Korean Rock Recall: The Stunning Directness Of The Geeks's 2014 Track 'I Still Believe' Continues To Resonate [AUDIO]
As art has become more abstract over the centuries, we've become capable of elaborate metaphors and complex ways of exploring the human experience.
Then again, there's always room for art that is 100 percent direct.
On the song "I Still Believe," released back in July, Korean punk rock band The Geeks illustrate how straightforward ideas need not come in tired, old packaging. This fist-pumping anthem leaves no room for ambiguity, and therein lies its power.
For over 15 years, The Geeks have been pumping out positive hardcore from their home base in Seoul. "I Still Believe" comes from the album "Still Not In This Alone," released on the American label Think Fast Records. Think Fast describes the band in their PR package by saying, "The Geeks are to Asia what Youth of Today was to American hardcore."
Listening to "I Still Believe," that's a more than fair assessment.
The song is crisply recorded, with a galloping tempo that is expertly performed by all involved. The pick scrapes and snare rolls that adorn the turnarounds in "I Still Believe" are all perfectly timed genre tropes, suggesting the time spent together as a band has created a well-oiled hardcore machine.
There's not a moment of avant-garde experimentation or flabby extended breakdowns. The song barely hits the two-minute mark, but every single moment seems to be engineered for maximum impact.
However, the technical precision is all guided by the message of "I Still Believe."
There's no obliqueness to The Geeks's anthemic ideals, and that makes their music that much more powerful. Throughout the verses, the yelped vocals clearly enunciate a positive underdog ethos, with vocalist Ki claiming to be "against the grain" and "the road less traveled," somehow evoking both Bad Religion and Robert Frost. Sure, these are well-worn metaphors, but in this context, their underlying meanings are unmistakable.
The overarching theme of the lyrics in "I Still Believe" is one of perseverance and yet it's kept broad enough that the song can be applied to any number of personal or political struggles.
The chorus contains the song's most poignant moment, when the band slams into a unison triplet on the song's titular line. If a sound could create an image, this chorus would be a billboard.
The variety of music's capacities for communication are always being reinvented or created anew, but with their positive mental attitude, The Geeks have earned their right to be direct.
Check out The Geeks's "I Still Believe" RIGHT HERE
Jeff Tobias is a musician, composer and writer currently living in Brooklyn, New York. As of late, he has been developing new extended techniques in both saxophone performance and burrito creation.
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