I believe that 99 Anger is the first Korean punk band that I heard right after Crying Nut. Given that Crying Nut’s sound was distinctly their own, 99 Anger’s punk was easily more recognizable. I can’t say it’s a standard clone of basic hardcore punk because the emotion that emerges from each of the songs and the lyrics makes it stand alone.
Who Comes First? is a fantastic punk album. I discovered the band through a YouTube video for “Stay Far Away.” I was surprised to hear a Korean punk band speaking English and after some searching online, I was able to procure the album.
Who Comes First? sounds like more standard punk rather than anything influenced by the genre and reproduced in Korea. The eleven songs are full of energy and since the album is sung in English, it’s easy to consume the messages told through the songs.
2002 may have not been the beginnings of Korean punk as a genre, but it was the start for me and 99 Anger’s first album is incredible. Korean punk hasn’t seen the widespread growth as much as other bands, but the bands that thrive in the style and other strains create amazing music.
If punk is an interesting genre, 99 Anger is the best place to start.