Tuesday, September 15, 2015
Inspired by (or should I say riding on the coat-tails of) the should-be-more-praised I Hate The 90s comes the second record by South Korean grunge lords Noizegarden. Slavish Soundgarden fanboy moniker aside, the music sounds exactly like what you'd expect from an Asian bandwagon band jumping into the fray five years after the style they so fervently revere has departed for the cut-out bin. Still, aside from my deadpan (and terribly jaded) historical assumptions, But Not Least is a fucking solid LP from guys who obviously enjoyed what they were playing (are you listening, Jonathan Davis???) and sound more like what I wish Badmotorfinger actually ended up being. It's easy imagining guitarist/founder 윤병주 strumming a pristine 7-string Ibanez through tracks like "I Do Not Want Anymore" with a big fucking smile. His guitar work is effortless and almost sounds like Slash as he noodles his way up and down the fret with a sluggish confidence - really impressive. Sure, lead singer 박건 is a lot more melodic then the Chris Cornell-ish wailing you'd come to expect with a band like this but simply imagine Cobain singing for Soundgarden and I think you'll get the idea. There's some great feedback manipulation on a couple tunes which would never had made it into a Sub Pop release and while they were probably a decade too late to make it on this side of the hemisphere it's still a rocking 57 minutes. Enjoy.