Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Reviews:: The Two Koreas Sessions EP

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There's a terrific scene in Ratatouille where the spindly armed, long faced critic realizes that at best, his words are still nothing in comparison to those who create even the most mediocre product. I've always believed this to be true, which is why you never really read scathing reviews or quick dismissals on herohill. So, before we get started I'll just admit that it's easier to throw this out there and move on. Front man Stuart Berman writes for Pitchfork as well as the highly credible Eye Weekly, but rather than hiding behind his pen (errr… keyboard), his band - The Two Koreas - opened themselves up to the harsh ears of their peers.

The thing is ... The Two Koreas really know what they are doing. Sure, a cynic could say of course music critics can write music that impresses other music critics, but their modern take on '77 style punk hits you in the jaw with swagger and disdain, but they add more than enough melody to keep you bouncing. They site the right influences (VU, Stooges, Steely Dan), but the band never seems like they are trying to ape any of the acts. In fact, despite drawing from the same sonic library, The Two Koreas seems to be doing their damnedest to make sure you never try to lump them into those all too common descriptors.

So why am I talking about them a year after their last record dropped? Well, they are about to release a live recording from XM Radio session - cleverly titled, Sessions - which features a collection of tracks from their first two LPs and a sizzling new one - Withering Heights - that will be released in EP form later this year. If you are new to the band, this is a great introduction. First thing first, the key to their sound is putting the huge bass lines front and center. Ian Worang leaves no fret untouched and his steady fills push Berman's vocals along and let Kieran be creative with guitar bursts and riffage.

Instead of solely focusing on Berman's piss and vinegar, you want to get up and dance. Instead of hustling for artistic appreciation, The Two Koreas are more concerned with their fans drinking some pints and having a good f*cking time. Whether it's the driving pulse of Steely Can, the machine gun drumming that finishes off Cloth Coat Revolution or the straight ahead, no bullshit of Boy Teen Oslo, this EP should find a spot in anyone's collection. Plus, it's a vinyl only release. Would you expect anything less from a group of writers and critics?

Posted at 8:54 AM by ack :: 1 comments

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At 9:14 PM, Anonymous Anonymous did sayeth:

pretty cool track.. kind of BSS meets talking heads


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