I heard about GUMIHO‘s second EP in 2020, named exactly the same as their first EP, but I wasn’t expecting to hear about the disbandment before the release of the second. Essentially GUMIHO is the four piece’s swan song and goodbye. It contains an even more polished and fierce five song set of songs that leave a lingering sadness of where the group could have gone. With GUMIHO’s polish, you hear an evolution forward that now sits in the ether.
“Cigarettes” is a straight to the point punk rock song. The English vocals by Caspin are easy to understand and each member provide the perfect amount of energy to support the entire song. It’s a short song with nice slow breaks between the chorus and lasts a perfect 1:57. The song has a couple laps before heading to “When Your Regret Isn’t Regret.”
I think “When Your Regret Isn’t Regret” is one of the best songs on the EP. It still sits within punk rock, but has more attitude, bringing in the “riotgrrl” tag from their Bandcamp page. The track is a bigger on the melodies with the guitar supporting the lyrics while the bass and drums add structure. “When Your Regret Isn’t Regret” is a perfect show closer. It wouldn’t be hard to imagine this song living on a compilation and standing out as one of the best tracks.
Released as a standalone single, “Hey! You!” could have been the main entry point for new listeners. GUMIHO’s essence is contained within this song and while the band would go in horizontal genre steps, this is core GUMIHO. The nice guitar solo helps adds a bit of excess while gluing the front and back of the song together.
If you like pop punk, “Dusty Memory” hits that perfectly. I don’t know if it’s the improved recording and mixing, but GUMIHO have a bigger soundscape than other releases. Every cymbal crash hits harder, the bass is easier to hear, and the guitar riffs have a larger crunch. “Dusty Memory’ isn’t the grandest song on GUMIHO, but does have its own special energy.
Closing the EP, “Underwater” is much aligned with demo-era GUMIHO. It’s more aggressive, vocals are more spoken and yelled than sung, and the tempo is slightly faster. “Underwater” presents a lot of rhythm changes to keep things different and opens up more opportunities for an audience to slam together.
It’s sad that GUMIHO is the conclusion of the band because this EP shows that the band had a good musical chemistry and could compose great songs. Even though GUMIHO’s discography is short, the energy and power on all the songs is great. The members are going on to different projects so hopefully we can hear from the members again soon.