Is it still Nugu Alert November? Yes it is! This means another episode of Kpopalypse Nugu Alert is here to entertain you! Read on for more nugus!
When I nominated November as Nugu Alert November, I used it as a way to give Kpopalypse readers a space to think about something else other than the many strange cultural events that happen around the world on November which may or may not interest them. However I forgot one important event from my list of November events that a lot of my readers get drawn into, willingly or not, which is Thanksgiving. Now Thanksgiving is a holiday specific to the USA which is probably why I forgot about it, and I don’t really know what it’s about other than complaining about colonialism and driving around a lot (as these are the only things people seem to talk about regarding Thanksgiving on my Twitter feed) but since the USA remains the country with the largest amount of Kpopalypse readers I thought I should also add it to the list.
I’m going to broadly assume that Thanksgiving might also have something to do with being thankful for stuff, hence the name, which may or may not even be correct but let’s just run with that because fuck knows how I’m going to segue this preamble into talking about music otherwise. If I think about what I should be thankful for in 2021, it’s that in these days where high-production machine-driven electronics are at the forefront of modern popular music, rock music made with guitars and drums also still exists and shows no real signs of dying out – if anything the pandemic has recently invigorated an entire new generation to take up the challenge of learning rock instruments just as something to do with their time while they wait for lockdowns to expire, and now that things are very slowly getting back to some form of normality there’s a whole crop of bands out there eager to showcase their newfound skills and bring rock to the world. So this episode of Kpopalypse Nugu Alert is dedicated to music which is still bringing the rock into the k-pops.
Usual rules apply:
- Less than 20,000 views on official channels
- Probably not part of your city’s post-pandemic 2022 arena touring schedule
- Relevant to Kpopalypse
In this series the “notable attributes” have also all been changed to guitar safety OH&S compliance tips, to help all you aspiring rockers out there have a happy and safe 2022 when performing in videos or on live stages.
Springs – Alley Captain
I’ve got to admit that Springs didn’t make a good first impression on me, with the first part of the song being fairly lightweight and uninteresting. Also the wobbly camera work in the video is piss-fartingly annoying, I made the grave mistake of devouring half a block of chocolate to draw a line underneath a recent illness-induced fasting just before I turned this video on, and the resultant shaking and out-of-focus blurring made me think I was going into some kind of blood-sugar-induced paroxysm. Just as well the drummer is dressed in nothing but bright orange, using her puffy beanie as a focal point was probably what allowed me to retain my consciousness. However my mood greatly improved at 2:24 when the band slip into their post-second chorus 70s metal style guitar solo, and honestly it’s one of the most melodic and well-structured guitar solos I’ve ever heard from any rock group anywhere in recent memory. Eventually they do get back into the chorus again and it’s a shame because I feel like Springs have really missed their calling as an instrumental guitar solo group, but whatever the case please enjoy the best guitar solo this year from a Korean artist, probably.
Youtube views at the time of writing: 1130
Guitar safety OH&S compliance tip: Very risky standing of a guitar on its headstock against the back wall, guess it’s not a Gibson or the head would have snapped off during the video shoot
Nugu Alert rating: very high
Pattys ft. Victor Ha – Egg and Vinegar
Now it’s time for some punk rock, and while I don’t think the song here is the best example of the genre you’ll ever hear, it’s certainly heavy enough and has the right attitude. While to an outsider punk music can seem kind of angsty and belligerent, when you’re on the inside actually performing, playing and experiencing this music, it’s really just a whole lot of fun, and this song and video both fairly successfully capture that feeling of good rocking fun times. Much like the song from Springs above, this song actually gets better and better as it progresses, and I especially love the gang vocals plus the contribution from the guy who screams his tits off at the end, who I assume is Victor Ha. We even once again get a guitar solo, so that’s a bonus, even if it’s not very technical it doesn’t have to be, any guitar solo is better than none and it fits into the music and gets the job done. Why Korea doesn’t have more of a punk scene I’ll never know but I’m hoping for more songs this good in 2022.
Youtube views at the time of writing: 496
Guitar safety OH&S compliance tip: At 2:36 the bassist demonstrates the correct way to swing your instrument around your body without dropping it like a moron
Nugu Alert rating: very high
Hashigeyo – Say “Yaho”
If heavy distortion isn’t your style, how about some clean funk guitars? The guys from Hashiyego have their Fender arsenal in full force and deliver a pretty smooth instrumental funk track that doesn’t make the mistake of being boring or soft like most Korean funk style tunes, thanks to having a pretty punchy beat. Instrumental tracks can feel a bit dry to visual-centric pop lovers, but the members of the group are obviously wise to the need for some visual presentation so they’ve employed a dancer who spins around at the front of the stage in the best Happy Mondays/The Prodigy tradition of “I’m just here to dance and do nothing else in particular really”. Guitar solos are again catered for, and the invisible keyboard player adds the icing on the cake with some much needed musical variation, the result is definitely a far better piece of music in this style than I’ve become accustomed to, especially this year where the quantities of dull funk boredom have been off the charts.
Youtube views at the time of writing: 312
Guitar safety OH&S compliance tip: The bass guitar may look like it’s leaning against the amp, but this would actually cause it to slide off for sure, at 1:20 you can clearly see it’s secured properly on a stand, good work guys
Nugu Alert rating: extreme
Lee Hong Kyu ft. Peace Park – Relationships
Perhaps on the other hand you prefer your guitar and drum-based musical action to be completely dry and uncompromising, in which case “Relationships” is definitely the music for you. Presumably the song’s title is a reference to polyrhythmic relationships, as this instrumental track is indeed very polyrhythm-friendly with the drums firing off constantly in a massive explosion of mathematics which make the “fap equations” seem relatively comprehensible. I don’t know which one of these people is Lee Hong Kyu and which is Peace Park, I also don’t know why there’s nobody else visible in the video besides the guitarist and drummer, there’s really a lot to unravel here and I’m not sure if I could be bothered. However the track is pretty good with some nice solos and the rhythms are bamboozling enough to keep egghead progressive rock nerds very happy, so enjoy if that’s your thing.
Youtube views at the time of writing: 275
Guitar safety OH&S compliance tip: no chances taken here, the only OH&S danger I could find is the weird trap nonsense also hiding out on this person’s channel.
Nugu Alert rating: extreme
That’s all for this episode of Kpopalypse Nugu Alert! The series will return soon with more nugus!