Thanks to the ever-increasingly far reaching and controversial public profile of Kpopalypse, web traffic has been hot lately, with several people visiting this site to take screencaps of my incredibly sexy and erudite writing so they can share it with their friends and gaze at it in sheer admiration on their social network of choice. Nevertheless I don’t want to feed my ego too much, so it seems like a good time to slow down the increasing interest in Kpopalypse blog by featuring some Korean groups that nobody gives a fuck about! That’s right caonimas, it’s time once again for Kpopalypse Nugu Alert!
Regular readers of Kpopalypse blog and especially the ever-popular weekly roundups will know that there’s a lot of new stuff that comes out each and every week. I do my best to cover as much relevant music as I can, but there’s simply no way known that I can cover it all. Even when deliberately restricting myself to feature tracks only, non-OST tracks only and the various other rules and regulations that determine what does and doesn’t get into roundup, plenty of music still slips by the wayside, and always will. In my estimation, for every release from a Korean artist that most k-pop fans have actually heard of, there’s about 80 “nugus” that have released something on the same day, and that may even be a conservative estimate. I could actually make Kpopalypse roundup a daily series instead of a weekly series if I wanted to, and it could still be about the same length that it currently is.
Since roundup can never be “complete”, when faced with the choice of what to include in roundups and what to exclude, I try and think about what my readers might have an interest in, seeing as how the main purpose of roundup is not to give readers “the complete run-down of everything that came out”, but rather a reason for readers to not feel like they have to continually ask me what I think of certain songs. Some music by a band in a genre that k-pop fans generally don’t care about, is therefore often going to get turfed in favour of the latest boy/girl group synchronised all-singing all-dancing combo that I will get asked a million times about if I don’t cover it. This episode of Kpopalypse Nugu Alert is dedicated to some artists who probably should have got into roundup but didn’t, because I assumed that nobody gave a fuck about the type of music they were making, and then I got bombarded with mega questions about them anyway, so here they are. Please enjoy!
The usual Kpopalypse Nugu Alert rules apply:
- Less than 20,000 views on official channels
- Not something your average k-pop fan is likely to care about
- Relevant to Kpopalypse
Let’s get started!
Zeebomb – 5Glove
Korean country music, it’s a thing that exists, and Zeebomb is here to show you how! Not to be confused with the Eastern European rap group, the song is actually fairly listenable as far as this type of thing goes, and while it’s certainly a little bit cringe, I get the feeling that Zeebomb himself is fully aware of this. You see, country music isn’t his usual gig – there’s a few videos here and there of him doing other things and it’s mostly either covers of really bad songs by other people or just the usual R&B stuff that everybody in Korea seemingly does all the time. So in faux country mode he’s all too willing to take the piss and ditch any sincerity as far as image goes, with his guitar falling off its strap (don’t worry it’s only a Gibson), immersion-breakingly modern wind farms in the background and some pretty out-there sexy moves which only get better and better as the video progresses. It’s all fairly entertaining, and whether any actual sincere country music exists in Korea I guess is a question I can’t answer for now, but then when we’ve got this, who really cares?
YouTube views at time of writing: 7163
Notable attribute: best random dancing in green fields to feature on Nugu Alert since Hexagonal Water back in Episode 19
Nugu Alert rating: high
J-Cat ft. Ovecoco – Same Time
Then there’s some songs which I ignore because of genre, but not because the genre is too different to everything else out there, but rather because it’s too similar to everything else out there. “Same Time” hit the YouTubes at the start of 2018 just when the tropical shithouse fad (which is now thankfully finally running out of steam) was at its horrendous peak, and I rightfully binned the thing in disgust at the time because it has one of the most horribly squaky and unlistenable iterations of the typical trop-slop chorus that I can think of. It’s just the pure density of craptacular songs at the time that prevented this piece of shit from winding up in 2018’s worst of k-pop list, and J-Cat should definitely be grateful for that. The video is also pretty bad, a sappy piece of drama nonsense which basically is guy meets girl/guy introduces girl to various sporting activities/guy and girl hug a lot/that’s about all she wrote, there’s not even a good old car crash or Korean organ-harvesting gang abduction to break things up. At least they have the usual token “being miserable on a bridge” scene at the end of it, which is probably what they deserve for foisting this horrible music on us.
YouTube views at time of writing: 1960
Notable attribute: motorcycle helmet sticker says “zero to bitch in 2.3 seconds” which is about the amount of time I was able to tolerate the chorus of this song on first listen
Nugu Alert rating: very high
Soumbalgwang – Shine
K-pop idol groups always try for that “adorkable” vibe each and every time, but it always comes off as fake and rehearsed, because it so obviously is. There’s no way known that any rational mature adult can be convinced that the average group of between 3 and 13 teenagers and twentysomethings in idol groups just consistently gets along like best buddies the way their official media shows. When the stakes to stay together whatever the cost are astronomically high, such as with the biggest groups right now, the tensions are no doubt only amplified. You can absolutely guarantee that the members of BTS all seethe with bitter resentment as soon as the cameras are off, and the internal girl-on-girl politics of a group like Twice probably would surely be enough to trigger the anxiety in just about anyone. Nothing against those groups in particular – ALL idol groups are to some degree like this behind the scenes. So it’s good to see a video from a bunch of real dorks who are genuinely likeable and probably all get along just fine because the stakes are super-low for a group like this. “Shine” is a rippingly fast piece of shoegaze-pop (186 BPM!) which is like the guitar-based equivalent of 912 Crew’s “Roller Skate“, and you should stan these warts-and-all nugus, look here’s their Bandcamp which they’re too nugu to even remember to link from their YouTube video, buy their songs cunts.
YouTube views at time of writing: 927
Notable attribute: bass player still has the sticker on his Fender American Standard Jazz Bass from when he bought it, dude you’re supposed to peel those things off
Nugu Alert rating: extreme
That’s all for this episode of Kpopalypse Nugu Alert! I’m aware that it’s been a while between episodes of this series, so you can expect the next episode a lot sooner than usual, to slow down that web traffic even more! Expect it fondly!