Indie Focus: Lee Yongwon’s ‘Vancouver’ rides punk influences to success


After the announcement of Yellow Monsters going on hiatus, I was curious to know what the members would be up to. Lee Yongwon, the band’s vocalist and guitarist, seemed to transition quickly to starting another band. If you heard Yellow Monsters, the music was a mixture of rock and punk, but instead of going in the same direction with his own project, ‘Vancouver‘ is more straight-forward punk music. It reminds me a lot of his older bands, like GUMX, as well.


‘Vancouver’ is ten songs that all follow the same template. The tempo is fast, and the songs are a mix between melodic and punk rock, so it’s a fun album that is easily accessible from all angles. Yongwon also goes into slower songs with “Last And Forever”, which is an acoustic track and kind of reminds me of the slower Yellow Monsters songs. These set of songs have an older tone to them, as the punk rock influences come from the punk rock that I listened to in the late-90s. But even with a punk base, the album does have a good selection of rock songs in tracks like “I Don’t Know Why”.

Since so much of my experience with Yongwon has been with Yellow Monsters and GUMX, I hear a lot of the same elements in this effort. ‘Vancouver’ does sound like a transitional album, because with some songs Yongwon’s going back to familiar territory, and in others he’s trying new things.


Yongwon knows how to make good punk and rock songs, and ‘Vancouver’ is a good example of that. While the album is strong overall, it doesn’t stray far from the music Yongwon has made in the past with his previous bands, so there’s not a lot of progression to be found. So as he comes back with this new band, I’m curious if this is what we should always expect or if there will eventually be some growth in a different direction.


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