Punk ROK

I really love live music, and back home there’s a pretty good number of bands I try to see every time they come through town. Ever since I was 14 and started getting into “punk” music, going to “shows” has been a rather big part of my life, providing a sort of cathartic release with all the dancing, jumping around and singing along. While I may have outgrown some of the music, my concert-going days are far from over. Being on the other side of the world from all my old standbys can be a bit tough at times, and I’ve felt compelled to seek out some stand-ins. Because sometimes I’ve just gotta dance, and the K-pop/techno/top 40 music at the clubs doesn’t completely do it for me. Luckily when the need strikes, there’s a big enough scene here to keep me satisfied.

This list may best be summarized as “five bands for the slightly homesick American expat in Korea”:


Nachopupa is an incredibly stupid band name as far as I’m concerned (unless it means something in Korean that I’m unable to translate with my phone dictionary, which is entirely possible) but they play some good Irish punk – complete with accordion and tin whistle. They seem to do mostly upbeat covers of traditional Irish songs, similar to Flogging Molly, and they do a mean cover of “Drunken Lullabies” too (check out the video). They’re based out of Busan, so I’ve been able to catch them a few times and they’re always good for lots of jumping and sing-a-longs.

The Southbay

I saw The Southbay at Busan’s Battle of the Bands back in November, where they played a bunch of covers from Rancid’s …And Out Come the Wolves that had me bouncing off the walls reliving my sophomore year of high school. Most of their music sounds like it could be Rancid, if Tim Armstrong was singing in Korean. But regardless of whether they’re the most original band or not, I think their music and style are super fun. This video shows just how much they rock:


Nothing’s brought back high school memories as strongly as this band’s familiar blend of ska/punk. When I saw them in Busan, they even did a cover of Operation Ivy, which unfortunately I seemed to be the only one really excited about. They had lots of skank-able songs, and even encouraged “skanking” at one point – a culture-transcending dance move that’s just as popular with the kids over here as it is at a Bosstone’s show back in the US. It’s nice to know this music’s made it all around the world.


This is some of my favorite music from the past 8 months. Online I’ve seen them described as “street punk”, a genre I’m not very fond of as it’s usually associated with annoying teenage boys with ridiculously high mohawks and spike-covered leather jackets. But to me, their music is just super energetic and fun. I hope I’ll get to see them play some time so I can dance around.

Suck Stuff

These guys win for worst band name and lamest “tough-guy” picture, but I can’t help but enjoy the music. It’s also a bit reminiscent of Rancid, who seem to be pretty popular over here. I have yet to see them live, as they too seem to play exclusively in Seoul, but based on this amazing music video I can only imagine it would be tons of fun. I also can’t help but snicker at the accent on the one singer in this song.


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  1. Trackback: Duh-ruhnken Tiger « Annie Around the World

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