A while back, I was contacted by the manager of Harry Big Button (해리빅버튼) to review their new album, Perfect Storm. And you know me, I love checking out new music. After smacking myself for not listening to them before, I settled in for an hour or two of Perfect Storm. But before I get to the review, let’s tell you a little about them in case they are new to you as they were to me.
Harry Big Button
Harry Big Button is made up of Sungsoo Lee (vocal and guitar), Daehee Kang (drums) and Neil Smith (bass). They formed in 2011 with their debut album, Hard ‘N’ Loud. In 2012, they were on season 2 of the KBS TV show Top Band and they released their first full length album, King’s Life. In addition, they have performed at several music festivals including the Jisan World Rock Festival in Korea.
Their latest album, Perfect Storm, was mastered by Joe Laporta who also worked on Foo Fighter’s Wasting Light, and is their third album. Keep reading for the review.
Perfect Storm Review
Straight off, the powerful guitar riffs caught my attention and I knew I was going to like this band. But it was the voice of lead singer, Sungsoo Lee, that held it. His distinctive growl had me thinking of British 80’s punk rock (always a fav of mine). The combination of the hard rock guitar/bass and his voice was amazing. It sounds like one of those songs that would be amazing live.
Coffee, Cigarettes and Rock’N’Roll
This was the song that clinched it for me – I literally couldn’t stop listening to it as I probably listened to it four or five times before moving on to the next song. It’s not often I fall in love with a song before the first verse is even over but damn, I don’t even drink coffee or smoke and I still adore this song. It’s the whole package – the guitar, the drums, and the voice. The almost spoken parts set this song apart and cement my thoughts of hard British punk. Plus it’s a fun song to listen to.
Sungsoo Lee’s voice and lyrics drive this song – and leave me singing them long after the song is over. Okay, I know I’m saying that about pretty much all of the songs but it’s truly his deep growl that sets the song apart. That being said, there is a fabulous portion of the song that showcases the band itself and the music.
Of all the songs, this is the one that pushes the boundary from hard rock to heavy metal the most, although not quite taking that final step. Perhaps that’s why it’s my least favourite (I love rock and punk but was never really into metal). Not that it’s bad – but rather the others all appeal to me so much more. Nevertheless, like all the others, it’s got some great guitar riffs and the drums are amazing in it.
While Circle Pit, was the heaviest of the songs, this was the one that was probably the purest hard rock song of the bunch. And the one that I could picture on the radio here the easiest. It’s an amazing song and the ‘perfect’ end to the album. Sungsoo Lee’s voice is softer yet no less powerful and as always, backed up by superb instrumentals. Not to sound like a girl but I wanted to wrap myself up in his voice, deep voices just had that effect on me. A complex song that blends a few genres to make its own way, if you’re only going to listen to one song, this would be the one to check out!
I loved the album – how could I not when 4 of the 5 songs ended up on my commute playlist immediately. The only question I was left with at the end was, “which song did I like better?” After more than a dozen run-throughs of the album, I’m still not sure. I love Coffee, Cigarettes and Rock’N’Roll because it’s fun and addictive, especially the almost spoken word portions – like I said, I literally couldn’t stop listening to it. But Perfect Storm was such a complex and compelling song with such appeal that I’m tempted to say it’s the stronger song overall. However, I can’t decide which I like better!
Which song do you like better? Check out Harry Big Button and let me know!