I became familiar with The Vastards during their original inception with the original guitarist and vocalist, Lee Junsoo. I don’t remember how long the band had been around before the news of his passing happened. There were videos here and there of the band, but I only discovered As I Please near the end of 2019.
The band still has that British, garage rock influence and the current vocalist has that vocal swagger necessary to fit the music of the band. “I’m sorry” is a quick introduction before “As I Please” really gets the release started. As a band in the southern part of South Korea, there are some complementary bands in style. It seems that bands around the south all use a more melodic and groove-oriented style. This is shown off really well on “As I Please.”
“BASTARDS” walks a fuller garage rock path and kind of reminds me of Astronuts or feverdogs. Both of these bands also featured Lee Junsoo, so I wonder if it’s just the high influence on the band’s sound that remains. I like that the track is also a little raw and feels unpolished, almost like it was recorded in a venue.
Changing tone, “Empty Room” sounds like a depressing song you would hear walking into a basement bar right after happy hour and the regulars are sitting around. It’s almost like a rock ballad and really presents a melancholy feel. “modern love” is a light, even tempoed track that captures a little feeling of youth rather than the weight carried by the earlier songs.
Completing As I Please is “8월(End Of Summer)” which is a rerecorded or remastered track from 2017. It feels a little out of place from the other tracks on the EP, but the band might have had the time to improve on the song and wanted to showcase it to new listeners.
The Vastards are another great example of music from the southern area of Korea. These bands are really creating their own bubble of music and style that is different from Seoul.