At the start of Yellow Monsters‘ The Van, “빨갱이” jumps right into an aggressively fast presentation. The video of the song is only half the length of the official song which is 9:58. For a Yellow Monsters song, this is almost operatic. Near the 2:45 mark, the song adds a ballad-style cut before jumping right back into the crunchy verse.
The video is 4:18 and the actual song starts what sounds like another whole song at 4:19. Then at 7:00, the song enters another melodic interlude with strings sitting on top of the guitar, bass, and drums. This exit to the song is full of large flourishes of strings, drum fills, and choral vocals all mixed together. It serves as the introduction to the EP and how this release is different from Red Flag and other previous releases by the trio.
“목잘린 살모사” is signature Yellow Monsters with the same distorted guitars and screaming vocals and cements the band’s style again. You can’t go wrong with Yellow Monsters’ upbeat and aggressive songs because that’s what they’re known for. “Wrong Way” is a mix between Jinyoung (I think it’s Jinyoung) who sings the verse and Yongwon who sings the chorus. It’s nice to see this inter-band collaboration as before Jinyoung had a solo song on albums. His voice is different from Yongwon and adds a different feeling to the song.
“진짜” is Yellow Monsters using their style and applying it to punk rock. It’s reminds me a lot of early Yellow Monsters. It’s an interesting take on the past and present. The final song “Dear” is definitely something new. It’s a slow and deliberately simple song. With repeating verses and lyrics, it feels like there’s an apology within the lines of the song. While I enjoy Yellow Monsters regular style, I’ve always found my favorite songs to be the slower and more melodic ones.
As the final song to the EP, it’s a perfect closer. The actual final song is “Dear” covered by Horan (호란). It’s the same song, but with the vocals replaced with her voice. It gives the song a strangely different and more somber tone.
Yellow Monsters always deliver a solid release each year. But with The Van, there’s a noticeable change. It’s definitely a positive because they aren’t dismissing their recognizable sound, but adding to it and evolving.