Top Band 2.2

Only after surfing YouTube and Top Band DC Inside Gallery did I learn that bands are given five minutes to perform one original and one cover in the current round. Television episodes only show one of the two performances for each band. I would’ve liked a more thorough explanation of the competition format.

The second episode showed lots of Rose Motel. Apparently, one of the guys even got a call from a friend who, all of a sudden, wanted to pay back the money he had borrowed ten years ago. The band also got an offer to shoot a commercial for a fruity alcoholic beverage but turned it down. Since everybody is in love with Rose Motel, Top Band producers released the footage of the band’s rock cover of “The Boys.”

So last week, Transfixion advanced from Group 1, leaving Guten Birds and Super Kidd. But we find that Kim Do-gyun had saved Super Kidd with his Top Choice, so they are still in!

The second episode followed six new groups.

Group 6: Sumiara and Phonestuber, Black Dog, and Peterpan Complex. Sumiara and Phonestuber is a Pastel Music artist even though they may not seem like one. They performed “수미아라 우뚝” which elicited some interesting facial expressions from Shin Dae-chul and Yoo Young-suk. Black Dog did a rock ballad called “실종” which had a catchy melody. Veteran Peterpan Complex looked calm and delivered an impressive cover of of Shin Hae-chul’s “안녕.” Peterpan Complex easily advanced with Black Dog who was saved by Shin.

Group 7: 탕아들, MetallateM+, and Rubber Ducky. 탕아들 called themselves ordinary ajussis but proved that they were more than that. Their cover of “할 말도 없지만” by legendary “신중현과 엽전들” delivered a focused vocal and a guitar solo that showed off kayagum fingerstyle. Kim Do-gyun, known for his work in fusing rock with Korean traditional music, was pleased by the guitar performance. Kim Kyung-ho shouted, “Rock will never die.” MetallateM+ consists of teen prodigies and their teacher. Their song “로또만 돼바라” had a catchy chorus. Rubber Ducky, a three-piece female band, covered “Kiss Me” and delivered a sparkly, rocking performance. The judges thought 탕아들 had done a great job, but Shin wanted to prop up the kids who had shown potential. At the end, MetallateM+ got the winning ticket.

Group 8: Ash Gray, On the Spot, and Vanilla City. Ash Gray’s ex-Click B guitarist was spotlighted even though it has been years since he left the boy band. Their performance of “Anxious” was solid. On the Spot is a synth-pop rock band. Their “Amateur Batman” mixed in different sounds including pansori and a gong to create a fun song. Vanilla City did a cover of “So Sick.” VC’s drummer was praised by the judges. Ash Gray advanced.

A brief segment featuring three musicians and their “bands of my life” came next. Lee Seung-hwan credited 들국화, Jaurim recognized Queen and Kim Jong-seo talked of Led Zeppelin with enthusiasm.

Group 9: Javo Island, Zebon Bros, and 4brothers. Javo Island did a cover of “This Love.” Kim Kyung-ho liked the band’s energy and teamwork. Zebon Bros did a bluesy cover of “Come together” with great force. Shin disliked their lack of communication but liked the guitar playing. 4brothers did a cover of The Kinks’ “You really got me.” The vocal had a unique tone. Javo Island advanced.

Group 10: Disco Bongs, HarryBigButton and 가자미소년단. Disco Bongs’ cover of Kim Hyun-sik’s “사랑 사랑 사랑” made an attractive sound of jazz and disco. The auto tune on the vocal was interesting. The judges: the band suffered from a lack of balance but still produced a refreshing sound. HarryBigButton did a cover of Pink Floyd’s “Another Brick in the Wall (part 2).” The vocal flooded with charisma. Shin noted of the lack of tuning between the two guitars. Their rock band attitude was commended. 가자미소년단 gave a cover of “Purple Haze” by Hendrix, but it wasn’t enough woo the judges. HarryBigButton advanced.

Group 11: Number One Korean, Pia and Fantastic Drugstore. Number One Korean, a ska punk band did a cover of Shinchon Blues’ “골목길.” Yoo, who had expected to hear funk when he saw several brass instruments, was surprised by their punk sound; he just threw praise upon this band. Pia hinted that “Urban Explorer” was not meant to show Pia in its completeness but was to be an exciting introduction. Fantastic Drugstore’s “아저씨” was an exciting synth rock song with a nice speed. The judges ran into some heated discussion because all three bands had given great performances. Kim Kyung-ho thought that Fantastic Drugstore had done an amazing job. But Shin believed that Pia was solid. The judges have a dilemma. Kim: We shouldn’t be afraid to drop big-name bands. Of course, the viewer never finds out what the judges decide.

Preview: Who’s the band that everybody likes? They are in the same group as Nemesis.

My favorites from the episode were Fantastic Drugstore and 탕아들. On a different note, I learned something new about 가자미소년단. Their name is not Flatfish Boyscout but “Go Dandy Boys!” The idea for 가자미소년단 originated from 가짜 (fake) 미소년단 (flower/pretty boys).