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Korean Rock Recall: Yellow Monsters Rocket Through A Dizzying Array Of Genres On 2014's 'Commie' [VIDEO]

By Jeff Tobias | August 19, 2015 11:14 AM EDT


We live in an era of options. The overabundance of variety creates a kind of crisis--what to do with all this freedom of choice?

If South Korean rockers Yellow Monsters had anything to say about it, it would probably be that there's no need to take one path and reject another. On the band's 2014 single "Commie," the three musicians switch musical gears frequently, offering considerable eclecticism while retaining stylistic cohesion.

Featuring former members of the groups GumX and My Aunt Mary, the Seoul-based power trio had a buzz surrounding them before they even released their first album in 2010.

"Commie" is the leadoff track on the band's 2014 release "The Van." It's understandable why they chose this song to open their album, given its attention-demanding opening moments. The blasting drums, commanding screams and dimed amp feedback operate as a powerful statement of intent.

But that's not all Yellow Monster have to offer here.

Within the first minute of "Commie," they zigzag between disparate touchstones on the map of hard rock. The introduction gives way to a chugging riff that wouldn't seem out of place on "Appetite for Destruction" (a fitting tribute, as Yellow Monsters opened for Guns n' Roses during the '80s rock bad boys' 2009 tour of Korea). This gives way to a brief detour into System of a Down-inspired call-and-response, which itself gives way quickly for an anthemic chorus.

The clear-eyed melody of the chorus is something of a surprise given the tough-guy signifiers that came before it. But that's part of what makes "Commie" so appealing. It keeps things moving, and keeps things changing.

After two choruses and a well-executed guitar solo, Yellow Monsters surprise us yet again with a lighter-lifting bridge, complete with a synthesizer-derived string section. This sort of musical moment flirts with sentimentality and certainly risks turning off their more hardcore-inclined fans. It's a testament to Yellow Monsters' breadth of talent that they are not only able, but willing, to be so broad in their songwriting.

The sheer idiomatic range here might've been absurd in lesser hands, but with "Commie," Yellow Monsters pull it off. They're as convincing delivering boneheaded thrash rock as they are reeling off catchy melodies.

Who else do you need, when Yellow Monsters can clearly do it all?

Watch the music video for the Yellow Monsters song "Commie" RIGHT HERE


Jeff Tobias is a composer, writer and multi-instrumentalist currently living in Brooklyn, New York. As of late, he has been researching arcane systems of tuning and working on his jump shot.   

Tagged :  Yellow Monsters, Commie, The Van, My Aunt Mary, GumX, Delislice, Korean Rock Recall, review


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