Top Band 2 Auditions: Gajami Boyscout, Pia, Disco Bongs, MetallateM Plus

Today we’re finishing off the last full week of Top Band 2 band introductions, where we have a look at all the bands that made it through the first round of auditions for KBS’ band survival show. Today I’m again joined by Dahee of Dahee’s Plastic Castle, Lightinthemind of Korean rock is real and Xtian aka drowningn00b as we work our way through another four auditioning bands. Today we have a band with members as young as another band is old. Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments!


Gajami Boyscout

Gajami Boyscout formed in 2009 and released their so far only single in 2010, half a year later. Also in 2010 they were awarded the special jury price for Hello Rookie. The guitarist of Gajami Boyscout plays the trombone for Kwon Milk’s The Greatest Voyage.

Gajami Boyscout – “그녀는 바보”

Anna: I enjoyed most of this fifteen minute Gajami Boyscout mix video, but I don’t particularly like the kind of guitar solos they offer and prefer them when they stay away from the pure rock’n’roll style. Although I was unfamiliar with their name, Hello Rookie winners of all kind tend to be such for good reasons so I wouldn’t be at all surprised if we get to see more of them in Top Band.

Dahee: Another annoying vocalist. Someone gag him please. While I like the kind of sound they’re going for, they seem to be overly simplistic to me, and some of their songs are sort of catchy while others are just plain aggravating. Yeah, I’m not a fan.

Lightinthemind: Except for the really long guitar solos I can’t find any own identity in this band. That almost ‘traditional’ rhythm, rock’n’roll style, usually suitable for this kind of music and voice and that’s all. For sure they present meritable light rock but it is also the case when I want to listen judges of the show after band’s performance.

Xtian: Crowd pleasing song. Can see myself dancing like an idiot to this song. And that bass line is awesome. They work well together, and it shows in this song. But I agree, nothing original. But I found this clip of the audition song. There’s a trombone!! And it doesn’t sound like ska! I’m confused and delighted by this fact.



Pia formed in 1998 and released their nu-metal oriented debut album in 2001. After that they were picked up by Seo Taiji’s Goesoo Indigene label and remaining with Seo Taiji Company they released three full-length albums and an EP, changing sound with every release, before opting to leave in 2009. Last year Pia returned with their fifth full-length album

Pia – “소용돌이”

Anna: Because I came to know and love Pia with second album 3rd Phase I’ve found everything they’ve done since too soft. To be honest I haven’t really given their later material a chance, and trying, trying to listen now I find that they do actually sound really good even though it’s far from “my” Pia. While I would’ve prefered for Pia to stay out of Top Band I’m extremely happy to find them auditioning with the opening track from the album that first made me a fan almost ten years ago. Maybe this means I’ll finally get to hear more from the Pia I thought was forever lost.

Dahee: Oh, Pia. Why did you audition for this? Well, setting that annoyance aside, I like the audition song. Actually I’ve liked all of the songs I’ve heard from them in the past, although I’ve never had them on my iPod or anything. I like both their hard and softer sides, and am guessing they’ll do really well on this show. Here’s to crossing some fingers for them.

Lightinthemind: Pia should have been a band for me to fall in love with but somehow it never happened. I started really listening to them only with the 5th album and was quite disappointed with the difference between their days with Seo Taiji Company and now. But I liked the sound although the most catchy song from the 5th album still remains “Yes You Are”. Recently the band released their first step into electronic world with St. Lilac, searching for some new tips to add to the list of experiments. I think that I need some time to listen to it, but must say the version of “Doors” is very pure and leaves a good feeling. Anyway for band being around more than 10 years and still searching for the ways to grow it is a sign of maturity stepping out of their comfortable zone and participating in the show.

Xtian: Couldn’t get the Daum clip to work, so I watched this performance of the song from EBS’ Space program. I like the drone effects and the pink drums, but much like my teen obsession with Linkin Park, my days of this style of angry rock are long past. Not to mention that Pia has been in the business for TWELVE YEARS and competing against the following band that’s just over a month old! Moving on.


Disco Bongs

Possibly the newest band out of all auditioning for Top Band 2 Disco Bongs formed on March 3rd merely two weeks before submitting their audition video. The instrumental disco band also promises a bit of jazz.

Disco Bongs – “헤어져”

Anna: My favorite thing about Disco Bongs is no doubt the keyboardist. Not sure what to think of the music though. First time I heard the song I liked the retro vibe, but after listening to it several times since I just hear more and more things that could’ve been done better. They don’t interplay all that well, but since this was a month and a half ago they were probably sounding and looking much better together already for the second audition.

Dahee: Oh wow, they’re super new. I kind of admire their guts in deciding to audition after being a band for only two weeks. And I love their outfits and their wigs in the audition video, haha. And I wonder if they know what “bongs” implies? Unfortunately that’s all I can say, since Daum hates me and refuses to play more than a second of the video. Oh well.

Lightinthemind: What outfits! Welcome back 70s (or russian 80s)! I just realized that one thing that I really missed in this long list of music we’ve listened to is a sax voice. Surely at first you’re hearing it as a fresh wind among all other quite ordinary rock things, but after listening to it for several times I can’t get rid of the feeling that this ensemble is more perfect for playing in some restaurant or small disco than for stepping out on the scene fighting for any place.

Xtian: Wow! That’s amazing that such a young band got through the audition process! Yay! Not liking their disco outfit gimmick, but I have yet to press play. On to that, then. There’s no guitarist o_O But there’s a sax. At first I thought he was a placeholder for a synthetic sax loop, but he handled it well. Maybe it’s their newness, but I wish the other instruments were more dynamic. This song is more dance than rock, but I was looking for a more balanced approach. They did intrigue me, though.


MetallateM Plus

Rock band MetallateM formed early in 2009. As the members prepared to graduate elementary school they also used the year to prepare the release of their first mini album. Since then MetallateM have continued to play with new members joining the band.

MetallateM Plus – “로또만 돼봐라”

Anna: Wow, these guys are so young! And the vocalist is so good! I found the audition song amusing and it looks like they can also act as a surprisingly good cover band of classic rock songs, my favorite being this rendition of Pink Floyd’s “High Hopes”. Probably they’ll get eliminated before things get serious, but I’m still curious to see how long they will last on the show

Dahee: Reminds me of that little kid band from the first season. I love that the boys grew out their hair to be Serious Rockers. So cute. I was pleasantly surprised by how good and on-key the back-up vocals were in that Pink Floyd cover video. And the headbanging in this video!! Awesome. And the weird placement of English in this video, LOL. They might win over the judges just by being so young – they seem to represent this hope that rock music will continue on with the next generation. (Excuse me this sappy moment.) I wouldn’t mind seeing more of them just because I think it’d be entertaining, but yeah, I doubt they’ll last. Wouldn’t it be cool if they pulled off a surprise upset, though?

Lightinthemind: Wow!!! What a miracle! So young boys doing rock! What if they could become the next prodigy of the Korean scene? I’m waiting with impatience to see one of the covers on stage. And to see the reaction of the judges!

Xtian: (This will be a long one, so bear with me.)  “Elemetary school?” What are they, 12? Judging by their looks and voices, yes. Wait, who’s that older dude? (Answer: their vocal teacher)
I’m surprised! They sound good for a band so young, literally this time. Have they even started puberty?! This is so creepy. And that kid’s voice is well controlled. I hope he doesn’t croak under pressure when performing in front of the judges. And the song is good, cute even (and I’m not saying that because they’re so young). Can someone explain to me why these kids can have a better guitar solo than some of these experienced bands? I feel odd, and happy at the same time. I’m rooting for these kids hardcore, man! Go MetallateM Plus *o/*
The others have made much much about their covers, but I can’t let the opportunity pass me by without talking their cover of the greatest band ever, Queen, and their signature hit, “Bohemian Rhapsody”. I could not stop smiling and laughing at this cover. Not because they suck, or can’t reach the vocal highs of the original, but because they tried their best and it worked! I would be lying if I said the closing moment didn’t bring a tear to my eye. So glad Top Band 2 is giving MetallateM Plus a chance.

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