Galaxy Express

Galaxy Express

Written by: BV on 23/04/2013 20:43:42

The South-Korean garage/psychedelic/punk rockers in Galaxy Express are completely new acquaintances to me - and to level with you, I don’t think I’ve ever heard any music from South-Korea that has actually piqued my interest. Nothing comes to mind, at least. This eponymous album is their third full-length and they have previously harvested loads of critical acclaim in the Asian part of the world. So now I am actually wondering – is this something I am going to dig, or is it a swing and a miss since I have little-to-no experience with Asian bands in general?

Well, as soon as the opening track “Riding the Galaxy” hit me, I was immediately thinking about legends of garage-rock MC5, as well as the Danish legends in Baby Woodrose. - A mighty stamp of approval indeed, as the opener blasts through two minutes of intense and somewhat fast-paced guitar-riffs, pounding bass lines and infectious drum-beats. What about the vocals then? Well, they are shown from their best side on the track “How Does It Feel?” where they are momentarily breathy and somewhat airy, whilst instantly switching to a somewhat more ‘forced’ kind of wailing, as the song picks up the tempo.

“How Does It Feel?” differs quite a bit from the rest of the album, as the garage has been downplayed in favor of the slightly psychedelic and almost space-rock reminiscent soundscape, as there is a constant sound of oscillating echo tones lurking underneath the gritty guitar sounds. – on this particular track, the Baby Woodrose similarities are striking, to my ears at least, whilst Galaxy Express still maintains a slightly more pop-oriented style. – Even on the long-runners like “How Does It Feel?” that climbs to nearly 7 minutes.

The album also contains a slightly downplayed track that is predominantly acoustic. “Remember The Day”, as the track is called, is a mellow ballad that breaks away from the rest of the album aesthetic as the guitar is quietly being strummed and the vocals have taken a dramatic turn into the ‘sensitive-singer/songwriter-type’ territory. While never really reaching a climax that truly distinguishes this track from the rest, it is a pleasant little break from the gritty guitars that could, arguably, have been left out for a slightly tighter and more focus album. Even though I find many of these sounds and twists quite familiar and enjoy them for the same reason, I can’t help but feel as though there isn’t anything to really set Galaxy Express apart from the loads of other garage-psych bands that are currently out there. – but I do believe they’re on the right track to getting there, so hopefully they will continue to develop within these particular styles and evolve into something that truly sets them apart from the massive amount of bands in the same genre.

As a whole though, I would certainly say that my first Asian music encounter was quite pleasant and I’m actually digging the sounds a lot. Perhaps I’ll get to see these guys play live in the future as they’ve certainly got a little ‘pop-sensibility’ to them, that makes them a bit easier to swallow for the slightly more mainstream markets.

Download: Riding The Galaxy, How Does It Feel?, Horongbul
For The Fans Of: The Setting Son, MC5, Baby Woodrose, Zap Dragon & the Attack

Release Date 26.11.2012
Loverock Company

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