Indie band Patients will perform along with Dead Buttons at Woodstock in Itaewon next week. After the Seoul gig, the two groups will take part in the Liverpool Sound City music festival in Britain on May 2 and 3. / Courtesy of Patients
By John Redmond
Korean indie bands Dead Buttons and Patients will play a final gig at Woodstock in Itaewon on April 25 before performing in British cities in early May.
The bands will take part in the Liverpool Sound City music festival on May 2 and 3 before making their way to Bristol, Southampton and London for further gigs.
Both bands are getting good responses from audiences, with Dead Buttons quickly rapidly becoming one of the more buzzed-about bands in the Hongdae music scene.
Dead Buttons is a Seoul-based rock n' roll duo comprised of Korean guitarist/vocalist Hong Ji-hyun and Paraguayan/Korean drummer/vocalist Lee Kang-hee.
A veteran of Korea's indie scene, Hong is also the guitarist in the Seoul hardcore band Combative Post and previously played in the punk bands Sweet Guerillaz and Oi! Resolute, along with the psych- and pop-tinged garage rock act The Infamous Orchestra.
Hong met Lee after Lee had finished his mandatory military service and the two decided to form Dead Buttons.
The band was originally formed as a trio in the fall of 2012. Less than two months after making their live debut, they traveled to Tokyo in December 2012 to perform at the Japan-Korea Punk Festival.
In the summer of 2013, Hong and Lee parted ways with their bassist. Wanting a fresh start for Dead Buttons, they threw away all of their older material and began crafting new tunes as a two-piece.
In February 2014, Dead Buttons issued their first EP, "Whoever You Are." The five-track effort was recorded over the course of five hours last December.
Whereas the band's early material had more of a garage punk feel, the fantastic "Whoever You Are" boasts a wider sonic palette mixing garage rock, blues, country, punk and psychedelic music to create an infectious sampler that showcases this fast-rising pair's potential.
Their music can be streamed on http://deadbuttons.bandcamp.com/.
Korean punk band Patients formed in Seoul in 2005. Originally a quartet, the group emerged as one of the leaders of the mid-noughties local underground punk scene with the release of their debut EP of fiery anthems, 2006's "Hanging Revolution."
The act scaled back to a trio in 2007 with bassist Jo Su-min assuming vocal duties shortly before recording their second EP, "All the Patients Let's Go." While promoting this, the band played their first international gig as part of the 2008 Japan/Korea Oi! Punk Festival in Nakano.
In 2010, the group created their own indie label, Steel Face Records, to release music from Patients and like-minded artists.
Wanting to experiment with different styles and expand their sound, Patients' 2011 "Kitsch Space" full-length effort saw the group accenting their punk and rock cuts with bits of new wave and pop.
Self-dubbing their new style "hybrid punk," Kitsch Space was met with praise and earned the group a place in the November 2011 Hello Rookie finals, a competition created to highlight Korea's best up-and-coming bands.
That next summer, Patients was invited to play at the Incheon Pentaport Rock Festival, one of the country's premier musical events.
In 2012, Patients parted ways with guitarist Baek Jun-myoung. Instead of adding another guitarist, they decided to try and take their music in a different direction by inviting keyboardist Kwon Hyuck-jang to join the band in 2013.
With Kwon's keyboard skills adding a fresh dynamic to Patients continually evolving "hybrid punk" sound, Patients are eager to share their new music with people. Patients' music video for their "Hybrid" song can be checked out at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3jhKRRuemz4.