Elizabeth: There’s only two chords in the verse.
Henry: Yeah, it’s cool. It’s a good little vamp. Oh! Umu: So now you’ll be reacting to the K-indie rock band called Hyukoh. The first song you’ll be reacting to is called ‘Citizen Kane’ and was released on their 2018 album. The song warns that living in excess of anything can lead to unhappiness and harm. Jason: The song questions fast-paced living and serves as a reminder to take things slowly. Umu: And the album that this song is from contains recurring themes of rebellion, love, and happiness. Henry: Three, two, one. Lindsey: This is not moderation, we are movin’.
Fiona: Oh, so it’s fast-paced. So this is representing too fast. Rachel: The angst. Jarod: Na-na-na-na….It fits, man. Henry: I dig like the surf-rock vibe.
Elizabeth: Yes. Let’s do parallel 5ths. Rachel : It’s like a whole different genre.
Hugo: Yeah Rachel: It’s like almost alternative.
Hugo: Yeah, I know. it’s like a mixture of like, hard rock and then sixties.
Rachel: Yeah, yeah, yeah. The beat isn’t sixties.
Rachel: The instrumentation and echo. Isaac: (singing) Kevin: I like the syncopation–duh-duh-duh. Kevin: Half time–correct. Fiona: Now I’m no longer going like this, I’m going like…
Lindsey: Yeah. Fiona: Let’s just not talk when we react, let’s just dance. This is how this makes me feel. Now it’s like…
Lindsey: But then that scream, and then all of a sudden it comes back in super fast-paced. That is so awesome. Rachel: That drummer’s gonna die.
Hugo: Very wall of sound.
Rachel: Yeah, yeah, yeah. How do you….? Kevin: I mean, it’s not that harmonically, you know, crazy, but it’s just a solid song with a lot of good, different sections. Elizabeth: The like, super-jammin drums and the very grungy guitars and bass–it just makes me feel anxious. Which is definitely a personal opinion. Henry: Yeah. See, and I can understand why you feel that way, but like, it frees me. Jarod: I has like, like the quarter notes feels like it’s driving, but
yet slightly delayed. Does that make sense? Collin: Yeah. Jarod: It’s really cool. Stephen: I think the half time’s really effective, because I feel like just because of what the drums are doing, it just, how it feels more cut time.
Stephen: I feel like if they didn’t have a section like this–it almost allows you, as a listener, to catch your breath. Seiji: Yeah, it would be a little too much.
Stephen: Otherwise I feel like yeah, too much. I’d be like, oh, my goodness.
Seiji: Yeah, definitely too much. Rachel: Oh, my God, the chorus is a lot. Is this like, horns? It’s more like everybody play now.
Hugo: This is like, my blood pressure is increasing.
Rachel: Chord, chord, chord, chord, chord, chord. Yeah, it almost sounds like that thing that when you go like this when you’re listening to music, like, with your ears, and it sounds like (distorted singing) Lindsey: It just…
Fiona: (singing) it’s so good. Fiona: And the drums are persistent at the (imitating drums).
Lindsey: Yeah. Lindsey: Whoa.
Fiona: That was like, the ????? at the end
Lindsey: That was just…oh, my God. Fiona: That was so cool. I think that really went with the message, like how it was like, pow, pow, pow! Relentless–everything going so quickly, and then it like slowed down, and then there was a scream each time after the half time. It was like, aaugh!–And it was like, back into that. Their guitarist is so good. Like, I loved the sound and the notes, like Lindsey said.
Lindsey: Can we just listen to that a couple more times and then just call it a day? I’d be happy. Umu: Please sum up your thoughts and then explain maybe, why, to those who don’t know how drum set works,
Umu: why that part is tiring. Stephen: The drum set part is tiring just because like you hear the hi-hat going, like, (clapping), like playing a lot of eighth notes, so he’s probably doing that with one hand. Which, like, if you do that for four minutes, like, is tiring, just like, muscle-wise. Also, all the fills he was doing were sixteenth notes, like, (mimicking drum). So I mean, just out of personal experience playing a song like that, like, I used be in a rock band, my hands would hurt, just because you’re also using bigger sticks, because you’re playing with other Instruments that are amplified. It’s not like jazz, where most of the instruments are acoustic. So because of that, and you’re using larger sticks, it just requires a lot more muscles from your hands and arms, which is just like gonna make you tired. That’s why like a lot of people in like hard rock and heavy metal bands and stuff like that, if you look at the drummers, a good portion of them are like, legit ripped. Like, they’re very fit, cuz you need to be to play music like that. Henry: That was great. I loved it. From like, a technical standpoint, the drumming was awesome–super high energy. The bass playing was cool. The format of the song was awesome. I thought it was a perfect length for what it was. They didn’t over saturate with words, they allowed there to be like, instrumental sections that kind of like let it breathe, gave it a couple different colors, which was cool. I thought it was awesome. And now for a totally different opinion. Elizabeth: No, I mean like first someone who enjoys that kind of music, it’s a gem. I tend to find like, super-grungy music is just very stressful for me to listen to, for whatever reason. Colin: I think there are bands that have done similar things. I thought that the rhythm at the end actually, when the guy was soloing over it, which was almost like a Celtic rhythm, that was kind of cool, actually. I just, I listen to a lot of rock, and this doesn’t seem like anything new or original, except for maybe the rhythm at the end, and maybe…The texture I thought was actually pretty solid. But like, they’re obviously good musicians, they’re all playing together, the singer was good, the solo was fine, but like, ehhh… yeah, I didn’t like it.
Umu: Okay. Isaac: Wow. The way that just makes you want to anticipate like, what they’re gonna sing.The lyrics they were singing, it’s like. why are you…is it why are you rushing, taxi driver?
Kenvin: Uh-huh. Isaac: Yeah, it’s like, just having that lyric line. And the way it changes, so like, you would just say it normally, and then later you have layers, and then after it becomes like a chant, and it’s so cool. Jason: Next up is another one of their songs. So this is one of the 2014 releases, called ‘Our Place’. Umu: ‘Our Place’ is a song about loneliness, and the singer wants someone special to hold them tight. even though that person is out of reach and lives a completely different life. Kevin: For real, though. All right. You go. Isaac: Hugo, Hyukoh. Rachel: Hey, hey. It’s almost funk. Henry: Yeah! This is awesome. I love this. Stephen: Weird progression, with like the bass line.
Seiji: It is, it is. Parallel. Henry: The drumming is so tight. The bass playing is super-groovin’.
Henry: Holy f*ck! Elizabeth: That bass player is jammin’. Kevin: He uses the same melody for two chords that are a tritone apart, which is pretty incredible. Collin: I love how the bass keeps building. Elizabeth: There’s only like two chords in the verse.
Henry: Yeah, it’s cool. It’s a good little vamp. Oh! Kevin: Now, these two chords are a major second apart, so it’s a more back and forth, instead of that jarring, hopping around quality. Fiona: I love the triplet motifs throughout this.
Lindsey: I do too, and I like how they’re having his voice coming with like–his vocal rhythm is the same as what’s happening in the drums, like they’re together.
Fiona: Yeah. Lindsey: it’s like rhythmic unison right there.
Fiona: Oh, yeah, with the guitar, as well.
Lindsey: Yeah. Henry: This is like such interesting songwriting,
Henry: cuz like, every–I think I probably said this before–every turn feels new, but familiar. Henry: It’s perfect. It’s so valuable in pop music. Kevin: Oh! Kevin: So you get a smoother version of the tritone progression as well. Almost octatonic stuff going on. Ooh! The song has its own logic, like it lands on an A major dominant seventh chord for some reason. Rachel: Yeah, somebody needs to solo. That’s what it needs. Okay, great. Lindsey: This is cool because it’s like, total improvisation-sounding in the guitar, but then the drums are doing kind of like a marching band kind of thing.
Fiona: It’s militaristic.
Lindsey: Yeah. Military-like. So it’s like, that’s very structured and the guitar is very not structured, going on at same time.
Fiona: True. Rachel: Like, the background parts are so rhythmically focused that it’s repetitive, but it’s interesting.
Hugo: Um-hmm. Rachel: (singing) Hugo: (singing) Rachel: I also like how his voice is mixed. Fiona: The vocal melody here has the potential to sound optimistic, and every time I kind of expect that, but every time it’s like, na-na, and then it doesn’t go anywhere, it goes back down.
Lindsey: It’s like a little sigh.
Fiona: It’s like, whatever the situation is with this story, it’s not gonna work out. It’s pretty pessimistic, overall.
Lindsey: It’s like things are going fine but then they’re like kind of just (sigh). Fiona: Yeah, it’s like Mahler’s sixth–like, devastation wins in the end. Kevin: It is drifting away. It’s drifting back and forth. They’re a big fan of the repeated hit chords.
Rachel: Yep. I like this part. Ay! Again. Hugo: Ooh! Hugo: Just a lack of…
Rachel: Yeah, he’s got such a cool voice.
Hugo: The lack of percussive instrumentation is nice after having so much of it.
Rachel: Yeah. Rachel: Again, the guitars they use are super sixties-sounding in timbre.
Hugo: Um-hmm. Elizabeth: It’s a long song. Henry: I was just actually just gonna say,
Henry: it’s gettin’ a little bit lengthy, but it’s so good, like… Elizabeth: Oh yeah, no, that’s not a criticism. It’s just like, they have more to say. I mean, I just played Mahler six, which is, Henry: 90 minutes long, yeah
Elizabeth: the last movement itself is half an hour. Seiji: Oh, here we go. Kevin: Mmm. A major. Elizabeth: Let’s emphasize the strong beats. Heck, yeah. Henry: They’re like…the way that they use melodies, the way that they used– the song is over.
Elizabeth: (singing) Henry: The way that they used melodies to make dissonant harmonies sound consonant is so cool. Because they were moving by tritone and it was just, like super compelling, but also like, you could definitely see the beauty in something that rubs a little bit weirdly on the ear.
Elizabeth: Very interesting harmonically. There really we’re only like two chords in the whole piece, but like the variation, and rhythm, and tempo really kept your interest, even with like a small amount of material. So if you ever are writing a song with like one thing remains constant through the whole thing, you have to vary the other aspects in order to keep it interesting, and they did that really well. Collin: So Interesting. Jarod: It’s just like, there’s some really interesting colors that are going on with like the chords.
Collin: Definitely. Jarod: The rhythm I did find to get a little repetitive towards the end, which was, I mean, probably did what they were going for. I didn’t think I don’t think I necessarily bought into it as well, but it’s like they started to add textures and stuff towards the end to start to really build, but I think I was already kinda like checked out.
Collin: I would agree with that. That’s kind of a thing though, with this sort of music.
Jarod: Yeah, that’s what I figured. That’s what I figured. Collin: Yeah, but actually what they did that was interesting, whenever it became a little more complex, there was some interesting like, really creative rhythms between the guitars and the bass, especially. The way the bass and guitars communicated was especially unique. But there was one point where one of the guitars was muting, another was (singing), and then it was–I guess it had to be the bass–but he was also outlining the beat. (snapping fingers) That was good, I don’t remember what the muting rhythm was, but I actually thought their nuanced use of rhythm was good, because most rock is not like that, and that was really good. I also really liked ambient like, you know, blossoming of sound that happened. That was good. Isaac: What a groove. Kevin: The first riff we hear, and probably the one that appears the most, is very jagged, and it involves two dominant seventh chords
Isaac: Um-hmm. Kevin: that are a tritone apart. And because of the tonal ambiguity, which means there’s not a clear key to what that section is, or the entire song as a matter of fact, I think this song is atonal. I don’t think the song has a key section at all. And that’s what makes certain weird chords work so well. And again, like I said, it feels like a late DeBussy piece, in the way it uses these dominant seventh chords, cuz he uses dominant seventh chords, and just planes around a lot. It’s a pretty long song, but it grabs your attention throughout.
Isaac: Yeah. Jason: And of the two songs, which one did you prefer?
Henry: This one.
Elizabeth: This one. Henry: Although they were both fantastic. I just happen to like this one more. Elizabeth: I felt like I hadn’t heard something like this before. Henry: Yeah. Sometimes with songs like, that are stylized in the way that the first one was, that sort of grungy, like sort of punk vibe, it can almost feel like there’s just a track of distortion, constantly, throughout the whole thing. So like, what I really appreciated about this, is that it like breathed, you know.
Elizabeth: That’s true. Stephen: I definitely liked the first one, ‘Citizen Cane’.
Seiji: That one was pretty awesome, yeah. Stephen: And it was just like different, you know, like they developed their ideas more, and the motifs that they did were very melodic. It wasn’t just stagnant, you know, it had more direction. And then like the contrast, like going double-time, super effective. I thought that was a really great song. Like, they’re very talented. Kevin: The fact that I’ve had time to listen to both these songs, and also catching, ‘Citizen Kane’ live, ‘Citizen Kane’ is a really cool song to hear on first listen, but it definitely, the repetitive nature of it shows on repeat listens. And I don’t think it’s one of your Hyukoh’s strongest songs, while the other one is so inventive and ssomehow it keeps your attention longer. You’re not sure what to feel when listening to it, just because you don’t know if it’s major, if it’s in minor, you’re just kind of floating around in this weird limbo, what they call unconscious dream space, to quote Inception a little bit. So, I definitely prefer ‘Our Place’. I definitely prefer ‘Our Place’, even though ‘Citizen Cane’ is an alt rock bop, for sure. Hello, everyone, I’m Umu, React to the K channel creator, and I’d like to thank you for watching this video. I really hope you enjoyed or learned something from it. If you’d like to support us or help React to the K grow, you can do so by visiting our Patreon, and help us out by pledging any amount you can. Big tip of the hat to our Superstar Idol patrons. Thanks for the love. ‘Til next time.