Top Band 2 Auditions: Pearl’s Day, MonkeyBeaTz, The Quip, Hlin

Following yesterday’s band introductions we’re back with the ninth post on bands that made it through the first round of auditions for KBS band survival show Top Band 2. Today we once again have the full panel offering their opinions on the bands as I’m joined by Dahee of Dahee’s Plastic Castle, Lightinthemind of Korean rock is real, Ranya of K-Underground Sweden and Xtian aka drowningn00b. Have a look at the audition videos below and let us know whether you agree or disagree with the panel in the comments!


Pearl’s Day

Modern rock band Broken Pearl formed in 2001, self-released a self-titled EP and changed names to Pearl’s Day after changing vocalists ahead of the release of their first full-length album in 2006. Since then they’ve participated on a few soundtracks and in 2010 they released two digital singles. Pearl’s Day changed drummers last year and are auditioning with a new song.

Pearl’s Day – “아모르 (Amour)”

Anna: Pearl’s Day was one of the female fronted modern rock bands that seemed so popular in the mid-00’s. I lost track of them after their first album and thought they’d disappeared with all the other bands of the same kind, but was pleasantly surprised to find that wasn’t the case. It seems they’ve changed sound to something more Jaurim like now, but that works for me too.

Dahee: Pearl’s Day is one of those bands that I always stop to listen to whenever I stumble upon them, but when I’m not reminded of them, I tend to forget about them altogether. I think I have one or two songs of theirs on my iPod, but for the life of me I can’t remember what they are without checking, and I can’t remember the last time I listened to them. This is a shame because I tend to like them when I’m listening to them. They’re kind of on my shit list for deciding to participate in this show at all, but I’m hoping they’ll finally be able to make me go ga-ga for them through this experience.

Lightinthemind: Ah, that is why I had such a feeling that they are from the past! They could be a good soundtrack to films of that time. Anyway, I liked the audition song and the performance, especially adding the accordion whose melody is giving a bit of a French accent to the song. But I don’t know how they will stand out at the competition.

Ranya: I do recognize the name as something that might have occupied my hard drive with a song or two, but can not for the life of me remember how they sounded. Seeing as the accordion is basically the instrument of my soul, I was totally feeling this song from the beginning! It makes me a little sad though, because I know that as much as I enjoy listening to this music and like it, I’m not sure that it will take them very far in the competition.

Xtian: I’m a sucker for Latin sounds in different places, so I was intrigued by “Amour”. Her high notes in the chorus are grating on my ears, though. Also, the fast and slow segments sound disjointed from one another. Would’ve preferred the piano solo when the pace was faster to see how she would deal with it. Not too impressed, in the end.



Electronica/hip-hop rock fusion band MonkeyBeaTz formed as recently as December 2011, but the members are far from novices to the scene. The band’s dedicated rapper is of Dr.Core 911, keyboardist Cheoli used to be the vocalist of uPer and played bass for 14left, bassist HYM had the same role in Purpill where too was once a member, DJ Kubix used to DJ for Hooligan and drummer JD has been the drummer of Lazybone since 2005.

MonkeyBeaTz – “Intro+Action”

Anna: I’m trying very hard not to laugh at this, but it’s not going very well. At one time or another I’ve liked all of the bands the members of MonkeyBeaTz have been in before so I have no problems understanding where their sound is coming from. But it must be said: this mess is 10-15 years too late. It might not be fair to judge a band on just two short songs (I found a new demo on YouTube), but since that seems to be all they have to offer right now they don’t leave much choice.

Dahee: This is a classic case of dumping in a bunch of ingredients into one pot and hoping that at least one of them will come out tasting good. Sadly, this is nowhere near delicious. I can kind of tell what they’re trying to do, but their efforts are sort of making my ears bleed. I wish someone had taken a picture of my facial expression while I was watching this, because I’m sure it would have been hilarious.

Lightinthemind: Mmm, some parts are good, some parts are eehrrr… I’d prefer the song to be divided into dubstep with bass and electronica with voice. Don’t really know what will happen with this project but I don’t see success in the closest future.

Ranya: The hip hop enthusiast in me wanted to be happy that a hip hop band made it in, but, I just could not enjoy this. Their sound is just all over the place, and while I applaud their efforts with the old school type of rapping, the complete indecisiveness on what their sound is actually supposed to be was slightly headache inducing.

Xtian: Oh wow! I never thought I would see the Korean equivalent to Linkin Park! The intro was hot, I must admit. The DJ effects were something I didn’t expect to like as much as I do. However, that rapper sucks! cannot make me believe he wants to part if he had glow sticks and poppin pills n the dance floor. I want to like them, though, so I’ll keep a cautious look for them.


The Quip 

As a band more fond of drinking than most, experimental psychedelic grunge band The Quip formed in a bar during the summer of 2006. A bar is also where they first met Kim Daeinn of Apollo 18 who later ended up producing their self-released EP Almost The Same in 2010. The Quip were up for Hello Rookie in November 2010 and were nominated for Hello Rookie of the Year.

The Quip – “Daraeki”

Anna: I did not expect finding The Quip auditioning for Top Band, but I’m glad they did. They were one of my favorite finds in 2010 and I even picked them for Music Alliance Pact in September that year after falling in love with their EP. I’m not really sold on the audition song, but it got them this far and though I’ve yet to catch them live I trust they’ve got what it takes to make it further. I really, really hope we get to see more of them.

Dahee: Oh wow, they are awesome. Upon watching this performance of “Shaking the Universe” and “4 Elements,” I was completely sold. And all of their other songs I listened to were glory to my ears. This is one band I would love to hear live. Excuse me while I go look for their EP.

Lightinthemind: Maybe to become a fan of this band I need to be in more of an angry mood, but as for now I wasn’t able to watch any performance to the end. Or maybe I just need to sit and listen to them properly several times. I hear the influence of Apollo 18, but it is not enough.

Ranya: Incredibly happy they made it! I’m also not feeling the audition song, but knowing how good they can be, I’m hoping for some really good things. It also helps that they all look so incredibly cool on stage!

Xtian: Oh my gawd, when I read “…more fond of drinking than most…”, my mind went places and upped my anticipation for the audition clip. And not to mention the Apollo 18 collaboration! Let’s see if it worked… I’m digging it! It’s loud, frantic and I’m glad they ran with the noise. The clip Dahee shared is recommended viewing. Gotta keep up with The Quip this season (my list is getting really long, I noticed…)



Melancholic modern rock band Hlin formed in 2007. They released their first digital single in 2009 and have since released a few EPs more. For season 2 of drama God’s Quiz the band not only participated on the soundtrack but also did some work with the background music. Hlin also contributed the main theme for 2011 movie Fighting Spirit.

Hlin – “썩은나무”

Anna: To me Hlin have been excellent replacements for Nell. They’re still young and fresh and at least to me far more interesting. I think I’ve seen others make the same comparison so all they really need should be some attention so that people actually get to hear their music. I like them plenty already and hope that Top Band will be able to bring them stardom.

Lightinthemind: I found this band a while ago and since then they are appearing quite frequently in my playlist. The music is moody, hard enough for me and stunning with melody. I think we could expect some really interesting covers and new songs if they make it to the next round.

Dahee: As someone who could never get into Nell, no matter how much my sister gushed over them (and okay, maybe the fact that she gushed so much made me feel even more indifferent about them), I’m finding Hlin to be a lot more palatable, and…meatier, somehow? This song, for instance, is just lovely. I really like the moody emotion they bring to their music, and am thinking they could very well lure in the audience and judges’ affection through that use of emotion.

Ranya: It’s definitely obvious where the Nell comparisons are coming from, they really do have a similar sound, although I do hope this comparison won’t cripple them during the competition. They have a lot of potential and I’m really digging them so far, so I really hope they evolve during the show and manage to get some well deserved fame all of their own.

Xtian: Wow, you could tell they’ve been part of the business because this clip is super crisp. Hlin sounds amazing and that guitar shredding the entire time… Heaven. I was worried that the frontman would only sing softly, but he came through in the end. Wish he sang louder, instead of screaming twice, but minor quibbles. Must follow for me.
As for the Nell comparisons, I’ll sit by my Nell fandom corner by myself and grumble audible at all of you….

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