I highlighted some Korean electronic musicians before and now it’s time to introduce some excellent rock bands in Korean rock music. This is going to be a longer list because there are a lot more bands under the “rock” genre. But let’s get started.
If you just began your journey in Korean independent music, Crying Nut are among the first bands to hear. They helped craft and influence punk and rock genres in South Korea. Crying Nut is also a band that contains all its original members spanning 20 years. Each album is an evolution of the band’s sound.
Next to Crying Nut, No Brain are the other band that have influenced Korean rock music. Their career is just as long. While No Brain have a slightly different sound compared to Crying Nut, they both take from the same rock music core.
Yellow Monsters is one of my favorite rock bands. A combination of GUMX, My Aunt Mary, and Delispice members; Yellow Monsters are a in-your-face rock band that adds some emotion with excellent ballads. “썩은 막걸리” is a music video I was asked to create using video I’d taken over a couple trips to Seoul.
Blues rock isn’t a genre you’d expect in South Korea, but there are a good number of bands. Lowdown 30 is the first blues rock band that I was introduced to and I really enjoy their sound. You may not know what to expect, but start with 1 and go from there.
Anyone who likes rock music should know Galaxy Express. The three piece are perfect examples of direct rock music. They’ve attended SXSW and toured the US on their own in a RV. Each album improves on the previous and they’re last self-titled was one of the best of 2013. They should be releasing a new album in 2015.
If you want some really well written songs, check out 3rd Line Butterfly. The band has been around since 2001 and make album according to their own schedule. But each time they return, the album beats a lot of other albums that year.
When Eastern Sidekick played K-Pop Night Out at SXSW 2015, most people didn’t know what to expect. The band seemingly plays a low key rock style which is usually heard on their albums, but the live performance is a lot different. It’s a lot stronger and aggressive. Their last EP, Hammer Lane, released in 2013 so hopefully there’s new music soon.
Guckkasten’s self-titled debut in 2010 was one of my favorite albums. But the band seemed to disappear soon after their follow-up EP Tagtraume. They really returned in 2014 with Frame which took their slightly experimental rock style even further.
This is only the first part of a lengthy introduction. These bands are the perfect introduction to the genre, but expect a lot more bands.