It’s always been difficult to find more Korean punk and hardcore music. There are a good number of bands, but finding the releases outside of South Korea has never been easy. When Animal Anthem released Bones on Bandcamp, I was quick to buy it. Animal Anthem is comprised of members from different countries. The name that stuck out was Bialy who I knew as the guitarist in …Whatever That Means. One sad note is that the vocalist, Sean, isn’t part of the group anymore because he moved, but leaves his legacy with the album.
Animal Anthem is a post-hardcore band. This might not mean a lot to some people, but post-hardcore is an amazing genre. The songs are full of emotion, powered by the energy of the instrumentals and honed through the vocals. This is where Animal Anthem is perfection. The power of every song is heard and felt. The thirteen songs remind me of the best post-hardcore bands of my high school days. Jumping from tempo to tempo with a fury, Bones could be a classic. “Epitaph” is a great song, moving from verse to verse, and guided by Sean’s vocals. I really like how it’s controlled chaos. For people unfamiliar with the style of music, it could be a jumble of noise, but it takes a lot of practice to keep a cohesive sound.
When I first started listening to Bones, I thought of Shai Hulud. The intensity of the music carries a common thread. Of course, post-hardcore isn’t a genre for everyone. If you’re looking for something with prominent melody, you won’t find it here. But among the distortion from the guitars and pounding drum rhythms, there’s a purity that comes through. Listen to “Long Day” with an open mind and you may start to understand how enjoyable the genre is.
Animal Anthem present a lot of music in 31 minutes. The 13 songs show that music isn’t limited by borders or geography. The band is an amazing discovery and I’m glad to hear this came from South Korea. It will be interesting to hear what the band will sound like with a new singer. They might have big shoes to fill after this release.