Korea

For The Present Purpose

Written by: PP on 30/03/2009 19:37:19

Formed in Stockholm, Sweden six years ago, it has taken quite a while for Korea to compose a full length's worth of material for their debut album "For The Present Purpose". But I suppose that's understandable considering how much the band borrows from bands like Tool and especially A Perfect Circle, whose material often features so much depth and intricate detail that it takes several months for the listener just to get acquainted with the basics. Think of the music those two bands release as a form of rocket science, something which has always been a bit of a problem preventing a friendship between me and especially the former of the two bands (I still haven't become friends with "10,000 Days").

Now, Korea definitely sounds a lot more like "Mer De Noms"-era A Perfect Circle, but occasionally vocalist Michael Ehrnstén shares so much common ground with the angry vocal harmonies of the Maynard in Tool that it's difficult to distinguish between the two, the chorus of "Insufficient Karma" being a good example. And when he doesn't sound like Maynard in Tool, he sounds almost identical to the smoother, calmer delivery of Maynard in A Perfect Circle, so I guess constant comparison between said bands and Korea is inevitable in any review. That's why the best way to describe Korea is to describe them as a less pretentious version of Tool. These guys are much more about the solid melody that's easy to remember than the artsy-fartsyness of any Tool recording. It also means they are much more accessible, a welcome musical trait for a listener whose attention-span can't quite cope with the detail of Maynard's projects.

The choruses in songs like "Self-Deception" are so solid that you'll be humming the melody after just hearing it once. But even the verses have been well crafted; although "Above" has little more to offer than a basic drum beat and Deftones-esque screeching guitars by the instrumentation, Ehrnstén's melancholic croon is very effective in creating a haunting, nostalgia-filled mood throughout. And mood is what "For The Present Purpose" does best, ranging from the hurting melancholy of a number of tracks to the more industrial vibe of something like "GPHH38". But while Korea have perfected their sound to something that's easily identifiable, the clear problem is still that you'll identify it much more with A Perfect Circle than the band itself. Nonetheless, that doesn't take anything away from the strong melodies of the album that promise a bright future for these guys - this is experimental rock made accessible to the general audiences.

8

Download: Insufficient Karma, Self-Deception, Above
For the fans of: Tool, A Perfect Circle, Deftones
Listen: Myspace

Release date 27.03.2009
ViciSolum Productions

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