Top Band 2 Episode 5 : Triple Tournament Part 5

Last weekend, on June 2nd, episode 5 of Top Band 2 aired and we’re now ready to offer you some opinions on the first half. KBS offers VOD to anyone with a KBS account if you want to watch the full episode. Daum does not allow video embeds, but if you follow the links below you’ll get to see the full versions of the performances with the bands shown on TV as well as the performance that did not make the cut for the show.

In addition to myself the Top Band 2 commentary panel consists of Lightinthemind of Korean rock is real, Dahee of Dahee’s Plastic Castle, Ranya of K-Underground Sweden and Xtian aka drowningn00b. This episode took the editing of Top Band 2 to an all new low and as a consequence we’ve split our commentary into two posts, the next one instead coming live tomorrow.


Until this episode we’ve seen Triple Tournaments with 75 out of 99 bands, where the judges get to decide which out of three bands moves on to the next stage of competition also issuing a limited number of Top Choice cards to bring another few bands to the next stage. Before we get to see the remaining Triple Tournaments in this episode, the episode shows Handsome People singing  Rose Motel‘s “봉숙이” after which some Twitter posts related to the show are highlighted.

Dahee: Is it just me, or is the constant Rose Motel promotion getting rather tiring? At least there was some mention of Romantic Punch this time. Apparently Jung Yub is a fan. Top Band is trying so hard to make itself seem like a big deal…

Anna: I’d have to agree. Why can’t they just trust their main idea and focus on the bands’ performances? Personally I’m far more interested in those.


Round 1: Ishtar vs. Pearl’s Day vs. Swingz

Ishtar: “Lascia Ch’io Pianga” (Händel)

Bonus: “God Lives In Me

Anna: They sound a lot better than in the video audition, but Shin Dae Chul just sits there with an open mouth. Whether because he enjoys it or not I couldn’t say.. Their own song was a bit messy, but overall I’m impressed with how strong these performances are compared to just about everything else I’ve seen from them previously.

Lightinthemind: Much better than their previous attempt. I really liked how they were coordinated and I was amazed by their vocal abilities. But! When I returned to their own song it occurred to me that they lack a balance between guitar solo and piano solo. When the guitars are taking their part it is too hard to keep listening to the vocalist. But! In this round my heart belongs to metal.

Dahee: Ugh, I didn’t like this cover before, and I still don’t like it now. LOL at Shin Dae Chul’s face, though. And why is the vocalist’s tongue yellow? You Young Suk says they’ve really improved since last year, but criticizes them on the arrangement not allowing room to breathe.

Xtian: Gosh, there’s a lot of hair in this band. They need more help with their own stuff. It doesn’t feel as grandiose as the title would suggest. The guitars are drowned under the bass and the loud strings. But I have to agree, the vocals are much better. She should try out for Opera Star and teach them how it’s done.


Pearl’s Day: “그 남자 그 여자” (Vibe cover)

Bonus: “괜찮아 괜찮아 괜찮아

Anna: What was shown on TV was not all that convincing, but not bad either. Looking at the full version I can hear more of the Pearl’s Day that I had expected and I really liked how they gave this ballad a bit more go. And their own song is really good too. Glad to hear they haven’t lost it since I last paid any attention to them a few years ago.

Lightinthemind: An ordinary cover, nothing to hook me.

Dahee: I’m not sure I like their choice of cover song. It might just be my hatred of Vibe speaking, though. They were fine.

Xtian: This band is so boring. Snooze on the cover, but the skirt was a bad choice. All that leg showing, but downplayed by the long white jacket and worn by a woman with zero sex appeal.


Swingz: “Let’s Dance

Bonus: “삐에로는 우릴 보고 웃지” (Kim Wan Sun cover)

Anna: I’m not sure what to think of their own introduction, but I like their sound. The cover sounds a bit less interesting and reminds me more of the songs of theirs I wasn’t all that fond of when looking them up for the band introduction series.

Lightinthemind: Energetic! But still there should be something more to touch the souls or just make you move. Maybe experience?

Dahee: That drummer is on fire! Haha! I think I love her. Her hair, it fascinates me. The song is fun, and they have great energy, but I don’t think they’re quite ready for this competition yet.

Ranya: They looked a lot less Popkollo than their audition tape, at least! I’m actually happy there was less synchronized dance-jumping this time. Wow, they just seem so happy to be there, it’s charming.

Xtian: Like the songs but they remind me why I wasn’t wowed by their latest EP; they don’t have their own color yet. Rock-dance isn’t new in k-rock, but Swingz doesn’t have their own sound to differentiate themselves. Capable musicians, but not a band yet.


Winner: Pearl’s Day


Anna: Ahead of this I would’ve guessed for either Ishtar or Pearl’s Day to come winning out of this triple tournament, but after just seeing the bands on TV, Swingz in spite of their lesser experience seemed like the better choice. Pearl’s Day definitely wasn’t a bad choice though. I’ll be looking forward to seeing more of what they’re doing now.

Lightinthemind: It is such a safe choice!!! As if the judges were afraid of making the choice of a metal band or a too young girl band.

Dahee: You Young Suk likes Swingz, but Kim Kyung Ho says that choosing them out of the three isn’t right. He votes for Pearl’s Day, and Shin Dae Chul muses that it’s tough to choose. So Pearl’s Day wins. I’m happy with this.

Xtian: I’m tired of being pissed off by these guys’ choices, so I’ll leave it there.


Round 2: Quartz vs. DOT vs. Electric Visor

Quartz: “Nothing But A Lie

Bonus: “그대가 그대를” (Lee Seung Hwan cover)

Anna: Very impressive, extended growl there!! I like them. The cover wasn’t quite as good as their own song though. Can’t say whether it was the song that didn’t work for them or if it was just a poor arrangement.

Lightinthemind: Oh… comparing the vocalist with Vin Diesel? Funny) As for music, growling is really the strong part here, but the version of the song is too short to make any attitude. But that masculine cupidon really is attractive))

Dahee: LOL at Kim Kyung Ho’s face during the vocalist’s long scream at the beginning. Shin Dae Chul seems to love it, though. I dunno, I found this performance a little annoying, not because of the music per se, but because the vocalist is so over the top and macho. I hate macho men. What’s with the gun performance? That’s just bizarre, and a little creepy. Maybe I’ve just been reading too many news articles about cannibalistic killers this week…

Ranya: I have this problem with the way his eyes were just dead and open during that growl, it terrified me.  I’m not really feeling it? and the cover was “myeh”.

Xtian: I thought that was a stapler for a second. Whoa, big start! I love him! His voice is so good and his shooting and foot stomping is exactly what I want to do to those judges. The cover could’ve been better, though. I keep seeing the singer bursting into a werewolf every time he hunches over like that, so that’s fun :)


DOT: “Womanizer” (Britney Spears cover)

Bonus: “홀리데이

Anna: You Young Suk is already familiar with Kim Hyo Su from her work as session singer and the judges know the bassist as well. I like their pick of cover, but the execution is not as strong as could’ve been expected. Their own song was just plain boring. I wonder what has happened to the strength DOT had a few years ago.

Lightinthemind: I hate Britney and my attitude towards the song was my main point of disliking DOT and the cover. I just can’t see that elf-like vocalist singing this piece of…non-music. Why not choose anything more fitting their image of ladies?

Dahee: Apparently the vocalist has even worked with You Young Suk before, which is setting off bells of “Ruh-roh, possible favouritism!” in my head. It was a cute, pleasing performance. Nothing bad about it, and nothing outstanding, either. You Young Suk says they feel a bit like a back-up band. As in, they play well and sing well, but they need that extra energy to really come out of their shell.

Ranya: the first half of that cover I really had to strain my ears because whoa, that was loooow. She kind of reminds me of After School’s (now ex ;~~;) member Kahi, somehow. I’m quite fond of Britney for silly childhood reasons, but this felt dull.

Xtian: Ooh, predatory lounge cover! Sweet, but when it reaches the chorus, I can’t help make the connection to Girls’ Generation “Run Devil Run”. Should’ve kept it dark throughout. I do like the contrast between the song choices. Their original feels authentic, like they truly like lounge stuff. Yay!


Electric Visor: “The Final Countdown” (Europe cover)

Bonus: “콜링

Anna: Oh no. This one of those songs that lends itself rather well to covers, but they’re missing something there. Worst of all they’ve lost the synth part which is the song’s greatest appeal. Their own song doesn’t bring anything extra either. Overall I get the feeling this band is still too young. Maybe next year.

Dahee: This was another nice but not outstanding performance. I like them. Kim Kyung Ho says they need to play with a little more detail, and have the guitar fill in those gaps in the music.

Lightinthemind: That is the song I like and the cover was damaged with the not so high abilities of the vocalist. Their own song is messed up and I can’t hear anything catchy. As if they combined everything they could to create an elixir but without the proper spell nothing is working…

Ranya: As a Swedish resident, I have all these issues when it comes to this song. They have a lot of charm, but they need work and a little polishing. I’m more fond of the vocalist’s singing voice when it’s not all electronic, so live is definitely working for them.

Xtian: Oh no, this could be bad. Umm, I guess? I didn’t think it would sound like this, but it isn’t okay. Frankly, this cover sounds half-assed, and it sucks. Their own is better, though. They can do the synth that was missing in the cover and she can perform. However, the crowd isn’t to her left.


Winner: DOT


Anna: Hardly surprising considering their experience. Had thought Quartz would go winning out of this round though.

Lightinthemind: Why do I see biases here?

Dahee: Shin Dae Chul and You Young Suk like Dot (sure you aren’t biased, You?), but Kim Kyung Ho says the only thing outstanding about Dot is the vocalist, and chooses another band. The other judges don’t seem to agree, though, and the win goes to Dot. And…meh. Meh, I say.

Ranya: Boo, boring.

Xtian: Yay! Haters can suck it!


Kim Kyung Ho’s Top Choice: Quartz


Anna: Well picked!

Lightinthemind: Surprised to see none other but Kim Kyung Ho Top Choicing this band. I’d rather expect this from our rock legends.

Dahee: Eh. I guess I’m okay with this. It’s not like I really liked anyone in this round, anyway. Kim Kyung Ho says that although the music isn’t exactly mainstream, the vocalist is great, and he hopes that his abilities will feel fresh to the audience.

Xtian: Even better! Two good picks by the judges. I feel validated. But this moment will be fleeting, I’m sure.


Spotlight on Band Members

A bit into the episode clips showing members from a few bands that appeared in previous episodes were shown.

Tal Band


Dahee: That ahjusshi is just too cute. I want to pinch his cheeks.

Lee Hyuk


Anna: So he’s a physical therapist? And it seems we were not the only ones to notice those crazy eyes when Wiretap In My Ear were on.

Lightinthemind: I was shocked! This guy with this scene image is physical therapist??? Could you tell me how to become his patient?

Dahee: Whoa! I’m also shocked. And wait, wait. Is he wearing SOCKS WITH SANDALS? How un-rocker of him. Apparently he tries to keep his band activities a secret from his patients. LMAO at the pics comparing him and Jeok Woo of I Am A Singer, hahahaha! (Seriously, I had to pause the video to laugh for like five minutes straight.)



Anna: What is this? On The Spot didn’t even advance and the producers/editors still want to show their DJ rather than focus on the bands still in competition?

Dahee: I guess the situation was unique enough that the producers thought it would make for good television. I wonder how he manages to juggle his farming with his music. Tee hee at the awkward laugh and hug with his dad at the end.


[a break for the panel to talk about the editing ahead]

Anna: Let’s just take a moment to discuss this shitty editing before we proceed. I don’t usually use profanity in writing but what the fuck is this? What the hell have they been thinking? Cutting the show into crap like this? Are they really so eager to go on and show the popularity contest that has become Top Band to not even care about the rest? Before I got a chance to watch the episode myself I had been seeing some disgruntled comments in English on blogs and Twitter, but this was stupidity beyond anything I had anticipated. I tried to keep watching, but I had to take a break and go back in the comments to get this out of my system to be able to focus on the actual auditions. Is it really just the international fans that feel this way, or do the producers not care for the audience either? Couldn’t they just have extended the triple tournaments with one episode? That way the last couple of episodes too would’ve improved. So many of my favorites were up this week and I didn’t get to see more than their photo…

Dahee: I paused the video at the credits at the end to catch the names of the editors. SIXTEEN and Im Chun Shik? (SIXTEEN Im Chung Shik?) Okay. I think we’re gonna have to find these guys’ houses and egg them. Egg them hardcore. *HULKSMASH* P.S. I read the Korean comments on the No Respect For Beauty performances, and it seems we aren’t alone in being angry at the editors. GOOD.

Lightinthemind: Here I smell that shitty trend of Korean TV when they are making their decisions of cutting everything based on viewer ratings. Do you remember those dramas which were supposed to be of 21 episodes and due to a lack of viewer they were cut to 16? Or when they are postponing the release of a film or drama being afraid to compete with a stronger rival? I think these dirty things have the same ground as our Top Band. But I can’t get the producers’ thoughts. First, we all know the indie/rock scene in Korea is not popular at all. Really, we need to admit it since so few people outside of Hongdae knows any bands besides 10cm and Busker Busker (recently). So what were the producers expecting from Top Band 2 with the collection of famous and unfamous indie/rock bands? To expand the popularity of whom? Of the show? Of the bands? Or just to jump on the train which is slowly but steadily pulling Korean indie towards acknowledgement? If they were aiming to do anything of that then they are making a really big mistake. I DO like to watch bands on TV. I can find their performances or songs on Daum or YouTube without the Top Band label and I won’t be upset. But I DO want them to have their chance after stepping into this competition.

Ranya: Fearing that Top Band will end up like that Secret show which ended up airing only for three minutes because Immortal Song ate their airtime (get it together KBS).


Round 3: Microkid vs. The Mu vs. The Lake


Bonus: “Brothers Fantastics” + “햇님” (Kim Jung Mi cover)

Anna: This is making me sad. Microkid had such a good thing going, but now the vocalist is back to sounding disinterested in a not so very appealing way. The cover sounded more like something Microkid would’ve done when they first came out (which is all good to me), unfortunately the vocals now even sound a bit off tune at the end. The band is doing it all well though, I just need to hear a bit more commitment from the vocalist and I know she is more than capable of bringing it on other occasions.

Dahee: I love the vocalist’s tone, but yes, she was definitely having problems. And yet there have been other bands with big vocal problems so far that have moved on to the next round. I like the original, as usual, but the cover isn’t doing it for me. It feels boring and listless for far too long, and the switch occurs a little too late. I feel like they didn’t really try very hard…And this is breaking my heart. :(

Ranya: She looked a bit…out of it?

Xtian: Is she a robot? She’s creepy to watch, like watching a statue sing. I like the song, though the amount of bands with keyboards/synth is overwhelming.


The Mu

Bonus: “Far East” + “Four to the Floor” (Starsailor cover)

Anna: Oh, The Mu! I really, really like the synth and I think their own song has a very good melody. The vocals are a bit awkward at times, and there is that very awkward break in the middle that seems unintentional but other than that I think they’re doing remarkably well. The cover is ruined by the megaphone and could definitely have used some more instrumentals. Another year to grow and this will be a band to look out for.

Lightinthemind: Those breaks were in both of their performances so maybe the editors were afraid of showing that? I like the use of synth and all other gadgets collected on the stage. I still can’t get the voice and sometimes melody. Also I get some strange feeling when the moves of the vocalist are not synchronized with the music, as if he has so much energy and can’t even stand still. But overall not a bad impression, still they need to work more together and analyse how they are seen from the viewers point.

Dahee: I dunno, the cover felt very…unsteady to me. Like I kept waiting for them to screw up, and they did. Maybe they were just really nervous, and thus I ended up being nervous along with them. I like what they were generally going for, though, even if the vocals are pretty bad in both performances. The original is much better, but I feel like they need some more time to grow.

Ranya: The intro was nice to listen to. Then the vocals came in and that wasn’t quite as nice to listen to.

Xtian: Oooh, a drum machine and a drum set. Redundancy galore. Did the sound temporarily cut out? No, but it happens often o_o Is the band even necessary considering all the electronics? And great, another megaphone…


The Lake: “Be Be Your Lake” (Rachael Yamagata cover)

Bonus: “It’s Alright

Anna: They’re not supposed to be here? I like what I’m hearing with the cover though, even if it’s a bit safe. Their own song is pretty good, but could use a different arrangement to really shine.

Lightinthemind: Sorry, but I’ve heard this numerous times before. I mean this indie/coffee/mellow sound which is becoming soooo typical recently with Korean bands that I can’t even hold myself and listen to it.

Dahee: Um, who are they? Why are they here? The cover is indeed safe, and the vocals just aren’t cutting it. I’m probably biased, though, since I love and adore that Rachel Yamagata song. The original is better, even if it needs more work. And I want more energy from them. Overall they’re rather meh.

Xtian: Lovely scarf! The cover sounds good, and I’m glad the keys are for ballads, not dancing. Aww, no harmonica player? Bummer. Like their Engrish states, “it’s alright”.


Winner: The Lake


Anna: This was a big surprise to me. Microkid have been around for a long while and I thought for sure they’d be joining the other established bands at the next stage, one way or another. After checking out their performances for myself the decision makes more sense, though I would’ve been tempted to pick The Mu instead.

Dahee: A completely incomprehensible decision. Excuse me while I indulge in a moment of silence for Microkid. *sob*

Lightinthemind: Shock. Desperation. Don’t want to think about it.

Xtian: What? Y’all are shocked because they lost? She didn’t do anything! She might as well have lip-synched her entire performance. In my definition, a “Top Band” should engage the audience, not stare them down.


Round 4: cheezstereo vs. La Piata vs. Hologram Party


Bonus: “난 어떡하라고” +  “사랑의 불시착” (Park Nam Jung cover)

Anna: Their own song is typical cheezstereo, the cover less so. I quite liked the cover anyway, but the it doesn’t really match their vocals and attitude. Overall they’re losing out on charisma, but I suspect that’s just part of their style and may be an acquired taste.

Lightinthemind: I’d prefer to listen to their records rather than live. Maybe due to videos making them sound much more infusive. And in this contest their performances are pale and unimpressive

Dahee: Cool shades, bro. I like the original song, and there’s something strangely charming about their attitude. I’m not a big fan of the cover, which was definitely shakier than the original.  It feels a bit like a performance meant for a club for middle-aged people. And, again, there were problems with the vocals.

Ranya: Could have done without the cover. Nice song to awkwardly shoulder dance to.

Xtian: Fabulous shades! Liking the heavier sound compared to the bright colors of “Oh Yeah”, but man is that cover lifeless. There’s no energy in any of them. Remind me of Kristen Stewart’s acting that way. And I was rootin for you, CheezStereo!


La Piata: “Summer 3rd Movement” (Vivaldi)

Bonus: “Apassionato

Anna: Better than the original audition video, but still cheesy. Impressive guitar play for their own song, but because of the synth I cannot really enjoy it. I understand that they might not be able to bring a harpsichord on set, but they’ve got to find a better way to present themselves on a small stage.

Dahee: All I have to say is: Ugh. UGH.

Ranya: Hey, Dahee, let’s braid friendship bracelets. I don’t ever think I’ll be able to find the words to describe these guys.

Dahee: *takes out some thread*

Xtian: What’s that smell? Smells like someone’s been drinking a lot of hater-ade and was waiting to piss on La Piata. But I love that guitar playing. Nuts! But my issue is how they’ll translate this loud sound for calmer covers. Can you imagine a ballad from these two? I’ll be surprised if they pull it off (should they move on).


Hologram Party

Bonus: Since U Been Gone” (Kelly Clarkson cover)

Anna: This is weird. I could only find one of their performances even after searching for a few different variations. I wonder whether they messed up really bad or if the video just got lost somewhere? The cover is a lot better than anything I got from them when checking them out for the band introduction series, but it’s still not enough to really catch my interest.

Dahee: The beginning made me go “Eww,” but it got better as it progressed. They’re still not for me, though.

Ranya: *starts braiding in all the colours of the rainbow just for first sentence* Party hard. Shout out to the male band members who stole the first 30 seconds of the show with their wide open mouths.

Xtian: “Farting”? Man, I can perform this song better than her! (Not sing, perform). This cover sucks.


Winner: La Piata


Anna: It must’ve been the guitar. I thought for sure cheezstereo would go winning out of this triple tournament. Maybe their detached style just didn’t sit well with the judges. Of course with this editing we’ll never know…


Ranya: Why am I laughing?

Lightinthemind: Why do I have a strong will to just pass by all these bands and not choose anyone?

Xtian: Haters, man, I swear :D


Round 5: RuRuRu vs. MonkeyBeaTz vs. Stone Project

RuRuRu: “달팽이” (Panic cover)

Bonus: “그녀의 향기

Anna: Very sweet even though they offer more of a rock sound than before. Maybe it’s the song pick, but their cover sounds like perfect happy summer music to me, at least when it’s just the girl singing. Their own song was quite as good, but I’ll have to admit I prefer their sound when it’s lighter and cuter than this.

Dahee: Aww. Who’s a cute little bassist? C’mere. *pinch pinch*

Lightinthemind: Rrr… too fruity/sugary/cheesy/cutie/pinky and everything else. Sorry, maybe it was some moon-madness when I was commenting on their audition video that I liked them. Or maybe I’m not for now in that kind of mood to remember myself being a young girl with bubble dreams.

Ranya: Look at that cutie! The bass is basically eating her up, but damn she is charming! I remember them being more pop? but I’m not opposed to this, it works for them.

Xtian: She’s oozing aegyo. This is weird for me to opine about. Their fun, but this pop-rock style isn’t for me. Sorry, hun.



Bonus: “Here Comes” + “Heart Breaker” (G-Dragon cover)

Anna: Their own song has a lot more coherent sound now than what they showed through their original audition video, but I still feel like this is coming at least a decade too late. The cover is much more to my liking. I wouldn’t mind listening more to it. MonkeyBeaTz, you have surprised me! This is where all their experience from other bands show. They just need to find a songwriting style that fits them.

Dahee: Oh, this is miles better than their audition video! The hip hop fan in me is squealing. Seriously, so much improvement! I’m in shock and awe.

Ranya: This was ALOT better. The name is still ridiculous, but it was far from the hot mess that was their audition tape. One thing that could be improved? Maybe the rapping during their original song. Even their cover was enjoyable! I liked the rock feel to it.

Lightinthemind: What I really would like to see is the faces of the judges while watching and listening to this band.

Xtian: Y’all like this? We really are different from one another. This is just noise, and not good noise. The rapping sucks, the solos are sub-par and the scratching isn’t refined, either. Sophmoric is a compliment for them.


Stone Project

Bonus: “Run” + “Shadowplay” (The Killers cover)

Anna: Good original song, but the vocalist is not doing it for me. He was better when still in Goldrush. With the same reservations, I’d say the cover was great albeit a bit on the safe side. I know their guitarist is awesome with covers and I would’ve enjoyed seeing them taking something completely different to shape into their new sound rather than just picking a song that already had a similar style. I want to see more of this band!

Dahee: I’m not a huge fan of the original, but it’s fine, despite, yes, the problems with the vocalist. (Maybe the exhaustion affected all of these singers’ voices?) The cover is better. I was bopping my head to it.

Lightinthemind: I’m still hesitating about what to think about the band. There were parts I liked (the guitarist for example) but the voice doesn’t mix well with the tempo and the mellow sound. I’d prefer them falling more into a moody dark style.

Xtian: Is it me? Am I losing patience with the first round? This doesn’t sound good, or bad, or original. And that cover is a carbon copy! Sigh, is something better coming on?


Winner: RuRuRu


Anna: This was a difficult one. With their original lighter style I would’ve been very happy to see RuRuRu move on, but then there are the other two bands and now I’m conflicted. MonkeyBeaTz still seem like something of a joke to me, but after that cover I’m very interested in hearing them take on other k-pop tunes. And I trust that Stone Project could do amazing, so it’s a bit of a shame they won’t get any chance to show that after this.

Dahee: I’m happy, and yet I’m also conflicted. Stupid triple tournament…


Round 6: The Patients vs. No Respect For Beauty vs. Ironic Hue


Bonus: “Day By Day” + “보랏빛 향기” (Suzie Kang cover)

Dahee: My feelings about this band haven’t changed since the audition video. The original is definitely not for me, and the vocals still leave me less than impressed. In fact, the singing is even worse in the (boring) cover, and made me cringe. A LOT. And the eye makeup confuses me. At least show some more energy, guys!

Anna: That eye makeup is distracting. Other than that I like them, but in original and cover. I agree some more energy would’ve been in place though. With this kind of music they could be moving all over the place, but perhaps standing still not really doing much is just part of their style?

Lightinthemind: As for me I prefered the cover over their original. There wasn’t a qualifed duet and the lack of energy is sort of strange…


Ironic Hue: “나는 너를” (Jang Hyun cover)

Bonus: “Rewind

Dahee: After seeing the performance of the cover in the episode, I thought it was boring, but watching the full version now, I like it better. I still think they have some annoying factors that mar my enjoyment, like the poor vocals. And the original is still very meh for me, and even a little grating. They have potential, but No Respect For Beauty was clearly more impressive here for me.

Anna: I agree with everything Dahee just said. Seeing them on TV really surprised me since I never thought of Ironic Hue as a band with weak vocals. The part of the cover that wasn’t shown was much stronger musically, and I’m surprised I really like their own song now after not enjoying it at all in the video audition.


No Respect For Beauty

Bonus: “Day of Departure” +  “Fiction” (Beast cover)

Lightinthemind: Perrrrfect…. (purring softly on the sofa)

Dahee: So exquisite it makes me want to cry. If I hadn’t known that the cover was, well, a cover, I would’ve thought it was an original. (This is a good thing for me, especially since I hate that Beast song.) I wonder if the judges disliked their lack of vocals?

Anna: They’re soooo good! Perfection from the first second! And the cover was fantastic as well. One of the best performances among all auditions. And I like that they’re wearing their own band shirt. I suppose it is the lack of vocals, though at least Kim Do Kyun should be able to relate to that. I have long wondered what it is that makes some people dismiss good music as soon as they realize there’ll be no singing… Would’ve really wanted to hear the judges comments’ on them.

Dahee: Also, I just realized that La Piata has no vocals, but they got through anyway. I think I’m starting to get a tic in my eye…

Ranya: I was just going to comment on them vs La Piata! I DON’T UNDERSTAND ANYTHING IN THIS COMPETITION! What I sincerely love about that cover, is that if you pay attention, you can clearly hear the original elements of the song even though it sounds like a completely original song on it’s own. Just beautiful.

Xtian: From vocalizations to no singing. Feels like a movie soundtrack, and a great one, at that. Great cover! Almost unrecognizable from the original. And so gloomy. I can definitely get behind these guys.


Winner: Ironic Hue


Anna: In spite of those poor vocals this was the best that this triple tournament could offer? Judges please! You know music better than this!

Dahee: NO! WHERE IS MY NO RESPECT FOR BEAUTY? WHERE ARE THEY? I legit had to pause the video here to grab my head in my hands and moan. The judges have no respect for beauty, all right…

Ranya. I really have no desire to start throwing things around, so I will take deep breaths. First, No Respect For Beauty had one of the most original covers on this show so far. I cannot believe they got edited out, but we had to sit through pot-lid banging dubstep a few weeks ago.

Xtian: Sigh, this sucks, like much of this episode.


Round 7: Met vs. Crimson Butterfly Ensemble vs. Queen’s Nest


Bonus: “Woo City” + “Grace” (Jeff Buckley cover)

Anna: I find myself puzzled by the choice of original song. Met has so many better songs to choose from. And the cover he could’ve gotten away with keeping even closer to the Jeff Buckley version, but for some reason him and his band brought an arrangement that could still use some work. Is it because Met is supposed to be a band now? I was looking forward to seeing some Met on the show, but this is far from what I had in mind.

Dahee: I agree, odd choice of original song. The cover is messy, too. Where is their characteristic charm? I’m less than impressed.

Xtian: Oh my gosh, that’s a white guy! Waldo needs more of a stage presence and a livelier voice. Ironic, considering the point of the Waldo game.


Crimson Butterfly Ensemble: “Coincidence” (Exilia cover)

Bonus: “가면

Anna: They’re rocking this! Cover and original alike, this band is bringing it! I need to see a lot more of them.

Dahee: That vocalist is still super hot, and apparently Kim Kyung Ho agrees. Her growls!! Be still my beating heart. Excuse me while I go headbang for a few minutes.

Lightinthemind: I do love this lady for her voice! It is really the most fitting to my ears among bands with female vocals.

Xtian: Growl more! Wow, speechless. A black bass with hot pink strings!!! Finally! Something good out of this tiring episode. And they’re the antithesis to many of the female-fronted bands, except Ishtar. The sound could be darker and heavier, but Crimson is sooo good! Crimson Butterfly Ensemble, fighting!


Queen’s Nest

Bonus: “Rules of This Game” + “No Surprises” (Radiohead cover)

Anna: I really enjoy their own song. The pick of cover was, in spite of the title, a bit of a surprise to me but I think they’re doing a really good job. I love how they started out re-using the clean intro before changing it into their own style. Just two minutes wasn’t enough. I need more!

Dahee: The original song is hot. So is the cover. So much goodness, so much potential! Can we see more of them, please?

Lightinthemind: Uhm. Seems yummy. I like the synched headbanging and the music. Please save them!

Xtian: After Crimson, is there really a competition here?


Winner: Crimson Butterfly Ensemble


Anna: Great decision, though I did want to see Queen’s Nest in the later stages as well.

Dahee: Yay! I can’t wait to fangirl over that vocalist some more. I do feel bad for Queen’s Nest, though.

Lightinthemind: Applause!

Xtian: Of course not. Yahoo!


Round 8: Unside vs. Loose Misty vs. Achtung

Unside: “Me

Bonus: “The Scientist” (Coldplay cover)

Anna: This song is so good. And the cover — I could never get into Coldplay for silly reasons, but Unside are playing it well enough not to let that matter.

Dahee: So gorgeous. *happy sigh*

Xtian: Still as amazing as their audition, maybe more so. Love her voice, killing that song better than Chris Martin did.


Loose Misty

Bonus: “너에게로” + “누난 너무 예뻐” (Shinee cover)

Anna: The cover sounds a bit as if coming from any above average band trying to gather an audience when playing some public event in their local town. Not bad, just not as good as Loose Misty can be. Their own song shows their worth much better.

Dahee: The original is good. The cover is annoying. But maybe it’s because that Shinee song itself is annoying.

Xtian: Love how the frontman looks like Ryewook from Super Junior and the drummer like Yeseob from B2ST. And they do a SHINee cover! Pass on this idol nonsense.


Achtung: “Be The Man

Bonus: “Autumn Leaves” (jazz standard)

Anna: They deliver a lot more charm than I’ve seen from them before! Sound better too. Not a fan of the cover, but then I could never really appreciate this type of jazz so it might be just me.

Dahee: They still aren’t for me, but I agree that they’ve improved. I actually kind of like the cover.

Xtian: If you haven’t heard of Jatapung, you should. Much better than these dudes fronted by a steroid-less Carrot Top. They tried with the cover, but alas, no.


Winner: Achtung


Anna: I’m gonna  assume it was that jazz cover that got them this.

Dahee: *trying not to break into profanity*

Lightinthemind: Don’t like the vocalist of Achtung, sorry. I refuse to comment.

Xtian: Ditto


You Young Suk’s Top Choice: Unside


Anna: Yes!! I was worried seeing them go up against the other two, but I’m so glad they made it!!! I’m glad they got a bit of air time from it as well. Maybe it’ll help them gain at least a few new fans.

Dahee: GOOD. That was a lovely performance. You Young Suk compares them to POE from the first season.

Xtian: Nice! Gloom rock by Unside is a necessity against the milieu of happy rock bands that got through round one. A good choice to end the round :)


End of Triple Tournaments

After all the Triple Tournaments have been concluded, clips of tired bands are shown as we are told that shooting wrapped up at 5AM. When that is over judges get to issue a final Top Choice card and the selected bands are filmed as they see the messages.

Anna: The production suffered from a low budget and as a result have had to squeeze a lot of recording time into just a couple of days. Understandably people are tired, especially with judges at times taking so long to decide between themselves Looks like Square The Circle was the band replaced by The Lake. Wonder why?

Dahee: I wonder if their exhaustion made the judges unable to, well, judge the bands who performed later properly? That’s the only explanation I can grasp for why No Respect For Beauty got eliminated. (Yes, I’m still fuming.) Poor staff, having to pack up after everyone else has gone…


You Young Suk’s final Top Choice: No.1 Korean


Anna: So it seems like the judges all got 3 Top Choice cards each, but somehow You Young Suk got an extra one? I’d heard beforehand this was how it played out though so I wasn’t very worried about No.1 Korean.

Dahee: Yay!! So happy for them.

Lightinthemind: A moment of happiness since there guys are worth it for the full 100%.


Shin Dae Chul’s final Top Choice: Frida Kahlo


Anna: Aha! So they all got an extra Top Choice? I approve of this particular choice.

Dahee: Another yay! I definitely want to see more of them.

Lightinthemind: After that speech from Shin Dae Chul it wasn’t a surprise.


Kim Kyung Ho’s final Top Choice: Swingz


Anna:  Look how happy they are! But somehow I can’t get over the feeling that Kim Kyung Ho’s top choices are mostly about heart.

Dahee: His choices are TOTALLY all about heart. He’s completely biased in favour of the lesser-known bands. It’s like his insides are made out of marshmallows and rainbows. Still, I’m glad an all-female band is moving on, although I would have preferred for him to choose Story Seller


Kim Do Kyun’s final Top Choice: Vanilla Unity


Anna: I thought I’d heard about them later in the competition too. Guess I wasn’t as confused as last week’s episode made me think.

Dahee: …Eh. They were okay, I guess…(But what about No Respect For Beauty? Or Hlin? Or Mary Story? Or The Quip? Or Fantastic Drug Store? Or a bazillion other bands that I liked so much better? GAH.)

Ranya: Final thoughts: *SIIIIIIIIIIGH*

Lightinthemind: Can we organize our own competition? So many really good bands are out.

Xtian: Its starting to become clear that our own competition show would look radically different from this one. But, on to round two, bitches!

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