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Korean Rock Recall: Reliving The Rebellion Rock Of Rux's 2009 Release 'Eternal Kids' [VIDEO]

By Jeff Tobias | April 09, 2015 04:32 PM EDT


Sometimes, rebellion is relative.

It's easy to forget that a seemingly innocuous gesture to some might be represent a revolutionary act to others.

This can be seen in the legacy of Korean street punk band Rux. On their 2009 single "Eternal Kids," the group explored a sound that, while familiar to some, represented something much more significant to a whole generation of young music fans.

Rux have been a pioneering pop-punk group, since the genre's halcyon days in 1996. Singer Won Jong Hee in particular is a fixture in Korea's DIY scene, running the label Skunk and the club Skunk Hell.

The band first gained national notoriety in 2005 when they appeared on the live Korean television program "Music Camp." A few of the band's rambunctious friends streaked across the stage, causing a national outcry. Certainly, similar controversies have occurred in the United States. Think Janet Jackson's "wardrobe malfunction" at the Super Bowl, or better yet, Los Angeles punk band Fear's pogo-dancing friends on "Saturday Night Live."

But while those stateside fiascos caused a bit of hand-wringing and a hefty FCC fine, compare that with the punishment faced by Rux's naked revelers. They each spent three years in jail and "Music Camp" was canceled.

When one considers this history, the relatively straightforward punk-pop of "Eternal Kids" takes on an entirely different energy.

"Eternal Kids" doesn't reinvent the wheel, or even come close. It's a fun slice of distorted, highly mosh-friendly rock that doesn't color outside the lines. At least by our standards.

After all, America had its "punk" moment decades ago. But when you consider Korea's tense geopoliticalstandoff between the north and sout, music like this suddenly seems fresh again, maybe even dangerous (in a good way).

"Eternal Kids" hits all the genre 's hallmarks dead-on, keeping their rhythms tight at the outset of each verse and loosening the grips on their careful palm-muted guitars as they careen towards an anthemic chorus.

The bridge goes guitar-free to showcase a rattling bass guitar, a classic punk trope if there's ever been one.

Won, in particular, exerts a telling amount of control, singing a rough-hewn melody on the verses and gradually introducing more and more rasp into his voice. The song's outro boasts a confident guitar solo, illustrating that Rux are punk in attitude, but not untrained in musicianship.

To play with this sort of self-possession, but to be playing in a genre that is implicitly rebellious, says a lot about the group's stake in autonomy.

"Eternal Kids" makes sense as a truly "punk" song the more you listen to it and think about its place in the larger culture. The idea of the "eternal kid" has been an image that resonated with punk rockers going back to Minor Threat's "Minor Threat" and beyond.

Perhaps every generation gets the rebels it deserves.

Watch the music video for Rux's "Eternal Kids" RIGHT HERE


Jeff Tobias is a musician, composer and writer currently living in Brooklyn, New York. As of late, he has been researching how to travel the world in eighty days for eighty dollars.

Tagged :  Korean Rock Recall, Rux


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