The traffic to the blog slows up over the Festive period, and it’s therefore something of an opportunity to take a bit of a breather.
Over a period of 26 days, I’ll be posting a single never previously featured on its own before – it might have sneaked in as part of an ICA or within a piece looking at various tracks – with the idea of an edited cut’n’paste from somewhere (most likely wiki) and then all the songs from either the vinyl or CD.
G is for Good For Some Reason recorded by Say Sue Me and released as one-half of a split single by Damnably Records in December 2017.
Say Sue Me are from Busan, South Korea, forming in 2012 since when they have recorded two full-lengths albums, along with four EPs, three stand-alone 7” singles, one digital single and one split 7” single. The band members nowadays are Sumi Choi (vocals), Byunggyu Kim (guitar), Jaeyoung Ha (bass) and Changwon Kim (drums).
They came to prominence after debut album We’ve Sobered Up (2014) and the subsequent EP, Big Summer Night (2015), were moderate chart successes in South Korea, released on the independent label, Electric Muse. The music, which blended elements of surf-rock with the sort of sounds associated with the mid-80s golden era of UK indie-pop, came to the attention of the London-based Damnably Records, and deal was signed, with the first release, in 2017, being a self-titled compilation pairing the two Korean releases together as an 18-track CD in 2017.
In December 2017, a 7″ single was issued, with a run of just 400 copies to mark Damnably’s 11th birthday. It was a spilt single with Say Sue Me on one side, while the other was taken up by Otoboke Beaver, an all-female Japanese hardcore punk who were, at the time, being nurtured by Damnably, and indeed later signed with the label:-
Say Sue Me released a second album, Where We Were Together (2018) on which their indie-pop and indie-rock tendencies came to the fore as the earlier surf-rock sounds took a bit of a back seat, best exemplified by the song Old Town, which gathered a lot of radio play back home and also became a bit of a favourite among a number of DJs on BBC Radio 6. The new album was followed soon after by the Record Store Day release for 2018, It’s Just a Short Walk!, which was an EP comprising covers of songs by Blondie, The Ramones, The Velvet Underground, and one made famous here in the UK by Cliff Richard and in the USA initially by Bobby Freeman and later by The Beach Boys. A triumphant year was rounded off with two further releases – a stand-alone single of a track that hadn’t quite been finished in time for the album followed by an EP, Christmas, It’s Not a Biggie, of four new songs with a festive theme.
2019 got off to a tremendous start at home with nominations in five categories at the Korean Music Awards – Album of the Year, Song of the Year, Modern Rock Album of the Year, Best Modern Rock Song of the Year and Artist of the Year – something quite unprecedented for a band on a small label and from a city other than Seoul. They were winners in two categories – Best Modern Rock Album for Where We Were Together, while Old Town was named Best Modern Rock Song. These accolades were followed by a hugely successful return visit to SXSW in Austin, Texas at which they performed one of the best-received sets of the entire festival, and after a short time back home in Busan, they embarked on a European tour.
The onset of COVID could not have come at a worse possible time for Say Sue Me, and indeed Otokobe Beaver whose own career was also on an upwards trajectory. Planned visits to Europe and the USA had to be cancelled, and the momentum from the hard work of the previous three years has been lost.
It’ll be interesting to see what emerges from both bands in 2022, with both bands having spent much of the past year trying to deliver on-line shows for their fans outside of South Korea and Japan.