GUMX - Green Freakzilla? (Cover Artwork)


Green Freakzilla? (2004)

Dream On

Green Freakzilla? is the latest effort from South Korean pop-punk band GUMX and their best to date as they push for more well deserved international attention. The three piece started in 1996 under the name GUM playing over 1000 shows in Seoul's trendy Sinch'on and Hong'ik districts during Korea's brief explosion of punk in '98-'99. They released an album, changed their drummer and then changed their name. This is their second release under the name GUMX, following up last year's What's Been Up? released on Japan's Toy Factory label and causing a wave of interest in the band. They were invited to play several large festivals and had their song featured on Japanese broadcasting network TBS's "Super Soccer." All of this culminated in them joining the Suicide Machines on their Japanese tour.

GUMX lists bands such as Green Day, NOFX and Hi-Standard among their influences and have a sound much akin to Fat Wreck Chords' now well defined style. That their new album fits this style tighter than ever may be attributed to their collaboration with American producer Ryan Green who has previously worked with NOFX, Hi-Standard and others. Green Freakzilla? is thirteen songs chock full of fast, punchy guitars, melodic vocals and harmonic backups. They are tight with lot of changes to keep everything interesting and the vocal melodies tend to twist around as much as Lee Yong Won's face as he sings them. The album title describes a bright happy world on the outside which is spoiled by hidden problems lying just out of sight; this is also typical of their songs, which on the surface have a light happy feel, while the lyrics tend to be depressing and self-defacing.

Although their first release was entirely in English, this one features two different versions: one in Korean and one in English, the latter of which is to be released on Japan's Toy Factory label later this month. GUMX is by far the best skate punk band to come out of Korea and they are a trio well worth keeping your eyes on!