to see them go farther than this, but if Romantic Punch can prompt this reaction from me by the TV I can only imagine how excited the audience in place was. No shame shall come to Thornapple from this. Congratulations, Romantic Punch!

Youngmi: Thornapple did an incredible job and I think they will benefit the most from this experience! The obscure lyrics and arrangements for both songs fit well with the theme too.

Lightinthemind: I feel sorry for Thornapple but these days winning over Romantic Punch is very hard. RoPun had a very powerful yet thoughtful cover so Thornapple should take this experience as an advantage to go forward.

Dahee: I’m not surprised, and I’m happy, too. Romantic Punch deserves the win. I hope Thornapple will pull a Deli Spice and return to the show soon.

 

3Round: Galaxy Express vs. Goonam

Anna: Galaxy and Goonam! They just got home from the Korea Rocks UK tour playing together and now they have to play against each other… Oh! And they’re showing clips from the tour as well!!! Both bands have made great song choices. Now let the best band win!

Youngmi: Galaxy Express and Goonam are two of my absolute favorite Korean bands so I’m so stoked for this round! Looks like Galaxy completed everything that was needed for the performance while touring in the UK. Efficient!

Lightinthemind: I liked the way Jonghyun pronounced ‘You and Me’ while making the choice between the bands, feels like being on the same tour helped to build a good relationship between the two bands.

Dahee: I am so stoked for this. Also I’m very impressed by how responsible and efficient Galaxy Express were while preparing for this performance. Poor Goonam, they’re still suffering from jetlag…

Galaxy Express – “바람” (Kim Jung Mi cover)

Anna: High energy from the start and it continues throughout. Galaxy Express–Never boring. The harmonizing in the refrain is great and I like just about everything with this straightforward rock explosion. Except maybe for the smashed guitar in the end. That was a tad bit unnecessary, making Yoon Do Hyun stand with his mouth open. But then Jong Hyun makes some fan very, very happy by throwing what is left of it into the audience so at least it wasn’t for nothing.

Youngmi: I think Galaxy Express is one of those few bands that can keep things simple without being boring or cliche. I love this performance because it’s a perfect representation of their sound, energy and overall mental craziness. I just about fell in love with the band all over again. Plus, what’s more taboo than smashing your instruments on stage?! Straight up rock and roll badassery. They’re my favorite for a reason!

Lightinthemind: I should blame myself and cry out loud but I didn’t have the chance to see GE live. But I always have them in  my playlist for the periods when I need to enjoy the world. What is the better way to do it than the pure energy of rock’n’roll? About smashing the guitar – please tell me what other show could have allowed that? And that is totally amazing if comparing with Top Band. Bands being judged and appreciated by an established band, what is better?

Dahee: Fantastic!! So much energy throughout. I was completely swept away. When you stop and think about it, there’s nothing overly unique about this arrangement, but they made it work somehow. I love the flag bearers, the breaking of instruments, the jumping into the audience…I love everything about this.

Goonam – “주저하지 말아요” (Kim Hyun Sik cover)

Anna: Goonam!!! Before seeing them in the UK I didn’t really expect much, but now I have high hopes that in spite of the cold that has struck the band, they will be able to deliver something worthy to compete with Galaxy Express. The beginning does seem a bit tame, but half-way through the tempo increases and we get to see Kim Naun bring it behind the keyboard while the two Goonam members are as charming as always. The performance didn’t bring that distinct Goonam vibe I was hoping for, but it was still a very good one.

Youngmi: A sick Goonam is not a good Goonam, but they still brought that groove I love so much from them. Naun is such a gem in this group! Not only she is adorable, but she really keeps the rhythm going with her cute stage presence. Nice 19+ song choice (hehe), but Galaxy looks hard to beat!

Lightinthemind: The band which still remains a sort of dark horse for me. I feel like I should appreciate them anyway. Going to the stage being ill is the kind of heroism which is the second nature of Korean bands, I think. The stage presence and the sound itself bring the feeling of different times, or maybe even a parallel world, cause my mind while listening to them can’t concentrate on the present.

Dahee: I’m really liking the mood that they’re going for, and love parts of this performance…but as a whole, there were transitions that were definitely a little jarring, and I think it’s pretty clear that they didn’t have a lot of time to work on this. With a little more work, this could have become something truly amazing. As it is though, it’s still very good, and I’m loving the little touches like the back-up dancers. Amazing energy, too, considering that they were sick and jetlagged at the time.

Result

Galaxy Express: 252
Goonam: 209

Anna: Aw, too bad for Goonam but well deserved of Galaxy Express.

Youngmi: Gah I like both of these teams a lot! They both did great!

Lightinthemind: I’m sorry but as expected.

Dahee: Not at all surprising.

 

Peterpan Complex vs. Romantic Punch vs. Galaxy Express

Anna: Great bands all three of them. I like Galaxy Express more of the three, but as much as I enjoyed their performance tonight Romantic Punch wowed me the most. Looking to the performances the line-up felt much stronger this time than in the first episode.

Youngmi: Go Galaxy Express go!

Lightinthemind: If somebody ever tried to make a choice between those two who I like (RoPun and GE) I would feel like Buridanov’s ass not being able to make any move and finally would die.

Dahee: I am so conflicted. I love them all, although Romantic Punch and Galaxy Express definitely had the strongest performances tonight. Honestly I would be happy with any of these bands winning…although if we go by creativity alone, then Romantic Punch is the clear winner.

Winner: Romantic Punch

Youngmi: Ah Romantic Punch’s powerful vampire performance left a lasting impression! Good for them!

Anna: I’m glad you thought of vampires too. I got confused when Scott started talking about luxury zombies, knowing I haven’t kept up with the zombie trend of recent years. Great job by Romantic Punch.

Lightinthemind: Congratulations, RoPun!

Dahee: I think Scott was referring to the zombie dancers. Anyway, congrats to Romantic Punch! It’s well-deserved…although I want to see Galaxy Express and Peterpan Complex at the final too…can both bands please come back for another episode??