Did you know that the Kpopalypse Nugu Alert series has been running for nine years? Well, now you do! It’s time for the first Kpopalypse Nugu Alert of 2023, where Kpopalypse once again explores the fun of discovering new music while not receiving any web traffic – enjoy!
It’s good to be back again for 2023! Here at the busy offices of Kpopalypse.com I’ve already had quite a few nugus float over my desk, so it’s a good time to kick off Nugu Alert once again for the new year! This edition doesn’t have a special theme, it’s just some songs released this year. A lot of them are kind of more rock-based and that’s inevitable because it’s my music taste at play and that’s the kind of shit I notice and other people don’t, so why not listen to these songs and rock out.
Usual rules apply:
- Less than
20,000 views on official channelswait how about we make that 2000 views just to make it very crystal clear that this isn’t some website that broadens out the definition of ‘nugu’ to include semi-popular stuff for clicks, Kpopalypse Nugu Alert is all about maximum nugu baby
- Probably not on your curated algorithmic playlist
- Relevant to Kpopalypse
Byulha – Pretty Kitsch
Let’s start off light with Byulha and her song “Pretty Kitsch” which isn’t bad, there’s not a great deal to it but it’s cute and fun, I dig it. Also it has a cute little drama video which actually looks really good and isn’t comprised of sets I’ve seen before already in 50 other videos already this year, which tends to be the case with a lot of nugu stuff. I do have a certain fondness for the iconic sets we all love, but it’s good to mix it up a little. The colour-matching is spot on too, Byulha herself looks great, and I’m really digging the house decor like her “goth and pink corner”. On top of that Byulha goes through nineteen different costumes in this fucking thing (yes I counted), that’s a hell of a lot of money spent just on wardrobe, this girl is really working overtime to impress. I’m surprised that a production like this has such a low viewcount, someone out there is really letting this girl down. Let’s give this girl some more clicks and get her up to at least 2k for her trouble.
Youtube views at the time of writing: 1295
Notable attribute: four of Byulha’s friends text her to make sure she’s okay after the breakup, but only three bother to show up to her party, I think we’ve found her ex’s new girlfriend
Nugu Alert rating: very high
RIA – I curse the clear sky at the end of this world
How’s that for a song title? Easily the most creatively-named yet still emo as shit track of 2023 so far, RIA rushes straight out of the gate with black metal style blast-beats before then switching to some sort of Polyphia-type mathcore thing but with layered female vocals weirdly waltzing over it. It’s the kind of combination that really shouldn’t work that well but it does, because while heaviness is good, listening to endless riffs that sound like an AI generated them gets a bit exhausting so it’s nice to have the softer sounds in there to break up all that oppressive progressive djenting. Our two performers look the part as well, although who the fuck knows what happened to the bass player, drummer, keyboardist etc, I’m going to take a guess that this duo here just programmed everything else, which is a good way to make sure people play your carefully constructed progressive audio soup correctly I suppose. Anyway it’s all very ethereal and angsty which are two moods Korean music doesn’t go for often, so it’s pretty refreshing.
Youtube views at the time of writing: 696
Notable attribute: that guitar solo at 2:55, what the shit, my brain is on the floor
Nugu Alert rating: extreme
Re.may – Take Me On My Knees
Once again with the great song title and the invisible backing band, what is it that Korea has against showing a full room of musicians. I’m not actually all that keen on Re.may’s song (weird topline note choice in particular rubs me the wrong way here), but what I really did like a lot is the sounds that she gets (or that they get, I have no idea if Re.may is a person or a group). There’s a pretty meaty guitar tone happening here for sure, and the vocal tone is that high-flying 90s grunge belting all over. Close your eyes and you could be listening to a Babes In Toyland or L7 track, and there’s even some wah guitar licks ripped straight out of “Sweet Child O Mine” happening in that kickass solo in the middle of the song. Pity that visually it’s just “random basement with various colour filters” but hey at least she’s not an idol, better to play in a basement for a music video than be locked in one for three or more years only to eventually emerge and make songs that suck a lot more than this one.
Youtube views at the time of writing: 622
Notable attribute: the guitar player sneakily dresses as much like the singer as possible so if you’re not paying close attention you’ll think it’s the singer doing the guitar solo
Nugu Alert rating: extreme
The Noya – Today, without a break
The Noya come off sounding like NOFX with less distortion or something and it’s alright. It’s also good that they’re keeping the tradition of Korean rockers playing in completely shit looking buildings going, so there’s also that. After watching many nugu videos it’s really noticeable how the rock bands are so much more obviously impoverished than everyone else, I think this is some kind of problematic discrimination and someone should do something about it. You can tell that The Noya are a real rock band though because the guy with the hollowbody guitar has his neck pickup taped off and removed. Neck pickups sound nice on their own but are totally useless for playing any sort of loud rock music in a group because the sound doesn’t cut through, you may as well remove them completely and save a few grams of weight carrying your guitar around plus create a neat hole to store your drugs.
Youtube views at the time of writing: 592
Notable attribute: what the FUCK is that thing on the wall? A wooden toilet seat?
Nugu Alert rating: extreme