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5 K-pop Bands You Must Check Out

Rebecca Johansson



Monsta X band image
Epic Records

K-pop has become increasingly popular outside of Asia over the last 5-10 years. Whether you want to join the craze, or just discover some sick new beats, here are 5 iconic K-pop bands you need to check out.

Ngl, I’m loving the fact that Asian staples like anime and Korean pop are becoming hugely popular across the globe. In fact, I’m pretty sure the world consists of two kinds of people: those who love K-pop, and those who will eventually.

If you’re not yet in the K-pop fan camp, now is the time. Just give yourself over. It’s gonna happen eventually anyway.

But if you’re still resisting, this list is bound to make you think twice.

Here are some incredible bands to get you into this one-of-a-kind music genre.

1. Norazo

This is one of my all-time favourite K-pop groups: specifically during the time of its original members, Jo Bin and Lee Hyuk. Although they may be less well known than some of the other big-hitters on this list, once you dip your toes into the world of Norazo, there ain’t no going back.

The pair met accidentally when they started to use the same practice room. Lee’s physique and awesome voice caught Jo’s attention (can’t blame the guy, he’s only human). He decided to trick him into joining forces by telling Lee they would sing ballads (which makes sense if you’ve ever heard Lee’s insane vocal range).

Although they later decided to create music that was different from the usual K-pop sound, they became well known for their eccentricity and comical lyrics. The pair were together from 2005 to 2017 and made songs that still give me goosebumps.

2. Girls’ Generation

Originally a nine-piece group, yeah, you heard right: nine.. Jessica left in 2014 leaving Taeyeon, Tiffany, Hyoyeon, Sooyoung, Sunny, Seohyun, Yuri and Yoona. Their signature electro-bubblegum sound is hella infectious, and their videos are addictive to watch.

They’re nicknamed “The Nation’s Girl Group”. And, although they may look like a cutesy, butter-wouldn’t-melt gang, they squabble like siblings and have had a few major bust-ups. Some that almost resulted in their performances being cancelled.

Crazily, they also all used to live together in a dorm-type arrangement. They agreed on rules to keep their household running smoothly. This included playing rock, paper, scissors to decide the order of showers, and writing their initials in their underwear to keep them separate. They also had a quirky agreement where the first to wake up had to make breakfast, and the last had to clean everything up.

Although they’re not performing as a group anymore, their music is undoubtedly a hit.

3. BTS

Even if you’re not into K-pop bands, if you haven’t heard of these guys in our list of 5 then… where the hell’ve you been for the last seven years?! Heck, even John Cena’s a fan – counting RM and J-Hope as his favs.

BTS has seven members: RM, Jin, Suga, J-Hope, Jimin, V and Jung Kook. They produce most of their music, and have managed to become the highest-ranked Korean act on the Billboard 200.

These guys defy borders, and are one of few Korean bands to garner worldwide recognition. One of the reasons for their insane popularity is because their songs often have strong social messages. They’ve touched on everything from bullying to mental health issues.

They also love Twitter. Aside from competing between themselves to see who can get the most amount of re-tweets, they were also the first K-pop group to get their own Twitter emojis.

4. Blackpink

It’s taken just four years for BLACKPINK to become one of the biggest girl bands in the world. With members Jennie, Jisoo, Rosé and Lisa smashing records all over the place.

These girls are edgy, quirky, and have insane amounts of sass. Every song they release becomes a hit, and they’ve also collabed with the likes of Dua Lipa, Selena Gomez, and Lady Gaga.

They were the first K-pop girl group to play at Coachella, and to reach 1 billion YouTube views. Now, they’re the most-subscribed-to music group on the platform, and count Jake Gyllenhaal as a fan.

Does anyone miss S Club 7’s TV shows? Just me? K. But on a related note, these guys also have their own TV show: BLACKPINK House. You can watch them go about their daily lives doing everything from laundry to cooking (it’s way cooler than that it sounds ok).

5. Monsta X

K-pop’s bad boys defo deserve a spot on your playlist.

Breaking records and hearts all over the place, their hip-hop/EDM/pop style will grab you by the eardrums and immerse you in K-pop heaven.

Unlike many K-pop groups who keep their true selves away from the media spotlight, these guys have larger-than-life personalities and they ain’t afraid to show ‘em.

Their fierce vocals and catchy tunes give them a spot on my list any day. In fact, if you don’t put “Hero” on repeat after your first ever listen, you have more willpower than John Wick.

What did you think of our list of 5 K-pop bands to check out? Are there any K-pop bands you’d have liked to see up here? Let us know your thoughts below.

Check out our Anime for newcomers article HERE.

1 Comment

1 Comment

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    Alan Remmick

    December 8, 2020 at 8:12 am

    i love this immaculate post

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Movie News

The Seven Most Metal Movie Soundtracks

Aaron Phillips



The Crow soundtrack image

A great movie is a great movie. But metal soundtracks with a great movie takes it to another level. There have been a few movies with metal soundtracks over the years, but some are edgier than others.

I’m not talking about the ones that titter around the edges with dad rock like the Stereophonics, but full-on-horns-in-the-air metal.

Here are seven of the most metal movie soundtracks.

7. The Matrix (1999)

Science fiction and horror films do lend themselves to metal soundtracks, and the Matrix was no different. The Wachowski’s reality bender was ground-breaking in its content, but the music that accompanied it was just as memorable. It had a cracking soundtrack. It included tracks from Rammstein; Marilyn Manson; Deftones and those mad industrialists Ministry. And who can forget Rage Against the Machine kicking into Wake Up as the end credits roll? The follow-up film The Matrix Reloaded also had a great rock/electronica soundtrack, but the original had the darkest metal anthems.

6. The Crow (1994)

Released in 1994, The Crow was another cult movie. It’s remembered, rather tragically, for the accidental death onset of the lead actor Brandon Lee. The film itself is a dark masterpiece. The music from the film also lends itself to the darker recesses of music. The soundtrack is one of the heaviest ever released. Pantera; Nine Inch Nails; Rage Against the Machine and Helmet all lend enormous monoliths of metal to the album. It’s no coincidence that the soundtrack is so good, especially as the film revolves around a singer brought back from the dead. The brooding atmosphere through this film seeps onto the soundtrack but with added metal that’s heavier than an anvil. Definitely, one to listen to with the lights out.

5. Resident Evil (2002)

If there was one film that was made purely for a metal soundtrack, then it has to be Resident Evil. Nothing screams metal than blowing up zombies and monsters. Although there are many video games and movies to choose from, the first film from 2002 had a stunningly macabre soundtrack. Songs like My Plague by Slipknot fit like a glove. There is an industrial theme to the soundtrack. Bands like Coal Chamber, Static-X and Fear Factory offer up slabs of face-slamming metal. Marilyn Manson features heavily on the album (as he seems to on a lot of these), but there are a few lesser knows acts as well. Songs from Adema and Five Pointe O bring some extra brutality to proceedings but do not seem out of place. If you feel the need to go and shoot up some zombies, this is the soundtrack that you need.

4. Halloween (2007)

Let’s face it, a film written and directed by Rob Zombie is going to have a killer soundtrack. This remake of John Carpenter’s classic is a pretty decent effort, which can’t be said of all remakes. Zombie is also clever about who he puts in charge of the soundtrack. Tyler Bates is the man tasked with the job. As well as being the lead guitarist in Marylin Manson’s band, he’s also written scores for a plethora of films. One of the cool things he does is rewrite the original Halloween music slightly off-key. It works, and it does a great job of upping the creepy factor.

There is a host of excellent bands that offer monster tracks. Plus. there are songs from The Misfits, Alice Cooper, KISS and Nazareth. There is even a live version of Iggy Pop performing the Stooges ‘1969’. Halloween is a slasher masterpiece, and the soundtrack is all that you would expect, and more.

3. Queen of the Damned (2002)

Released in 2002, this vampire queen movie is tinged with tragedy. This is because Aaliyah who played the lead role was killed in a plane crash not long after the film was finished. She did a fantastic job of playing the vampire queen, with the film itself a classic in the genre. A lot of horror movies that were made around the early 2000s had similar music. This one features music from bands such as The Deftones, Disturbed, Marylin Manson and Papa Roach. Jonathan Davis from Korn was also in charge of producing all the music for the album, and it shows. It’s hard-hitting stuff that’s reflective of the nu-metal/industrial sound that was prevalent early in the decade. The perfect aperitif to the main course of bloodsucking.

2. Deathgasm (2015)

You would be forgiven for having no idea what this movie is, and that’s ok. It was made for a pretty niche audience. And by niche, I mean metal comedy horror. Made by New Zealand director Jason Lei Howden, this splatter-fest is full of metal anthems. In fact, the premise is around a guy who inadvertently summons evil by his guitar riffs. That may sound silly, and it is. But the whole thing is done very well, which allows for some pretty fantastic metal to feature throughout the film. Bands like Axeslasher, Skull Fist and Emperor all make an appearance. Raise those horns and grab a beer, as in you’re in for one hell of a ride.

1. Texas Chainsaw Massacre (2003)

This remake of a cult classic is as good if not better than the original film. This has to do with the better effects and atmosphere, but it also has something to do with the killer soundtrack that is on offer. Pantera, Meshuggah and Hatebreed all bring their A-game, as do the brilliant Lamb of God. Having some dreamy pop play whilst Leatherface wields his chainsaw around doesn’t have the same effect as some pounding metal.

Composer Steve Jablonsky also does a sterling job of creating some of the creepiest music ever to feature in film. His theme to the movie actually makes your skin crawl. It’s interesting to note that the original film featured local Texan bands. Although they are missing from this soundtrack, there is no denying the metal power that is on show.

And that’s our list of the seven most Metal movie soundtracks. Did we miss any? Let us know in the comments below.

Read about movie soundtracks better than the films HERE.

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