With the extra time on my hands, I’ve been trying to expand my musical horizons a bit. I’m still pretty partial to electronic and shoegaze, but I have to admit that The Next Generation (차세대) caught my attention because they reminded me a bit of the alt-rock I used to be very into when I was younger.
I’m still a sucker for that genre, and even more so when it’s paired with vocal manipulations and filters that give the songs a vintage edge. Luckily for me, The Next Generation’s eponymous first EP checks all those boxes and then some!
The EP starts with “Shakespeare,” which was already enticing to me considering I’m a bit of a Shakespeare fan. It’s the only track entirely in English, and the reverb is heavy, likely to contribute to the dreamy atmosphere of the song. The track is dominated by the guitar and vocals, though the drums can still be heard; the melody is lilting, and it’s most definitely heavily inspired by jangle pop – a genre which they reference on their Bandcamp page.
“East Sea,” on the other hand, is a bit more rock-inspired, and probably the most high energy in the EP. It features a lot of fun ad-libs and overall has very summery vibes. The instrumentals remind me a bit of Hyukoh, which is always welcome in my book!
The third track, “Lady Pane,” features stronger vocals and instrumentals than “Shakespeare,” though the lyrics are a bit minimal and quite repetitive. It’s a classic example of an indie rock song, I would say, with a nice little instrumental solo tossed in at the tail end.
We take a sharp turn coming to “Son,” which begins with keyboard and vocals, neither of which is as manipulated as in previous tracks. The drums quickly kick in, eventually joined by very minimal guitar until the second half of the song, which introduces a number of the previous elements. The piano gives it a brighter sound, and it abandons a bit of the vintage jangle pop edge that crops up throughout the whole EP.
Overall, The New Generation’s first EP is a fun and fresh take on older stylings, reinforcing the timelessness of indie rock.