[HOT TRACK]Too lazy to slow down the beatThe music pumped out by the local underground band Lazybone is anything but slothful. To the contrary, the group's ska-slash-punk sound is gutsy, uptempo and high-spirited.
Lazybone was born in 1997, and soon began playing small clubs in the Hongik University area. It still plays the venue Drug Club on most Saturday nights, often followed by the kings of underground rock, Crying Nut. Lazybone is made up of six tight friends: Jundoy handles the vocals, Ro Jinu and Im Jun-kyu the guitars, An Kyoung-soon bass, Kim Seok-nyun -- who goes by the charming sobriquet DJ Suck -- drums and Jin Toshio, a Japanese student studying here, trumpet.
"Lazy Diary," to be released Thursday, is the band's first album-length studio disk. The sextet had produced a few CD singles, including a punked-over version of a candy-pop ballad by the local pretty-girl group Fin K.L., "Ruby." It had also been involved in a few collaborative CDs.
Only a few bands have effectively blended the pessimistic angst of punk with the upbeat spirit of ska. Sublime, from Long Beach, California, comes to mind. But Lazybone pulls it off here. The sound is steeped with gusto and humor ?it's clear that the band members love music and love life. That sentiment is effected mostly by Jin's trumpeting, which in almost every song both harmonizes with and tempers the edgy guitars and bass.
Akin to the contradiction in the band's name, though, Lazybone's lyrics tend to the morose. While the music is immediately uplifting and happy-go-lucky, the words are steeped with darkness and despair. Here they sing about a down-and-out prostitute, there a person who's homeless and hopeless and there a senile grandmother who's been deserted by her family.
Punk's conventional bourgeois-loathing stance emerges in tracks like "Kkareubitong" (a combination of Cartier and Louis Vuitton), in which a pensive loser says good-bye to his spoiled-rich girlfriend. Jundoy and Ro Jinu chant: "For me, shorts are better than expensive suits, and a shot of cheap soju beats a glass of classy wine." In "Sopaewang" ("Little Emperor"), the group launches an all-out attack against the arrogant sons of the nouveau riche.
The last cut, "Jeongyeolui Pa-iteo" ("Fighter of Passion"), asks, "The blackest darkness falls just before the dawn. Will my life have sunlight someday?" Judging by the passion in its music, the sun should be rising soon on Lazybone's career.
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