It’s been a couple years since …Whatever That Means released the excellent Sixty-Eight, Twenty-Two. Their last single was a cover of The Chinkees‘ “Asian Prodigy.” Finally in 2016, the band returns with three new songs as a part of a split 7 inch with Seattle’s Burn Burn Burn. Given that I don’t know anything about Burn Burn Burn, I have to say the bands are perfectly matched together on the split.
Burn Burn Burn offer two songs, “Maps of Brick Walls” and “Drink It Away.” The band capture the true spirit of fun and “beer fueled” punk rock. “Maps of Brick Walls” reminds me that no nonsense punk rock still exists in the United States. Complete with choral yells, fast tempos, and capturing the energy of the band, Burn Burn Burn are a band I need to listen to more.
Their second song “Drink It Away” is a direct and forward song. It contains all the proper standard punk arrangements – repetitive chords, a non-stop drum beats, and vocals that tell a story. It reveals how bloated popular music has gotten and proves that songs from the heart don’t have to be musically complex.
…Whatever That Means return is welcome. With all the work the band does within Korean punk, it’s great to hear new music from the band. …Whatever That Means follow the tones and themes of Burn Burn Burn! by presenting songs that cut out any fluff. “I Can’t Take It” is more of an introduction song featuring Trash‘s recognizable vocals. At 45 seconds, it sets up the band’s side of the split. “This Betrayal” is easily connected to Sixty-Eight, Twenty-Two, but feels like a definite progression of the band. The song feels more solid and a lot of pent up aggression comes through the song provided mainly by Jeff‘s vocals.
I’ve only seen the band live once, but I definitely want to see these new songs performed live. …Whatever That Means capture the essence of punk rock regardless of being located in South Korea. Closing Blowing Minds and Melting Faces is “Just Another Day.” The song reminds me the most of their last album and uses both Jeff’s and Trash’s vocals. It’s this song that it’s possible to really hear the band’s love of punk rock.
I’m glad that …Whatever That Means have released new music. With all the work that the band does within the Korean punk rock community, getting more music out is a treat. Like some other Korean bands, …Whatever That Means are a gateway band to showcasing all the different types of music in South Korea. This time, they’ve brought along Burn Burn Burn to introduce them to Korean punk fans.