Continuing where we left off last time, here is the fourth 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 and Xtian aka drowningn00b. Ranya had to focus on other things for a while, but will be back with comments tomorrow. Give all the bands a listen and let us know what you think in the comments!
Punk band Patients have been around since 2005 with the current members sticking together since 2009. Starting off with a couple of EPs the band released their first full-length album Kitch Space in 2011 venturing into the spectrum of 70’s punk and post-punk. Patients were up for Hello Rookie last November.
Patients – “Day By Day”
Dahee: …Eh. I’m not impressed with this song, or with the (rather mediocre) vocals. I also feel like they could improve their stage presence, especially for an upbeat song like this one. I watched the music video for their song “Hybrid,” which did nothing but confuse me, and was another song that failed to impress. Still, I saw a couple of videos where they took a more laid back acoustic approach, and I liked that better. For now, though, I’m not overly excited about them.
Lightinthemind: I’d better say what it should be in the song^^ more energy, more wild riffs, more passion put into what they are creating. Could they return to the sound of 2007 or just change way a bit cause for some reason I find their acoustic performances not bad at all.
Xtian: I can’t qualify this as punk. Feels more like an amped up version of SoCal rock. It’s too soft for me. And the singer for this song isn’t cutting it. But if you check out “Hybrid“, neither is mop-head. Pass.
Anna: I should’ve added they started calling it ‘hybrid punk’ since the album and before then claimed to be making ‘vice punk’ (which my husband just tried to explain to me in detail, but all I can recall is something about 80’s punk and The Clash). I recall enjoying early Patients and actually like “Day By Day” too. I suppose that’s why I don’t enjoy those acoustic performances that much myself.
Four member rock band 4Hz formed in 2006, but it wasn’t till November last year that they released their first EP, Trauma. Even though the release was fairly close in time the band chose to audition with a new song.
4Hz – “죽은나무”
Anna: I like this song! I had only heard their EP material before and while I would’ve loved them five years ago, now I found them a bit too smooth and well-polished for my own listening. This song makes me more welcoming towards 4Hz–the difference between live recording and studio production perhaps–though I imagine they should have no problem finding plenty of fans should they end up sounding like they in the music video for “위해 널 위해” anyway.
Dahee: I like them. I admit that I’m a sucker for rock ballads, so the above-mentioned music video totally won me over. And I really like the harder sound of every other song of theirs I listened to. On a shallow note, I totally want to pet the vocalist’s very healthy-looking hair…
Lightinthemind: I’m keeping an eye on this band since they released their first single Trauma last June. And here is one of the first recorded performances of the band. Btw they are signed to Evans Music and also from this label there is another contestant (Gutenbirds). If talking about music I totally adore floating melody and heartfelt voice of the vocalist as in my favorite “Trauma” also in new song “죽은나무”. Definitely wish the band would release full album.
Xtian: Moody bunch, these kids. But man, this clip bored me. They could’ve picked “You For You” or “Trauma“, but this is sleepy at times. But I can see why they picked this. His range as a singer is better highlighted than my picks and they show their proficiency at using loops to add an electronic edge. Not a must follow, but intriguing nonetheless.
Yery Band released their first single in 2009. Participating in 2010 Yamaha Asian Beat Festival they ended up in the top 3 for the Korean competition. The four members made it to the top 10 of Superstar K3 but walked out of the show after feeling that they had been portrayed unfairly to viewers. The drummer of Yery Band doubles as drummer for StorySeller that have also made it to the second round of Top Band 2 auditions.
Yery Band – “Romeo Mannequin”
Anna: I never really liked what little I heard of Yery Band some years ago and was quite surprised to learn they were in Superstar K3, initially thinking I must be confused between bands as I never watch the show myself. Turns out I’m still having issues with the voice of the vocalist as much as with their sound. I suspect that won’t change much within the next few months either.
Dahee: I also have problems with the vocals. She has this tendency to sing in a kind of staccato fashion, and it just sounds annoying to me. They have good energy, and I can certainly see their appeal, but they just aren’t grabbing me. I wish I could specify why, but for the life of me I can’t seem to put my finger on it…
Lightinthemind: Maybe they have their own fanbase, I can’t protest. But again, I don’t like women voices and especially I don’t like listening to the rather high tone jumping all around the breath without caring about the listener. But the arrangement deserves to pay attention to. It is very similar to what Story Seller do… possibly because of the drums or for some other reason, but if there would be possibility to listen to the song with other vocals, maybe everything would be better.
Xtian: What in heavens name is on that guitarist’s head? Is that a Native American headdress? He’s something else, shredding the entire time like an extended solo. Her voice is interesting, considering the other chicks sound clear or alter their voices to sound endgy. But man, does her English suck. Their recent cover of The Ting Tings’ “Shut Up and Let Me Go” at the the Olleh indie awards was barely understandable. And I admire a man with the balls to wear that much makeup and still rock like that. It’ll be interesting to see which band goes farther, Yery Band or Story Seller.
Black Bag formed in 2009 and soon started playing around Hongdae. The next year they got to play Pentaport and a year later they were picked for Sangsang Madang’s 4th Band Incubator. In the beginning of 2012 Black Bag released their first official EP Beyond The Sky on Ruby Salon for which they were rewarded Best Rookie at the Olle Music Indie Award in March.
Black Bag – “White One”
Anna: When I first came across Black Bag I thought them decent enough and shared a video of “Blue Sky” on Indieful ROK’s facebook. I was surprised at the strong response and was not quite prepared for how well it would be received by Eat Your Kimchi’s viewers. Personally I like them better when they’re doing the rock thing like this than the acoustic thing then, though I wonder if they’ll be as popular with the audience now.
Dahee: Not bad at all, although once again the singing in this song bothers me. I like their song “Beyond the Sky” much better, especially since the vocals didn’t bother me as much there. They don’t strike me as being amazing or anything, but overall, I like them – and I swear it isn’t because I think all the members are very attractive. (Can’t…stop…staring…at…guitarist…)
Lightinthemind: While starting listening to audition song I got quite lost cause I remembered “White One” on record and I didn’t recognize it in this performance version at all. Don’t know if it is bad or not, but at least I prefer the record. Maybe while at the concert they are adding more emotions and energy to make it sound so different. And also I wasn’t impressed at all with “Blue Sky“. So please leave me hesitating whether I like the band or not.
Xtian: LOVE THEM! Love this song and so glad they submitted it as their audition number. It’s no frills rock, and I’m in complete fanboy mode right now. And they do long anguish rock songs too! I’m currently on an emotional rock mood at the moment and they’re track “Beyond the Sky” is crack for me. His screaming is awesome and his falsetto shrieks are admirable. That guitarist has me in the palms of his hands, man! Must follow with capitals M-F!