Sunday, April 10, 2011

North Korea - Basement Tapes vol. 1 Review

North Korea - a name shrouded in mysticism and fear. No, we're not talking about the country, but rather the band. Not much is known about this group of four guys besides where they came from. Each brings with them a better known history from a different band, and the desire to make the music they want to make.

And with the release of their first EP, Basement Tapes vol. 1, it's clear these guys are in no way creating music to fulfill a scene, label or set of industry standards.

Comprised of ex-members from a slew of different bands including Ryan Hunter and Brian Byrne from Envy On The Coast, Michael Sadis of The Rivalry and Billy Rymer from Dillinger Escape Plan, North Korea have been hard at work over the past few months creating one of the most in-your-face, "dilligaf", EPs that 2011 will see.

Consisting of only four songs, Basement Tapes manages to not only show a multitude of the band's influences, but also stands as an extension of where the members' other musical outlets couldn't go. The record is discordant, infectious and downright brutal at times. But keep listening and you'll hear some softer areas and a catchiness that will keep you coming back for more.

Take for instance the EP's third track, "Laced", which could be an evil twin brother b-side from EOTC's 2010 release, Lowcountry. It starts with a certain energy brooding from the driving bass line before exploding into the full-throttle chorus.

Don't expect to hear only what drew you in to liking each artist's prior musical gig, though. North Korea's Basement Tapes isn't full on metal, far from emo rock and not anything you'd expect to get as the next step from any member. But hey, this is rock 'n' roll being rock 'n' roll and it's not supposed to be safe.

In a scene that has become wrapped up in the marketing and money side of music, North Korea are taking a step to make music for the sake of making music. They're even offering Basement Tapes for free download to anyone willing to listen.

For your free copy of Basement Tapes vol. 1, click HERE.

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