Artist: Bye Bye Badman
Released: April 29, 2017
Label/Distributor: Magic Strawberry sound
Korean band Bye Bye Badman are an indie electro-pop group from Seoul that owe their name to a Stone Roses song. Coming across them was bliss! There’s quite a lot of material already and some of it is really great stuff, like for instance, the promising 2016 “Genuine“single. If you dig J-pop/K-pop (like me) and also adore dreamwave and sophistipop/disco influences, this could very much be your thing! It definitely isn’t suitable for people that like their fair share of depression or darkness in music: it’s sugar coated, innocent, summer breeze, pink-cloud music that strongly emphasises and honours its genre. Personally, I prefer living inside an anime gem like “Card Captor Sakura” myself, and have this as a soundtrack to my life and never come down. But that’s personal I guess…..
Since the formation of Bye Bye Badman in 2010, the band has released two full length albums, with the most recent album in 2015. Bye Bye Badman have been playing plenty of festivals, having opened for notable acts such as Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds and The Pains of Being Pure at Heart and regular dates all over their country. Their sound has changed considerably from their start in 2010, when they set out making mod/power/indie pop, to their more current smooth sophisticated dream/electro pop sound.
Let’s be honest: their latest EP Wave will not go down as their best. After the excellent “Genuine” single I expected a bit more! That doesn’t mean it isn’t any good or that it is less pleasant than the preceding material though. It just simply doesn’t make a very solid statement like a lot of songs on the album “Authentic” (like “Moon” or “Stranger“) did!
First song “Wave” explores some interesting signature changes ( reminding me of the Aluminum Group’s “Mister Story Time“), feels laid-back with its breezy vocals and scintillating guitar, but is hardly memorable. The single “Colin” draws me in much more: it has a heavy, groovy bass-line, a catchy chorus, sweet piercing synths and that very wonderful fuzzy guitar solo at the end backed by an avalanche of dazzling fairy strings and chimes.
“Mercury” is just as groovy and starts out really promising, but then sort of drops and subsequently doesn’t seem to take off anymore after that…
The last track “Best Friends” is a much more uplifting electro disco tune with a funky, shimmering guitar bridge. Together with “Colin “, this is one the two strongest tracks on this EP including a “damn” infectious chorus: “You’re Damn right/Nothing lasts forever/Nothing’s gonna change”…
“Wave” is a great backtrack to our summer this year… it will suit mellow moods and cocktail sipping, but as far as the progression of things I do hope something’s gonna change… (a bit)