Continuing where we left off yesterday, here is the second batch of bands that made it through the first round of auditions for KBS band survival show Top Band 2. Sharing their opinions on the bands together with me are Dahee of Dahee’s Plastic Castle, Lightinthemind of Korean rock is real, Ranya of K-Underground Sweden and Xtian aka drowningn00b. Give them all a listen and let us know what you think in the comments!
Led by R&B vocalist Hex, pop/rock band Vanila City formed in 2008 and have since released a number of singles, two full-length albums and even a live album. Currently preparing to release their third full-length album the band choose to audition with a performance of a song released on single already before their first album.
Vanilla City – “Jump”
Anna: I was quite surprised to find that Vanila City had auditioned for Top Band 2 since they were the first non-amateur band I learned had done so. But then I somehow always had them on the same level as Broken Valentine that were in the first season and they didn’t seem all that out of place. Vanila City have got a bunch of catchy songs behind them and seem to have a strong following, so I wouldn’t be surprised to see them do well in this competition.
Dahee: YAWN. This certainly isn’t the kind of music that I normally enjoy listening to, and from what I’ve heard, they don’t seem particularly interesting to me. They strike me as being fun and energetic, but that’s about it. Still, this is a purely personal complaint, and their sound is mainstream enough that I can see them doing well here. Side note: Why is there only one L in their name? Is there a reason for it other than making my eye twitch?
Lightinthemind: Surprisingly I don’t know what to say about their music. Maybe because I remember times when I totally messed up Vanila City and Vanilla Unity and wasn’t able to figure out who is who. And as for Vanilla Unity it ended happily in my playlist while Vanila City were on the road to oblivion until in February when they released new single “니 눈빛이 들려”. The music video for the title song restored my hopes towards this band and I’m waiting to see how the band will act in the competition.
Ranya: Maybe it’s the fact that their audition is an older song, or just me, but this song sounds a bit dated? It’s kind of boring so far for me, but if you’re a fan of the kind of easy and catchy rock music that you can enjoy during long car rides, you’ll enjoy this.
Xtian: Sorry, but I like my rock harder than this. I do like the synced jumps, though. Can see them making a fanbase in the mainstream pop world with the right amount of PR. The “shooting” gimmick at the end was cool.
Blues rock band Tangadool were active a few years ago, but took a hiatus because of military service and studies abroad. In August 2011 the band regrouped with a somewhat changed lineup.
Tangadool – “긴다리 블루스”
Anna: Blues rock is one of my least favorite genres and it takes a lot to convince me to actually listen to one of those bands. Save for Tangadool’s audition song, which was far from my taste, I haven’t come across any recent performances showing their current sound, but even if I had, I honestly couldn’t say whether these guys are really good or not. Some of the covers from the days of LeeSamTang and Tangadool aren’t all that bad though so with a bit of luck I won’t hate them too much if they make it far on the show.
Dahee: I like them! I can’t seem to find too many videos of their performances, but from what I’ve seen, they seem fun. I especially like the vocalist’s energy. Story Time: For the life of me I couldn’t find any videos of them whatsoever by searching “Tangadool” or “탕아둘,” until I finally had the lightbulb moment of realizing that it was supposed to be “탕아들.” Excuse me a moment while I flick my forehead a few times.
Lightinthemind: I found such a funny ambitious introduction video of the band special for “Top Band 2”!!! (Here it is) And also some other live performances from 2009 for CyRock Master (1, 2, 3, 4, 5) Listened to them several times already and really fell in love with the band. A sort of light blues mixed with charisma of the vocalist whose performance makes me smiling all the way. Possibly their gig is what I’d like to visit on a Friday after a hard working week to feel relaxed and to be refilled with energy. (Sad that I don’t live in Seoul^^)
Ranya: I really like the nice 60’s feel I get from their sound. I’m not sure how well this kind of music will go over with the crowd and although I am charmed by the vocalist’s energy and quirky charisma, I’m afraid the younger viewers will feel out of touch with this genre.
Xtian: I love blues-rock, but if you’re gonna do it, it has to be grungy, dirty and Southern. For a point of reference, see Etta James’ “Strongest Weakness”. Sorry, but Tangadool do not come close to this, so I have to write them off. Love Lee Sanghwa’s hair, though. Very reformed 80’s hair metal. They’re stage presence needs work, though. Kept looking away while listening to them, and that’s always a bad sign.
Rock band Nevada#51 formed on Christmas Eve 1999 and released their first EP in 2002. In 2006 came the band’s second full-length album, but after that the band went on a bit of a hiatus and didn’t make a full return until five years later with a couple of singles leading up to the release of the band’s second second full-length album end of last year. For the audition Nevada#51 offered a performance of a song included already on their debut EP and revitalized for their latest album.
Nevada#51 – “Sylvia”
Anna: I was quite surprised to see Nevada#51 audition for Top Band since I had somehow completely missed that they’d made a comeback. I used to listen to them, but it seems like since then they’ve changed their sound to include more electronic elements and I have yet to decide how I like that. If you’re curious about their early sound don’t miss this eleven year old performance of “아리랑”.
Dahee: I don’t know…While I like a couple of their songs, I’m also unsure about their newer electronic elements, and I find the rapping in “Sylvia” a little grating (and I actually like rap!). I’m hoping they’ll be able to win me over eventually.
Lightinthemind: Maybe because I hadn’t chance to listen to their old sound since they released the second album it took a solid place on my mp3 playlist which means much for a person listening to everything from an mp3 player. Aaaand yes, my favorite song is exactly “Sylvia”^^ I jumped like mad when first heard it. Also from the second album I like “Rock the Dance” despite that it is more pop-ish it brings light mood. For a harder sound – “Feel It“. So from here starts my first bias band in the list)) Hope they will be able to go to the next round.
Xtian: Rap-rock of the new century? There’s a reason why this genre died. The guys have charisma, no doubt about that, but that song didn’t do it for me. I’ll keep a look out, but Nevada#51 is not a must for me.
Ranya: Found myself making a face and cringing at the rapping, which is never a good sign. I do however appreciate how every single member seems to have an amazing presence and energy on stage, but “Sylvia” didn’t really do much for me.
Siberian Husky formed in 1999 and participated on a number of defining indie rock compilations before releasing their first EP in 2005. The band have changed members a number of times and are no strangers to trying out various genres–listing not just rock and funk but also disco, latin, blues, dance, soul and pop on their official Facebook page. So far Siberian Husky have released two full-length albums in addition to EPs and singles.
Siberian Husky – “거짓말 또 거짓말”
Anna: Siberian Husky is a difficult band for me. Sometimes their songs are brilliant and sometimes I can’t tolerate the funk sound they add to their music. Still, I have no doubt my occasional issues with Siberian Husky should be blamed on my musical preferences rather than any short comings of the band. Judging from the audition video I probably won’t like what they’ll do on the show, but they’ve surprised me many times before.
Dahee: What a great vocalist! From what I’ve seen on YouTube, she kind of reminds me of Kim Yoon Ah of Jaurim, for some reason. Which, considering my major crush on Kim, is certainly not a bad thing. They definitely don’t seem to be afraid of experimentation and trying out different styles, which is always a plus for me. And I think that kind of attitude will only serve them well in this kind of competition.
Lightinthemind: I could never make myself sit and listen to even one full release by Siberian Husky. I can’t say that she is a bad vocalist, she is doing great. And I can’t say that the arrangement is bad, not at all. But I can’t find anything I could be interested in since I always thought that music should help in something you’re doing in life. Still I want to verify what kind of mood/being/doing is their music. Maybe Top Band will help me.
Xtian: Ooh, funky! Very Ynot sound-wise. Digging her voice a lot, as well as that guitar solo. I wish I could see this version of the band on a bigger space. Finally, a must follow out of this batch. Can definitely see Siberian Husky pulling out all the stops for a sho-stopping ballad number with that vocalist (if she would take the risk to do so), based on this performance on EBS’ Space KongKam.
Ranya: While I actually am a big fan of funk, this song didn’t really hold my interest. I suddenly found myself playing it in the background whilst working on other things and that, is not a good sign so far. I really like the singer’s voice, the song is fun and easy to listen to, but if they’re going to make me pay full attention to the screen? We’ll just have to see what they bring in the future.