Gumiho were introduced to us as a female fronted punk band from Seoul, Korea. Their debut self titled EP doesn’t really need any introduction at all, it’s a sharp, punchy, kickass little slice of retro punk rock wizardry.
It opens with Cigarettes and the EP wastes no time in laying out exactly what it’s about. The drums are machine guns peppering the backbeat with a level of precision and power that even a metaphorical instrument of death couldn’t match, it’s a huge sound. The guitar comes in with a monstrous riff to match and from the first line the vocals demonstrate that this is gonna be one hell of a mosh pit.
Tracks like When Your Regret Isn’t Regret and Dusty Memory show a slightly more melodic and softer side to the band. Yet even here there is no shortage of electricity and venom. It gives you a taste of their range as a unit and the scope of their song writing tackling more emotional subjects with the same fierce tenacity as everything else.
Also it should be said that the intro to When Your Regret Isn’t Regret absolutely slays. If it had stayed at that level for the entire track I would probably be booking a flight to Korea to become a groupie.
The obvious single Hey! You! sits pretty at the perfect centre of the EP, it’s a chewy, sour but sweet bubble gum pop punk banger and it’s been stuck in my head since the first listen.
“I don’t care if you loved me like a video game.
I gave you all the trust. You had to use it against me.””
Lyrically it’s playful yet powerful and that is matched in the vocals and the seriously furious drums and guitar. The building crescendo and drop out of all the instruments and chanting chorus is an pleasure to hear each and every time.
The EP closes with Underwater which is just as raucous as anything that came before. It’s foul mouthed with a bad attitude and it couldn’t be cooler.
Gumiho are rocking out with a sound that is both retro and completely contemporary. The vocals straddle triumphantly over the black and blue bruised corpse of the lo-fi low energy that is far too popular in the mainstream. This is music with a serious attitude and the passion is oozing from the bloody beating heart of it.
Every song roars and the EP as a whole should leave the world trembling. Seoul got soul, and they’re not afraid to show it.
“Hey! You! Hey you silly motherfucker!” go out and buy this EP for yourself from the Gumiho Bandcamp
Words by Matt Miles