As K-pop continues its rise in stature, South Korea’s small but prolific indie scenes are beginning to gain some recognition abroad as well.
K-punk, which mixes American-style punk sounds with soju-fueled attitude and shenigans, looks to get an extra boost with Crying Nut and Yellow Monsters both doing separate tours in Japan this month. Recognized as punk pioneers in their homeland, Crying Nut first surfaced when Seoul’s indie-rock scene began in the mid-1990s and are South Korea’s best-selling independent act of all time. The quintet incorporate elements of ska, reggae, and even a little polka into their raucous party anthems. In July, they played Okinawa’s Peaceful Love Rock Festival and showcased not only their tunes — some of which were reworked with Japanese lyrics — but also their love of classic punk fashion.