21Scott released their first album in 2006 and an EP in 2007. In 2014, the band released Rock Star, their second album. Since I started listening to Korean music around 2007-2008, I missed the band’s early stuff. So listening to Rock Star is my first introduction. 21Scott play the best representation of pop punk that reminds me of my high school days.
Fast tempos, strong melodies, and high energy are all elements of the music. Rock Star isn’t the most technical album, favoring simpler chords and beats that are highlighted by the lead guitar. The lead guitar adds extra lines of melody to the songs and is the second most notable part of the music next to the vocals.
Listening to “New York” and I’m reminded of when I used to listen to a lot of American pop punk music like Lagwagon and The Ataris. 21Scott doesn’t have the same style as those bands, but the core of the music follows the same genre. Songs like “이젠 내가 있을게” get you moving because the tempo and energy of the song is on a high level.
Pop punk is a style that’s a little difficult to find in South Korea and other than Startline, I haven’t been able to find bands that can really capture the essence of the genre. 21Scott may have had a long break between releases, but their ability to create nostalgic music hasn’t dimmed.
It’s releases like Rock Star that have a special place because it’s new music that takes me back to when I was younger. Pop punk is a great genre that’s not played a lot anymore, but 21Scott really bring it back with Rock Star.