I’m a big fan of Apollo 18 and continue to wait to see if the band will record and release new music. Bassist Daein Kim has explored other music with bands like Gage and Atmo. PAKK is actually a new form of Atmo. I think I only heard one Atmo song, but A Wail, PAKK’s five song EP is more than enough to please my ears. It reminds me of a lighter version of Apollo 18. There’s a stronger presentation of melody mixed in the exploratory rock.
“Hemoptysis” starts off the EP with a big welcome. The song is quick with the guitar, bass, and drums all following the same path while adding a lot of rhythms. I do like how the sound of the album is a little rough. The drums actually sit a bit above the guitar and bass giving a more percussive sound. Largely instrumental, there is a bit of vocals, but it’s not the focus. I’m not sure if PAKK is focused on being a shoegaze or post-rock band or just making really great instrumental music. “Byeoksamu” has a lot of breakdowns between verses that transition between the sections of the song, but never lose the main melody. It’s one of my favorites on the EP.
Even if A Wail is just a rock album, there’s a lot to enjoy. Each member is an excellent musician, being able to follow the tempo while adding to each song. It’s almost like an improvisation for each song. I’m sure that live, these songs can go on even longer because each verse is open to journeying further. I really like “Drown” too. It’s reminds me of 90s alternative rock without using a slow tempo. At 20 minutes, the EP sounds short, but each song feels long and never gets boring.
A Wail is a great album. Whether or not it classifies itself among shoegaze, post-rock, or rock, there’s no reason to miss it. It definitely fills in the gap that Apollo 18 left and there’s a lot of possibilities of where another release could go.