The long awaited release of Yellow Monsters‘ third album is interesting. When I visited Seoul on November 2012, I heard some of the songs in their early stages when I visited their practice room. When I visited again in April 2013, I heard more of the songs from the album at Yellow Monsters 3rd Anniversary Show and went to the recording studio where Yellow Monsters had started recording Red Flag.
Now in September 2013, it’s finally released. Moving from fan to friend of the band and seeing how the songs evolved has been an interesting view into how the band creates their style. Red Flag isn’t a big step away from the self-titled, Riot!, or We Eat Your Dog. It contains the same general style that makes the band so recognizable.
The difference is in the energy in the songs. Red Flag pulls parts from each previous release and refines them in each song. The lead single “Red Flag” is an example. It’s a six minute epic that contains long verses and a very operatic bridge. Throughout the album, Yellow Monsters combine both melodic and aggressiveness in the same song.
Later tracks like “Alibi” are slower melodic rock songs. It helps break up the energy giving time to appreciate each moment. GUMX influences still exist like on “My Memory” bringing Yongwon’s past work into the album. There are also shorter songs like “We Have No Producer” which sound like experiments during practice that they decided to record.
Yellow Monsters didn’t make some dramatic evolution with Red Flag. They made another album in the style they’re comfortable with and that continues to be extremely fun to listen to.
I’m a huge fan of the band and even with my bias, I still think Yellow Monsters’ Red Flag is an amazing album.