Top Band 2 Auditions: No Respect For Beauty, Quartz, Electric Visor, Jung Band

Continuing from yesterday, here is the fifth 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 today are Dahee of Dahee’s Plastic Castle, Ranya of K-Underground Sweden and Lightinthemind of Korean rock is real. Make sure you too give all the bands a listen and leave your impressions in the comments!


No Respect For Beauty 

Post-rock trio No Respect For Beauty formed in 2010 and gained plenty of fans as they released a demo spring of 2011. They won Hello Rookie for September the same year and after signing with Pastel Music released first full-length album Why Perish in February.

No Respect For Beauty – “I Am A Shadow”

Anna: If I had to limit myself to only listen to one genre for the rest of my life it’d be post-rock. I still remember just how happy I was to find a proper Korean post-rock band a few years ago and I’m so happy to see more and more bands come out. While I could follow the buzz on Twitter it took me far too long to hear No Respect For Beauty for myself, but when I did it was love at first listen. Though still fairly new it’s obvious they’ve got what it takes to make it big. This shorter version of the audition song for instance is so beautiful I don’t know what to do with myself. I worry that some judges will not approve of their lack of vocals, but I love them.

Dahee: Oh, I am in love. Head over heels in love. This is music. The emotions I felt while listening to their songs are indescribable. Just gorgeous. And the passion and focus that they show while performing…Lovely. I also hope that their lack of vocals won’t end up bringing them down. Who needs vocals when your music is this beautiful?

Ranya: I came across this band just a few days ago when Korean Indie posted a video on their facebook page. I instantly fell in love. No Respect For Beauty is the kind of music you listen to and just get emotional. I myself have no problems what so ever with bands lacking vocals, and I really hope the audience and the judges won’t have it either. I feel that it’s very hard not to be moved by the sheer beauty of this song.

Lightinthemind: I wasn’t into post-rock until the end of last year and still in the picky search of the bands definitely worth listening to. Think this band should be on the list. I like the combination of drums and guitar which together are filling the place of vocals without any damage to the liquid sound. At least I have a strong feeling that the music of No Respect for Beauty was totally made for and out of inspiration. From now on I know which band would be supporting my creation part of the work. But one question still bothers me. Why such a name? What was so crucial for the guys to choose it?



Though starting out all the way back in 2001 alternative rock band Quartz have proceeded slowly and only released an EP in 2005. They finished second in the Korean finals of 2011 Yamaha Asian Beat Festival during which they performed the same song they used for this audition.

Quartz – “Nothing But A Lie”

Anna: I don’t think I’ve ever listened to Quartz before, but I like what I’m hearing now. It’s heavy, it’s melodic and there’s a bit of screaming. I have a feeling that I’m really a bit too old to enjoy this, but after checking out their YouTube channel I found them a bit rougher and don’t feel quite so guilty about enjoying their music.

Dahee: I like them too, and am surprised that I never really sat down to listen to them in earnest before. I’m a sucker for this kind of moodiness, and the screaming definitely works for me. Besides this song, I also enjoyed “Panic Room,” and look forward to seeing what they’ll do on the show – although I am a little worried that they won’t be very noticeable in a sea of bands with a fairly similar sound.

Ranya: Okay firstly, I just have to applaud the singer’s skills on that long, drawn out scream in the beginning, because I could never. This isn’t my favourite genre of music, but I still feel that if I presented it to my friends who are fans, they would be all over it. They have an incredibly talented vocalist which I hope will set them apart from other bands with a similar sound.

Lightinthemind: They could be compared with some american alt-rock bands, I can even imagine them playing somewhere at a festival there. But to find what I like I needed to dig a bit to end with “Tenacity“. But even this song is not fully satisfying me. With this screaming, vocals and these possibilities to bring songs with such slooooow tempo is a crime.


Electric Visor

Electric Visor formed in July 2011 and have yet to release any music. Like Patients Electric Visor were up for Hello Rookie in November 2011.

Electric Visor – “Skinny”

Anna: Electric Visor was a brand new name to me when I first saw the name on the list. It’s not really my kind of music, but I can’t reject them completely. They need to work a bit on their arrangement and team work, and the vocalist needs some training, but they’ve got something good going and with the right coaching may grow immensely if they make it on the show.

Dahee: They’re completely new to me as well, and when the song first started I was like, “Meh,” but as it continued, I found myself getting more and more absorbed, so that by the time the song ended, I liked it. I like the vocalist’s tone, and while I agree that they could stand for some training, I think they have a lot of potential. I’ll be keeping my eye on them.

Ranya: The name somehow made me imagine that this would be a bit-pop band, although not the case, I really enjoyed their sound. I really hope they will move on and get a chance to develop during the show! The vocalist has a lot of potential that could easily give them an edge over the other electronic heavy bands in this competition. They give me a bit of a bratty feel with their music that I seem to find very charming. I feel that this is a band that, with a little more work, could easily win over many fans.

Lightinthemind: I like their electronic adds to guitar or vise versa but don’t understand the point for the vocalist with a not bad voice and potential to use simple recitative when she can sing… Found another song by the band – from the live performance at Hello Rookie and suddenly “boom!” I understood who’s supposed to be their competitor – Analog Freak!


Jung Band 

Formed in 2005 Jung Band goes for old school hard rock and heavy metal. Although taking it easy with recordings last year the band participated in a number of competitions and small festivals. For their audition Jung Band set out to cover Judas Priest.

Jung Band – “All Guns Blazing”

Anna: Realizing that this was a true ajusshi band I first recalled the disaster that was Blue Near Mother the first season, but as soon as the vocalist gives his best rock scream I can’t help but find Jung Band extremely endearing. However, though I may well be found enjoying hard rock and heavy metal I don’t particularly enjoy such covers and it seems Jung Band have yet to become more than a cover band.

Dahee: Yay for the ahjusshi! My icy heart can’t help but melt in front of a band like this. Who says only young people can rock out? I think they’re solid, and the vocalist is great. I do agree though that they need to move beyond doing just covers, even if just to show some more creativity and lasting power.

Ranya: Not a big fan of cover bands unless they remake the songs in a creative way. Sadly Jung Band is not one of those bands. You can’t help but cheer a little for these men, they have a lot of guts and they aren’t actually bad. I am scared though that very few will take them seriously and they will become sort of gimmick-y.

Lightinthemind: Applauses for having enough guts to do what they do even participating in festivals. I’m not sure what stands behind covers and are they really able to do smth by themselves? But would definitely love to see them conquering young audience or even beating amateur band consisting of students.

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