We’re getting close to the end, but have a few more episodes to go of the special summer band survival format of Yoon Do Hyun’s MUST. As our commentary series continues, this week Youngmi of Dream, Girl, Lightinthemind of Korean Rock is Real and Dahee of Dahee’s Plastic Castle joins me on the panel for the episode that aired on June 25th. Watch the episode yourself through Mnet’s free VOD service.
In the 6th episode of MUST Era Of The Band we get to see Dear Cloud, Thornapple, Peterpan Complex, Goonam, Broken Valentine and No Brain battle for the last spot in the semi-final with songs on the theme ‘one summer night’s festival’
Anna: So nice to see all of these bands–Goonam in particular–return. And Broken Valentine! It’s been a while!
Youngmi: Broken Valentine is going to rock that stage. I know it!
Lightinthemind: Rock spirit Broken Valentine!
Dahee: Yay for Goonam’s return!
1Round: Dear Cloud vs. No Brain
Anna: How cute! Lee Sungwoo giggling from seeing Nine and saying Nine Cloud instead of Dear Cloud.
Lightinthemind: Beards!!! Now No Brain’s guys seems to look like 임병학 of Goonam. And all that fleur of sympathy of Sungwoo to Nine that PD put on the all preparations. The cutest moment for me was when they even put Vladimir Cosma’s “Reality” song (from the La Boum OST) to one of the Sungwoo’s reactions.
Youngmi: Wow, no other band in this lineup fits the ‘festival’ theme more than No Brain! I remember going to a festival and they completely swept me off my feet. Needless to say I’m excited!
Dear Cloud – “하늘을 달리다” (Lee Juck cover)
Anna: Nine’s deep voice goes so well with this song. It seems the band is holding back a bit, building anticipation for something grand. It takes a long time before that happens, meanwhile is carrying the bulk of this performance herself. Was it just me or where there some kind of technical problems with the sound from the instruments that made them not come out as it should’ve.
Lightinthemind: Ouch! What a thoughtful cover! It really fits the ‘festival’ theme and I can imagine a huge crowd of people and hot summer night embracing the band and people. From the very beginning Nine is wowing with her voice. And looking at her jacket… I feel like some English indie rock band is on stage, really!
Dahee: I actually think her voice doesn’t go well with this song at all. It’s so deep and husky, when really it needs a soaring kind of voice to go with the theme of it. You can tell she’s struggling a bit with the higher notes. Or maybe I’m just biased because I’ve seen Lee Juck perform it live, and was so blown away by that show. At first I thought they were sticking too closely to the original, but then things got more interesting with that climax, and now I can safely say I like it overall. Nine really is a treasure for this band. She’s carrying this performance by herself.
Youngmi: I agree with Dahee in that I don’t think Nine’s voice goes very well with the song. Regardless, she’s owning that stage! Look at that showmanship, No Brain’s Lee SungWoo would be squealing backstage I know it!
No Brain – “아리랑 목동” (Park Dan-Ma cover)
Anna: Nice opening there, setting the mood for the rest of the performance. The band is looking awesome in hanboks, hats and fake facial hair. A bit of samulnori and taepyeongso in there as well! I’m very entertained. Though I realize that unfortunately what I like the most about this is the traditional fusion and not so much what No Brain themselves contribute music-wise.
Lightinthermind: Ah, I really like the mix of traditional instruments and rock vibes. But, guys, come on! Why “아리랑 목동” again? I am (and I think not only me) sooo tired of this and the original arirang song. And again, we’ve already heard exactly this sound of goong added to rock (remember Ynot?) so maybe to create something? I feel like those punkers are great but still not very serious in preparation approach. But the performance was funny and fitted the festival theme too..
Dahee: I am so unimpressed right now. The opening was great, and gave me hope for the rest of the performance…and then I just ended up rolling my eyes. The traditional elements were added to the arrangement very sloppily indeed, with that protracted bit with the dancers going on just a little too long. Everything about this sounded messy and not very well thought-out. And the whole concept was so OBVIOUS. Couldn’t they have thought of something more creative? Bah. All that being said, I’m pretty sure I would have enjoyed this more had I actually been there, because there’s no denying that these guys have truckloads of energy.
Youngmi: First things first, No Brain looks amazing in traditional garb! They are so lovable (if you haven’t figured it out yet I’m a bit of a fan!) and I can appreciate the thinking behind the combination between the traditional instruments and their punk sound.
Dear Cloud: 246
No Brain: 237
Anna: I don’t know quite where I’m standing on this one. I was definitely more into No Brain’s performance, but realize I was probably just seduced by everything that took my attention away from their actual performance. Dear Cloud on the other hand offered a nice cover that, had only the band been stronger, could’ve been fantastic. In conclusion I would’ve been fine with either band winning.
Lightinthemind: Strange but here I was with Dear Cloud. (And sorry but wasn’t able to take my eyes off the pop tab necklace of Nine)
Dahee: I am definitely happy about this result.
2Round: Goonam vs. Thornapple
Anna: So now Thornapple are officially Hongdae idols? Well, seeing Sangha’s tweets as of recently perhaps I shouldn’t be all that surprised :) I’ve missed my Goonam! I think I need a Goonam reality show after this: just 15-30 min/week showing them going vintage shopping, hanging out with other bands, jamming in the sun and just generally being awesome. And of course perform a new awesome cover every episode or so.
Lightinthemind: Oh, I like how the bands appeared on the stages with similar poses. Seems like they at least got to know each other by competing in this round cause when at first Goonam received video from Thornapple they didn’t recognize them at once. I should say that Thornapple could really become Hongdae idols (I saw a very positive and warm welcome from the fans during their concerts and was even pushed by fangirls far off the stage^^)
Dahee: Goonam are such hippies. I love them. And good for Thornapple! Apparently going on this show has helped them a lot. :)
Youngmi: Thornapple are Hongdae idols indeed! They sure don’t look like normal students anymore!
Goonam – “우리는” (Song Chang Sik cover)
Anna: This time they’re really taking their hippie vibes to the maximum, all those people on stage when opening with the ‘Love Love Love’ part of “All You Need Is Love”. Once that’s over it becomes obvious to everybody what a perfect song this is for them to cover. If I didn’t know better I would’ve been tempted to think it was an original Goonam song – they’ve really made it their own and are such a joy to watch. This is exactly why the UK audience loved them and the reason why Goonam deserve to become Korea’s next big cultural export. Great take on the festival theme, too.
Lightinthemind: Ah! Now I finally understand what feeling I had about this band that was so hard to verify! Hippies! Korean hippies! And I agree with Anna that this song is like their own and brings freedom and uniqueness to the highest level. Just adore this performance!
Dahee: This is just beautiful and perfect and…GAH. They make me want to go out and hug the first person I see. I LOVE THEM SO MUCH.
Youngmi: I know why you thought this could be an original Goonam song Anna, it’s because it is! They took their song “사과” and just replaced their lyrics with the lyrics of “우리는.” It’s really amazing how well the lyrics fit into their own song and it’s probably why they decided to do it that way. However, to be honest I was pretty taken aback at first. I love everything about this performance! The whole 60’s hippie vibe fits not only Goonam, but the festival theme as well! Now I feel all gooey inside. I love you, Goonam!
Thornapple – “우리의 밤은 당신의 낮보다 아름답다” (Kona cover)
Anna: Kona! After their previous performance on the show I wonder if Thornapple will be able to maintain the original song’s summery feeling. The start is considerably more depressing than Goonam’s joyful Cavare crew festival, but as they reach the refrain I realize it doesn’t really do the song any harm. I’m quite enjoying this too, although for completely different reasons. And the arrangement just becomes better and better the longer the song lasts. Stunning!
Lightinthemind: They are perfect. Don’t have anything else to say.
Dahee: Moody in just the right way. I’m really impressed by the little changes they add to the song as they go along to make sure it never becomes boring. I am enamoured.
Youngmi: I’m so impressed with Thornapple. They’re so young, but seem to have somewhat of a confident grasp of who they are and what kind of sound they want to show. There’s a depth to this performance that I didn’t see in their previous appearance and that makes me excited for their future!
Anna: Oh Thornapple, why did you have to go and make me all confused like that? My heart is with Goonam on this one, but I can’t be disappointed Thornapple came winning out of the duel.
Lightinthemind: Think both bands deserved this win. Can’t say that I’m disappointed here.
Dahee: I feel so bad for Goonam. Not a single win for them on this show, and after such wonderful performances too! Personally I would’ve chosen Goonam because I think they had the upper hand in terms of creativity…but I know Thornapple did well, too. Gah! Why did these two have to go up against each other!
Youngmi: Great job band people, the adorable Naun is crying! You couldn’t have given Goonam at least one win??
3Round: Peterpan Complex vs. Broken Valentine
Anna: An unlikely match, but they did last about as long on their respective seasons of Top Band. Way to be obvious considering Uhm Jung Hwa’s “Festival” as the song to cover, Peterpan Complex. Would’ve loved to hear their take on it though. Jeon Ji Han seems confused as to who his opponents really are this time: Broccoli Valentine? These clips from them meeting up with Broken Valentine weren’t particularly flattering for Peterpan Complex though. They don’t come off at all as charming as they usually do.
Dahee: I thought they were totally charming! I want to go drinking with Jeon Ji Han…
Youngmi: The members of Broken Valentine are so naive it’s kind of adorable.
Peterpan Complex – “해변으로 가요” (Key Boys cover) + “자꾸만 눈이 마주쳐”
Anna: Oh, I’m not liking this at all. I never thought Peterpan Complex would do it, but they’re actually ruining this Key Boys classic with an arrangement duller than anything we’ve ever heard from Peterpan Complex. Only when they start integrating their own “자꾸만 눈이 마주쳐” into it all does it get somewhat interesting, but by then the harm has already been done and I’m left more disappointed in Peterpan Complex then I’ve been for years.
Dahee: I am so underwhelmed right now. What a boring cover – not that I’m a fan of the original song to begin with, but everything about this feels lackluster. I expected more from them. Maybe the song choice is what brought them down?
Lightinthemind: Nothing to add here. Ordinary, expected and not impressive. And where is the mood of the summer night? Only in that palms and shouting names of the band members?
Youngmi: This isn’t the Peterpan Complex I enjoyed in their last appearance? I’m actually kind of sad right now.
Broken Valentine – “상승” (Sinawe cover)
Anna: Broken Valentine seem mighty popular with the audience. Very rock heavy, as could be expected from this band with this song choice, though I’ll have to admit I myself am more fond of them when they do their ‘girlier’ songs. Van is looking pretty awesome and the headbanging sequence towards the end was great, but overall I’m not convinced.
Dahee: A very energetic performance, and I imagine that if I were in that audience, I’d be going crazy. But watching it from home, it just feels kind of…standard? It’s not a bad arrangement, not by a long shot, but I guess I wanted a little more creativity. Also, I don’t understand why he took off his shirt…
Lightinthemind: Still think that the shirt was bonus for girl fans and played a really huge role in the votes. But I am not disappointed with the performance. Ok, maybe it is a quite straightforward rock song but with good quality and exactly that energy that true rockers need to give to the audience. On the other hand I’m not that enthusiastic about the band’s abilities to bring sophisticated covers to the show but why not to simply enjoy this energetic music shower?
Youngmi: Come on now, Broken Valentine’s Van is famous for taking off his shirt! I have yet to see a performance where Van does not take off his shirt in the middle of it. If anyone has then please let me know! Anyways, I pretty much died and came back to life after this performance. They really brought out that heavy rock sound I think was missing from this show for a couple of episodes. And by the looks of it, Yoon Do Hyun was impressed too!
Peterpan Complex: 228
Broken Valentine: 249
Anna: Just like the previous two rounds I can’t really make up my mind, but this time because I sort of equally disliked the two performances instead of the other way around. Considering how the audience seemed to respond to them I’m not at all surprised Broken Valentine came winning out of this.
Dahee: Very expected. There was simply no competition.
Youngmi: Go Broken Valentine!!!!
Dear Cloud vs. Thornapple vs. Broken Valentine
Anna: Please, please, please let it be Thornapple!
Dahee: Of these three, I would choose Thornapple. But honestly, the real winner of this episode for me is Goonam.
Winner: Broken Valentine
Anna: Hopefully they’ll do something more along the lines of how I prefer them to sound next
time, because as negative as I may seem right now I actually do like me some Broken Valentine every now and then.
Dahee: I…have nothing to say. I also hope they’ll come out with a more interesting arrangement next time.
Lightinthemind: As I already mentioned I’m not expecting much from them. But maybe they can disperse my sceptic thoughts.