This charming debut EP from four-piece alternative rock band Boys In the Kitchen flirts lightheartedly with a sound that recalls 90s grunge rock, which is quite unlike any other Korean bands I’ve heard.

boys in the kitchen

Formed in 2012, the band hit it out over the years through live performances in Hongdae, Itaewon, and the like. Fans who’ve heard them live might spot some familiar songs on the release. Unlike the more polished sound of Rock’N’Roll Radio, Boys in the Kitchen has a rougher, more flippant attitude to their music, though it never crosses over to full-on noise-rock, sticking with the simple, stripped-down arrangements throughout.

There are five tracks on this eponymous EP, two are sung in English. “Boys in the Kitchen” is a band name that really captures the spirit of their music, which sounds exactly like the havoc that a group of boys with nothing better to do would wreak in the kitchen at home. The second track “Bivo” is particularly addictive. You can almost smell the sweat of a hot summer afternoon in those guitar riffs. Perhaps the only irony is that their lead guitarist is male (female corrected).

“Dream #1” is definitely the standout track of the EP. The catchy melody really drives the song, but the band is careful to maintain great balance between the vocal and the instrumentals, neither stands out over the other. What sells is how infectious the song is, and how seamlessly the energy of the melody passes between the vocalists and the guitar riffs.

Boys In the Kitchen is a really solid debut effort. With songs averaging less than 4 minutes long, five tracks blaze through before you know it, leaving you a little breathless, but certainly wanting more.

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