10 Songs

EDITORS’ NOTES

After making an exquisite one-man project with the Explore EP, Yoodoo Park—the twentysomething University of California Santa Cruz sophomore behind GRMLN—put together a small band with his brother Tae San Park on bass and friend Keith Frerichs on drums. The result is GRMLN's compact rocking debut album, Empire. This brilliant and concise collection of power pop shows how easy it can sound when a songwriter like Park doesn't try to do too much but lets the songs be what they are. His bandmates were there to add a simple rhythm section to help speed up the recording process, which took all of five days. The pop-punk sound here is much like a modest, toned-down Ramones (or Agent Orange, to keep a Southern California connection). Tunes such as "Teenage Rhythm," "Blue Lagoon," and "1993," all are safely less than three minutes, recalling the joy of young musicians finding their voices. "Cheer Up" is a '50s-styled ballad. "Dear Fear" ends the official album with an acoustic tune. However, this edition adds the bonus track "Bleed," which sounds more like the rainy-day Anglo-pop of The Clientele.

EDITORS’ NOTES

After making an exquisite one-man project with the Explore EP, Yoodoo Park—the twentysomething University of California Santa Cruz sophomore behind GRMLN—put together a small band with his brother Tae San Park on bass and friend Keith Frerichs on drums. The result is GRMLN's compact rocking debut album, Empire. This brilliant and concise collection of power pop shows how easy it can sound when a songwriter like Park doesn't try to do too much but lets the songs be what they are. His bandmates were there to add a simple rhythm section to help speed up the recording process, which took all of five days. The pop-punk sound here is much like a modest, toned-down Ramones (or Agent Orange, to keep a Southern California connection). Tunes such as "Teenage Rhythm," "Blue Lagoon," and "1993," all are safely less than three minutes, recalling the joy of young musicians finding their voices. "Cheer Up" is a '50s-styled ballad. "Dear Fear" ends the official album with an acoustic tune. However, this edition adds the bonus track "Bleed," which sounds more like the rainy-day Anglo-pop of The Clientele.

TITLE TIME
2:36
2:24
2:27
2:06
2:28
3:21
2:18
2:28
3:07
3:08

About GRMLN

The noise pop project of Yoodoo Park, GRMLN incorporates the sunny, easygoing feel of his Southern Californian upbringing with nostalgia for his Japanese roots (he was born in Kyoto and returns to Japan each summer). Choosing the name GRMLN to highlight this feeling of disconnection, Park began writing and recording songs in 2010, fitting in their creation between surfing and attending the University of California Santa Cruz. His debut EP, the dreamy Explore, arrived in October of 2012; by the time he released his first full-length, Empire, in June 2013, Park had retooled GRMLN to accommodate a full-band lineup (which included his brother Tae San Park on bass and drummer Keith Frerichs), which was reflected in the album's punk-poppy sound. The songs for the next album were written partly in Japan, partly while the band was on tour in the U.S. The darker, more aggressive set was tracked by the group at Different Fur Studios in San Francisco with engineers Patrick Brown and Sean Paulson, who both also worked on Empire. Titled Soon Away, the record was released by Carpark in September of 2014. ~ Heather Phares

  • FORMED
    2010

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