So what is ‘punk’?
It started in the United States and the United Kingdom with groups that would later be classified as ‘proto-punk’. This is where the ancestry of punk gets merged into the murky roots of garage rock.
RIP Lou Reed.
The term ‘punk’ was used by American music critics in reaction to these garage acts in the 1970’s; by 1973, Ramones drummer Tommy Ramone was saying the following. “In its initial form, a lot of [1960s] stuff was innovative and exciting. Unfortunately, what happens is that people who could not hold a candle to the likes of Hendrix started noodling away. Soon you had endless solos that went nowhere. By 1973, I knew that what was needed was some pure, stripped down, no bullshit rock ‘n’ roll.”
Aand the rest is history as you well know it!
I spliced up a few Wikipedia quotes here and there, but I’m not being a comprehensive historian on this blog. What I’m trying to say is that punk started a long time before the likes of Avril Lavigne or Green Day started commercializing the sell-out scheme. It’s likewise for the Korean punk scene. Check out the facebook group for Korean punk here.
So just to get your feet wet, here are 10 Korean punk rock acts you really ought to know, in no particular order. I’ll get them all out and sort them out in following posts. Be prepared to rock and roll at the Chosun OiPunks and political badassery that abounded from ’77 to here and now.
1. 크라잉넛 Crying Nut – 밤이 깊었네 Deep is the night
2. 옐로우 키친 Yellow Kitchen – Betty Sticked the fork in her eyes
3. 노브레인 No Brain -넌 내게 반했어 You got a crush on me
4. 럭스 Rux – 만신창이
5. 열혈펑크키드 Yulhyeol Punk Kid – 없어
6. 레이지본 Lazy Bone – 사노라면
7. 밤섬해적단 Bamseom Pirates – 어버이
8. 데드가카스 Dead Gakkahs
9. 삼청 Samchung
10. 옐로우 몬스터즈 Yellow Monsters – Red Flag
Admittedly, the distinction between metal and punk thins when it comes to Bamseom, Dead Gakkahs, and Samchung. It’s also interesting to note that Samchung is the only band among these that purports to be extreme right-wing. Recall how European punk acts such as Siouxie and the Banshees actively picked up the Nazi Swastika for pure shock value. A lot of these bands have been around since the 1990’s; more specifically, the Korean punk scene crystallized near Hongdae in 1995, after the death of Kurt Cobain. I do urge you to check out the facebook group: https://www.facebook.com/koreanpunkandhardcore