Girls & Guitars: K-Girls Rocking the Hallyu Wave
Despite a disappointing foray into swing-pop on their 2011 return Sixth Sense, individual B.E.G. projects have wielded some great surprises, like the spooked pop of Narsha’s Bbi Ri Bba Bba. Moody and different like Abracadabra, but without a need for overt sexuality, the rather bizarre promo for the song takes the Gaga aesthetic away from Eurotrashiness, and makes far better use of the American star’s penchant for strange costumes and androgyny.
Bandmate Miryo meanwhile went solo in 2012 to come up with Dirty, a punky pop number served well by a devilishly skewed MV, Park Chan-wookesque in its depiction of a comatose Carrie-in the making who watches as her lover routinely gets it on with the nurse during visiting hours. The spitefully rapped verses remind you how Korean women are the only Asians who can really carry a nastay mouth straight outta the Bronx, and the bridge is a barked series of threats that I really wouldn’t want to get on the wrong side of. There’s an all-out rock version of the song too , but check out the original first.
Anyone looking for more signs of upheaval in the world of KPop should also note the arrival of Sweet Revenge, who go out on stage with guitars and drums to perform their own material, but without a team of songwriters like CNBlue have. Despite the ‘sell-out’ misgivings of fans who knew them from their indie days, it’s still encouraging to see a girl band rock out on a major label, and it’ll be very interesting to see how they climb the ranks in 2013.
Similarly keep an eye on Yoari, who burst onto the scene with the roaring Do You Like It? in January. The closest counterpoint I can think of is Siouxsie Soux singing over QOTSA in gonzo mode, with a chorus that actually outrocks more ‘credible’ rock bands like Jaurim, who sound tepid in the afterglow of Yoari’s shreddage.
Interestingly, Yoari was supposed to be the fifth member of Brown Eyed Girls, but her image was considered to be at odds with the band’s more ‘innocent’ look back in the day. Do you like it? I think you will.