A second commentary post this week as we’re catching up on Mnet’s band survival show MUST Era Of The Band. The third episode aired on June 4th. Lightinthemind of Korean Rock is Real, Dahee of Dahee’s Plastic Castle, Xtian aka drowningn00b and Youngmi of Dream, Girl all pitched in this time. Watch the episode yourself through Mnet’s VOD service.
The third episode of the special summer band survival format of Yoon Do Hyun’s MUST features Galaxy Express, Goonam, No Brain, 3rd Line Butterfly, The Solutions and Deli Spice. The theme of the evening is 9010 Idol–from Seo Taiji & Boys to 2NE1.
Anna: I’m so glad to see Goonam getting another chance. Also very curious to see 3rd Line Butterfly doing a cover like this, especially considering that Nahm Sang Ah is one of the indie singers I picked as somebody I’d like to see on I Am A Singer a few years back. And I’m loving the theme of the evening. Will the 3rd episode be even better than the 2nd?
Dahee: That lineup is like a dream come true for me. Especially 3rd Line Butterfly – I have been yearning for them to join a show like this for ages now (I also wanted them to go on I Am A Singer), and now that wish has been granted. I am over the moon with excitement!
Youngmi: This lineup is a dream come true! I absolutely love every single one of these bands.
Xtian: *gliterry anime eyes* Ooooh, I’m enthralled by the names!
Lightinthemind: In this episode the rivals choice is totally random – they are taking glittering vynil disks and the same color is the sign of pairs. So I’m curious who is gonna be rivals.
1 Round: Goonam vs. The Solutions
Anna: Nice match! “Old Rock vs. Future Rock”, as the show would have it. The Solutions are getting mentored by first episode’s winners & label mates Daybreak. I like Goonam’s suggestions for artists to cover: Kim Gun Mo, Kim Gwang Seok, Fly To The Sky and UN. Oh! But they’re going for miss A!!! This will be extremely interesting.
Dahee: Haha, I love the video message Goonam sent The Solutions. What is with the random gun?? They’re quirky, all right. They don’t even know many idols, and are instead naming people like Kim Gun Mo, haha. And then they go for Miss A (without actually knowing the name of the song off the top of their heads…), and immediately perk my interest. This oughta be fun.
Goonam: “Bad Girl Good Girl” (miss A cover)
Anna: I love it!!!! The britrock feeling of the intro is completely irresistible. I even had to pause and explain the awesomeness of it all to one of my k-pop friends. And it just continues the same way! But then what? Goonam takes it reggae with some extra percussion. Not all that good to me, even though I can appreciate the idea of not wanting to keep it too simple. After a while they fortunately return to the whiny sound reminiscing Radiohead during OK Computer, with Lim Byunghak putting down some characteristic Goonam base lines.
Lightinthemind: They take my mind away. I just can’t understand how this magic of transforming the songs work. Just how were they able to create this out of a Miss A song? Totally like it.
Dahee: Ahhhhh, this was so gorgeous!! I was already in love by the beginning, and then felt iffy about the first transition with the faster beat…and then they went back to the slower sound and I was just swept away in a wave of blissful sound. That guitar, man! That guitar!! That groove! Guhhh, so good!
Xtian: I can’t add anything else that hasn’t been said, so I’ll just add this: I want those jeweled headbands.
The Solutions: “Oh Yeah”(GD & TOP cover)
Anna: I’ll have to admit I’m not all that familiar with the original song, but this seems like it could be a fairly straightforward adaptation. Nothing to get me all that excited even if I do like me some The Solutions every now and then. The audience on the other hand seems to be sucking this right up.
Lightinthemind: I know the original and I should agree with Anna. Very simple cover just with the additional ‘woo-woo’s that immediately reminded me of Handsome People. But maybe because the song is so easily recognizable it was meet up warmly by the audience. Or probably the audience doesn’t like ‘clever’ and complicated music melodies like Goonam has. But now I have a strong feeling that they will win.
Dahee: Despite thinking that it’s not a bad arrangement (despite never having heard the original song) and that if I were actually there in the audience I’d probably have a lot of fun with this, I was rather bored watching this performance since it was so straightforward. It wasn’t until they did those mini instrumental solos that I started getting into it, really, and started to feel the excitement. Overall, it’s fun, but kind of forgettable.
Xtian: Y’all are the worst! I’m a fan of the original and this cover was barely recognizable until 30 seconds in. The ‘woo-woo’s were a nice addition to the chorus and the solos were fun. Not as mind-blowing as Goonam’s, but like the original, The Solutions’ cover is fun. The audience seems to agree.
The Solutions: 251
Anna: Goonam is the easy choice for me here, but the audience seemed to be more into The Solutions and that showed in the results. They really do have different styles, as Goonam’s Joh Ung pointed out.
Dahee: And of course the more mainstream of the two performances wins…
Xtian: Kinda wished Goonam went further, but because it’s audience voting, you gotta appeal to the most common denominator.
Lightinthemind: Yep, I was right. The audience made the predictable choice.
2Round: Galaxy Express vs. 3rd Line Butterfly
Anna: This will be mighty interesting! Apparently there’s a 17 year age difference between leader Sung Kiwan and current drummer Seo Hyun Jung. Sung Kiwan’s age become hilariously obvious when he suggests 80’s star Nami as somebody to cover for this challenge.
Dahee: SO EXCITED. Sung Kiwan is adorable. I love how they are so clueless about these idol groups.
Anna: I’m enjoying Galaxy Express’ suggestions for artists to cover as well–Teen Top, Shinee, Beast–imagining what they’d do to their songs. And “Bubble Pop”! Please let us see a Galaxy cover of “Bubble Pop”! Oh!! They’re showing video from Apollo 18 guitarist Choi Hyunseok’s wedding!! While there Park Jong Hyun solicits HarryBigButton’s Park Juyoung for some advice on song choice. The groom too appears to have been asked for his opinion. I like how GE goes looking for styling advice to make them #1 after picking a song.
Dahee: I look forward to seeing their dapper outfits.
Xtian: Rooting for 3rd Line only because I haven’t seen Galaxy Express live. They have real reasons why they can’t make it to NYC, but still.
Galaxy Express – “By My Baby” (Wonder Girls cover)
Anna: Wow! And they got styled good! All of them looking really clean and well dressed rockabilly style, with Jong Hyun even keeping his hair in a ponytail. This was fun and very different from what we got to see last week. I’ll have to say I like them more when they do their own wild rock thing but it’s impossible not to enjoy this. Very light and charming.
Dahee: Whereas I am…underwhelmed. I was hoping for a wild rock arrangement of what is, quite frankly, a song that I detest…but they stuck rather closely to the original for this old school rock ‘n’ roll number, and I can’t say I really like it. It’s cute, but that’s about it. Maybe I was just so blown away by their performance last week that I want more of the same.
Xtian: I am not a fan of the So-Cal Beach Boys sound, so this performance didn’t speak to me. I felt the same way about this the way the rest of the panel felt about The Solutions.
Lightinthemind: And here again my voice is for Galaxy Express. When I just saw the performance my jaw met the the floor cause I never thought the GE guys could pull off that look and that sound. I was dancing during the entire song. And I like the Moulin Rouge theme with dancers in sh dresses.
3rd Line Butterfly – “I Love You” (2NE1 cover) + “필승” (Seo Taiji & Boys cover)
Anna: Very stylish start with “I Love You” from 3rd Line Butterfly, channeling the sexiness of their own “니가 더 섹시해 괜찮아”. Cool break into “필승” after a while with far more wilder rock and more shouting from Nahm Sang Ah, but unfortunately that part is not at all as enjoyable and takes away from the first part of the song. The next return to “필승” at the ‘아무도 모르게’ part is a much better fit with Sung Kiwan and the rest of the band too supporting with vocals. The finale was also nice, but only because it was pretty much the same as in Seo Taiji & Boys’ original. I wish 3rd Line Butterfly could’ve just stuck with “I Love You” all along.
Dahee: I love this. The opening was exquisite, and while at first I wasn’t sure about the sudden transition into the Seo Taiji song, the wild shouting very quickly won me over, and was glory to my ears after Galaxy Express’ disappointing lack of wildness. The finale was perfection itself. But most of all, I just can’t keep my eyes off of Nam Sang Ah. She is so sexy, so amazing. I want to be her when I grow up. This performance put the biggest grin on my face. I am so happy right now.
Xtian: YEEEEAAAHH!! m/ Oh my god, now that’s a performance! Excellent sexy intro, crazy grrl rock mess for the rest, and Sang Ah’s oozing personality. I love 3rd Line Butterfly and the work they did on these two songs was amazing. My heart’s soaring with rock happiness :D
Lightinthemind: That is what I call magic once again. And here you can understand why the critics love 3rd Line Butterfly as this band is searching for craziness and sexiness in many ways. But this cover is too clever and complicated for the public to eat. We’ll see how they vote.
Galaxy Express: 248
3rd Line Butterfly: 232
Anna: Wow, that was much closer than I had expected. If 3rd Line Butterfly had not tried to do so much
Dahee: And again, the more mainstream performance wins. I’m starting to get annoyed by these voters…
3Round: Deli Spice vs. No Brain
Anna: No Brain already have good experience with this sort of performances since their time as regulars on Immortal Song 2 so I imagine they may be quite the challenge for Deli Spice. Deli Spice may be able to kill it just with their song pick, though. Even my own all time favorite idol Kang Ta cheers them on after they decided to go with “Candy”.
Dahee: This should be interesting, considering how different the two bands are. Deli Spice definitely look more nervous than No Brain do, maybe because they feel the pressure with this being their third time on the show and all.
Xtian: I got no real hat in the ring, but after sorely losing to GE, all I want is more good performances.
Lightinthemind: Still can’t understand the system. Why are they here for the third time? But let it be a good performance. Even though their rivals are strong.
Deli Spice – “Candy” (H.O.T. cover)
Anna: Lovely intro on the acoustic guitar, and this time we get a special sweetpea treat as soon as Kim Min Kyu starts singing. After the first refrain the full band joins, but instead of turning into Deli Spice as I had hoped, we get more of a country feel to the arrangement. Not at all what I had expected and frankly not as good as had it been just Kim Min Kyu and that guitar throughout.
Dahee: This is cute, and strikes me as being pretty brave, considering that the chances of the audience voting for this kind of country style arrangement seem quite low. I appreciate that they’re bringing some more diversity to this show, and I like that they made me really focus on the lyrics to this song for the first time – it’s a very sweet little love song, isn’t it? I can’t say I was blown away by this, though.
Xtian: Where’s that Guiness? Coulda sworn I had one… That was so cute! I was gonna blast it for the slow intro, but the quicker pace and the fiddle brought me around. Grinning ear to ear, this guy is.
Lightinthemind: Boring beginning that made me think they decided to go safety way to please all that little girls in the audience but adding country feel made it better. Still not what I expected. Can they win with this lack of stage energy?
No Brain – “여름안에서” (Deux cover)
Anna: This song lends itself well to covers and is never more right than this time of the year. Lee Sung Woo’s rough voice doesn’t really suit the melody line, but the punk infused arrangement makes up for part of it. Not too fond of the break into Yoon Do Hyun’s old “오! 필승 코리아”, but I suspect that’s mostly because I could never really stand that song. As negative as I may sound, I still like it though. I’d probably enjoy this plenty should I ever hear go to a No Brain concert and hear it there.
Dahee: Why are Lee Sung Woo’s vocals so pitchy here? It’s very distracting. I’m not fond of the break into the YB song either, and as a matter of fact, I’m not fond of this entire performance. It’s a boring, very standard arrangement, with nothing new to offer. They’re not even serving up the kind of energy that I usually expect from No Brain. I’m disappointed.
Xtian: Y’all are being too harsh (I’m one to talk, I know, I know), but this was not a bad performance. Yeah, we’ve heard better from No Brain, but this cover was pretty cool. Deli Spice deserves the win, but No Brain’s energy on stage is undeniable. It helped carry that song.
Lightinthemind: Don’t want to sound harsh but I have a feeling they didn’t want to struggle that much trying to create something outstanding. They showed exactly what punk bands are – full of energy, furious sometimes, sometimes out of sync but still pretty fun. Overall impression: good but not amazed.
Deli Spice: 218
No Brain: 232
Anna: Aw, Deli Spice! Not that I mind this week. I’m with the audience on this one.
Dahee: Wow, not a single one of my favourites from this episode got voted in. This is making me grumpy.
Lightinthemind: Erh… Strange… For this audience I mean.
The Solutions vs. Galaxy Express vs. No Brain
Anna: There were plenty of weird sticks in the arrangements this week, but even so my favorite overall would’ve been Goonam. Now they didn’t even make the top 3, so instead I’m hoping for Galaxy Express to bring this home.
Dahee: I think it’s pretty clear that out of these three, Galaxy Express deserves the win the most…and are also the most likely to win.
Xtian: C’mon Solutions!
Winner: Galaxy Express
Anna: Go Galaxy Express! Good job!
Dahee: Very predictable, but I’m glad they won. Looking forward to their performance in the final episode!
Xtian: Ugh! But I loved this episode. Great line-up of bands and some crazy cool performances. I know for sure that I’ll be replaying 3rd Line’s as soon as I hit period.
Lightinthemind: They deserve it!