From what I remember Stereotype started showing up in my Facebook feed along with the Korean Indie Instagram account. I followed the band as they were posting updates on the recording of their first EP. From what I heard, I thought that Stereotype would be a harder rock band, but Come Back James is actually a mellow indie rock release. It took me by surprise, but as I listened to the EP every couple days, I started to appreciate all the songs.
“Denmark” could easily become a louder rock song, but the limitations on either the levels or recording give it a strong, but passive energy. It’s clear that the band can make explosive choruses, but they choose to hold things back. “Denmark” is sung in English and the vocals by Seenyoung provide a guide to where the song is going to go. The instrumentals are a bit non-standard. Even though each instrument is following the verse, it sounds like instruments drop in and out to provide a loose structure. “Falling” uses an acoustic guitar to provide the main melody next to the vocals and I’m sure if it were electric, the tone of the song would be different. The weird thing is that Seenyoung’s vocals sound very similar to “Denmark.” I don’t know if it’s a filter or something added, but it makes her vocals sound a little flat. Even though she’s moving around the scale, everything sounds similar.
“Something” is a true indie pop rock song. It’s got a clear and bright melody pushed through guitar and keyboards. The melody sits slightly above Seenyoung’s vocals in this song. Chang and Eurock are the quiet champions. The bass and drums don’t make a huge impression unless you’re listening specifically for them, but they provide a lot of dimension to every song. James and Dominick support and push the melodies on every song. Whether it’s through acoustic or electric guitar, the volume never overpowers.
I like these five songs because each has a distinct tone. While the overall style of Stereotype is found easily, there’s a good variety in their introduction. What I don’t like is the filter that masks Seenyoung’s vocals. The vocals on every song feel muted and I’d like to hear it clearer. While the instrumentals are, for the most part, mixed well; the focus on the vocals limits the strength of individual tracks. Releasing a little late in 2016, I didn’t get to listen to Come Back James consistently, but I am going to watch the band.