10 Korean Rock Bands You Should Know










While Korean rock music has been largely overshadowed in recent times by the colourful world of K-pop idols and the burgeoning mainstream Korean hip-hop scene, that’s to not say the style has little to supply compared. In reality, there are a lot of hidden (in addition to not-so-hidden) gems inside the Korean rock realm, a few of which have been slowly however absolutely gaining recognition each domestically and internationally. Will K-rock ever overtake K-pop? Seems unlikely. Even so, you’re lacking out when you aren’t listening to Korean rock bands. Read on to search out some bands which are a should for brand spanking new and inveterate K-rock followers alike.

Please additionally word that whereas I like bands like DAY6, The Rose, N.Flying, and so forth, I’ve opted to spotlight teams which are a bit additional faraway from the K-pop scene as a substitute. You shouldn’t sleep on any of the extra mainstream or idol-like bands both, although, as a result of they’re simply as implausible as those I’ve included right here.


Winners of the 2018 Shinhan Card Rookie Award, SURL have shortly been carving out an area for themselves in Korea’s rock scene over the previous couple of years, and given their catchy songs, excellent musicianship, and overwhelming expertise, SURL is certain to proceed to appeal listeners close to and much for years to return. I imply, how can one not be mesmerized by the way in which through which the beautiful melodic guitar traces seamlessly intertwine with the singer’s heat vocals? Plus, SURL is aware of a factor or two about creating imaginative music videos.


Would any K-rock checklist be full with out Nell and their gloomy, typically psychedelic sound? Even when you aren’t accustomed to this band, there’s a very good likelihood you’ve at the least heard one among their songs: “Time Spent Walking Through Memories,” which has been coated by quite a few K-pop idols, together with NCT’s Doyoung, INFINITE’s Sunggyu, and Girls’ Generation’s Taeyeon. This critically acclaimed group has been credited with enjoying an integral half in shaping Korea’s rock style, with many fellow rock artists having cited Nell as a supply of musical inspiration and affect.


Jaurim is another rock band with over 20 years of expertise underneath their belt and a transparent liking for the kinds of artists like The Cranberries and Alanis Morissette. Though they had been criticized as missing originality after they initially started to cement themselves within the Korean rock world, they’ve lengthy since developed a breadth and depth to their music that, regardless of nonetheless sounding very paying homage to exterior sources, is in some way uniquely Jaurim.


O.O.O (which stands for Out of Office) is an indie band with a whole lot of character and a particular sound, making them one among my private favorites. I particularly love O.O.O for their lead guitarist’s phenomenal riffs, which he all the time makes look so easy. Plus, one can’t assist however be drawn in by O.O.O’s wealthy vocals, notably in relation to the band’s softer, extra pensive tracks, equivalent to “Drunk Again.”


Hyukoh could also be a rock band, however one could be remiss to explain their music as merely rock. Because the members like all kinds of music, they typically combine and match components from completely different genres to create novel soundscapes, with the main focus being on what they themselves wish to make — not essentially what the plenty will like. Although it’s robust to neatly characterize their sound, what I can say is that lots of Hyukoh’s songs have a laid-back, dreamy really feel that simply would possibly lull you right into a deep sleep.


What do you do while you wish to take heed to rock music however really feel such as you’re at the moment residing out essentially the most heart-rending a part of a K-drama? Listen to some Buzz, after all. Known for their emotional rock ballads, Buzz was one of many first rock bands to attain widespread recognition in Korea within the mid 2000s, serving up plenty of hits that grew to become karaoke staples on the time. Give one among their songs a pay attention and also you’ll shortly perceive why it’d be laborious to not wish to try and sing like Min Kyung Hoon, whose impassioned voice is certain to captivate most listeners.


Bursters is a metalcore band, which means you possibly can look forward to finding heavy instrumentation and many screaming in most of their songs. While this fashion may not be for everybody, there’s no denying that it grants the band’s songs and lyrics a sure emotional depth that wouldn’t be there in any other case. That stated, Bursters do have some nice slower, extra ballad-like songs that these of you who aren’t into a whole lot of screaming would possibly nonetheless get pleasure from, equivalent to “Wherever You Are.”

Huckleberry Finn

Not to be confused with Korean hip-hop artist Huckleberry P, Huckleberry Finn is an indie band that’s been on the scene for the reason that late ’90s. Fans of basic rock could recognize the band’s early works, which have a decidedly old-school sound, whereas those that get pleasure from a extra fashionable sound will possible favor their newest couple of albums. Personally, I hope they proceed down the atmospheric, post-rock path their most up-to-date album follows.


Whether it’s an upbeat observe or one which’s on the mellower facet of issues, one can all the time rely on Dasutt to ship. Truly, in relation to producing groovy, feel-good rock tunes, Dasutt is among the greatest, what with their melodic guitar motifs and delicate, velvety vocals. If you’re a Hyukoh fan, then you definately’ll possible get pleasure from Dasutt’s music as effectively, given the bands’ comparable vocal kinds and musical ideologies.


The manner that Guckkasten’s vocalist (Ha Hyun Woo) so powerfully and clearly belts excessive notes won’t ever stop to amaze me. And whereas Ha Hyun Woo’s sturdy, full voice is sufficient by itself to set this band other than many others, Guckkasten’s power and fervour don’t cease with the auditory. They additionally wish to play with vibrant, psychedelic visuals and enjoyable, typically whimsically creepy, imagery that take their music to an excellent greater degree of greatness.

Which Korean rock bands do you advocate?

seheee is a software program engineer by day and an avid K-pop live performance goer by evening. She additionally sometimes makes an look on Twitter (@_seheee).

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