I perhaps have a little bias when it comes to LEDapple but it’s hard to ignore Aussie Pride.
Despite having been around for two years now, I only came across LEDapple when they released new single Time Is Up at the beginning of 2012. Although I have nothing to compare with, I’m told changes to the band’s line up has brought about shifts in their sound. But I don’t care what LEDapple were like before—I like them now just fine.
The New Year saw LEDapple return with new vocalist Hanbyul and the staggered release of singles Time Is Up and Sadness in January and March respectively. I usually don’t review two releases in the same post but given both singles contain just one track I thought I’d make the exception. Well, there are also intros and instrumentals included but who cares about those?
Korean ‘rock’ bands don’t have a wonderful reputation in my eyes thanks to the comparatively flavourless FT Island and CNBLUE but LEDapple turned out to be refreshingly poppy. The edgy rap verses combined with a delightfully catchy chorus of Time Is Up has created a wonderful end product that will, as Kpop should, get stuck in your head. The MV is watchable but very, well, boxy and features some awkward choreographed moves for the two vocalists, Hanbyul and Kyumin. The members also randomly sprout mechanical appendages without any discernible reason.
LEDapple are noticeably different from both FT Island and CNBLUE in that they don’t sound like The Beatles and this is no doubt due to the inclusion of rap against a modern pop backdrop. Maybe I have a latent love of rap to which I am yet to admit that has caused the incredible soft spot I have for this track but either way LEDapple has given me a new, more optimistic outlook on Korean soft rock bands. Newcomer Hanbyul’s voice suits their apparent new sound and fans should welcome him with open arms. While I’m not really sure how one goes from studying dentistry to becoming a lead vocalist in a Korean rock band but I’m quite glad Hanbyul made the conversion. As he was born and raised in Brisbane, Australia, I perhaps have a little bias when it comes to LEDapple but it’s hard to ignore Aussie Pride. I mean, how can you resist that cute accent?
The more recent release of Sadness shows yet another side of the new LEDapple by presenting a mellower yet still catchy pop-rock track. Although mostly devoid of all that rap I appreciated so much in Time Is Up the small inclusion at the end was just enough to add that flavour missing from other soft rock bands on the market. The main downside of this release is how stunningly boring the MV is; I know you’re a band and you like playing instruments but do you really just have to stand around and play them? LEDapple almost managed a dance in Time Is Up and that small factor does contribute to that MV standing miles apart from those of the same genre. Longer clips of the drama episodes interspersed throughout the instrument-playing would have made Sadness slightly more interesting. But only slightly. And I just can’t with that matching hair dye; I couldn’t with B.A.P and I certainly can’t with LEDapple.
While I’m more than happy with the 2012 singles LEDapple has granted us but I have to say I’m a little curious about their previous releases. It would certainly give me a more informed opinion of the band’s overall talents and sound but where’s the fun in that? I’m more than content to appreciate LEDapple as they are now. Unless someone can convince me otherwise, that is.