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The RockTigers: Bringing Kimchibilly to the masses

May 13, 2010 |  8:24 am


The best music often comes from the strangest places. That’s certainly true with the RockTigers, a tight outfit from South Korea that has put a hip twist on some American rock 'n' roll standards. 

The RockTigers are profiled in Thursday's Calendar, and Pop & Hiss presents a glimpse at the band's music, dubbed Kimchibilly, below.


01 Kimchibilly

With words and music from the band’s rhythm guitarist, Tiger, this song serves as a sort of mission statement. According to Jaeyoon Lee, a friend of the band who helps promote the act's work, the term "Kimchibilly" was suggested by a foreign fan and it ended up sticking. 

Jae says he personally didn't like the word at first, but in the end realized that it was easy for fans to grasp. Jae calls Korean rockabilly a sound that’s both modern and vintage -- a blend of the East and West. As Jae says, "Kimchi is more than just food for Koreans, and other cultures may consider it nasty, but the RockTigers play nasty rock & roll!"

"Cry Baby"

04 Cry Baby

This is the single off "Rock 'N' Roll Licence." As Jae explains it, the song is a story about breaking up and anticipating the sleepless nights. The hook is catchy, and the cut is one of the band's more popular songs.

"Stray Cats"

07 Stray Cats

"Stray Cats" is a song that pays homage to the band's heroes. At its heart, it's a song about not compromising.

So, listen and learn. And don’t be afraid to dance.

-- John M. Glionna in Seoul

Photo: Roy, left, Velvet Geena, Tiger and Eddie Tarantula perform. Credit: Kim Hakbae