The Two Koreas

Rating: NNN Recorded in a day with Fucked Up producer Jon Drew to mark the band's 10th anniversary, this four-track EP.


Rating: NNN

Recorded in a day with Fucked Up producer Jon Drew to mark the band’s 10th anniversary, this four-track EP is a snapshot of local art rockers the Two Koreas’ manic, live-off-the-floor approach to rock ‘n’ roll.

Like classic post-punk groups that are obvious touch points – the Fall, Sonic Youth – the record walks the line between precision and catharsis. The riffs and drumming are fast and furious, the emotions nuanced and cerebral.

Frontman Stuart Berman breaks the heaviness with conversational sing-talking about bad tattoo parades, swinging dicks and rising cigarette prices. His singing sometimes feels self-consciously forced as he strives to deliver literate lyrics above rising noise on Je Lis En Francais and Can Explain, but therein lies the central tension. On the final track, Poor Man’s Tony Wilson Blues, the band veers into jangly alt-rock and embraces a pop hook with reckless abandon.

Top track: Poor Man’s Tony Wilson Blues

The Two Koreas play the Piston tonight (Thursday, March 6).

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