Album Reviews Punk

NO MODEL ‘The Demo’

NO MODEL's EP is an aggressive depiction of living in America as a Korean Adoptee/American and takes back control on the 4-track EP.

NO MODEL’s 4-track hardcore punk EP The Demo is an invigorating collection of anger reclaiming voices and power as Asian Americans or as the band states, WEAPONIZED ASIAN AMERICAN DIASPORA. The Demo embodies the spirit and subculture of true punk all in under six minutes and doesn’t care to mince words as its mission is in representation and sharing the band’s story — a story that is often sugarcoated within the media.

Changhwan Kim, Nicolas Palermo, Pocholo Itona, Noel Herbolario, and Sehun Ji’s aggressive collection is a powerful look at how institutions divide. The specific anger is one of control; one that belongs to the self which no one can take away and of one that will connect those with shared experiences.

The tracks depict the experience of living in America as a Korean Adoptee/American and leads the EP with “KILL HARRY HOLT,” which references the Evangelical colonist for international adoption. Sehun speaks the first lines across guitar feedback (“stripped from my culture/taken from my people/ we simply can’t relate anymore”) before shifting into liberated screams and a harder, faster tempo. The break emphasizes the heaviness of the drums before fading out with a soundbite of Holt’s death.

The transition to “PSALM GOOK” is clean in sound as it is in theory and is one of the strongest tracks from the collection. Continuing to dismantle the ideology and religious hold which Holt preached to his followers, the second track rejects what one has been conditioned and takes a slur word birthed from imperialism and spins it back ’round. Its opening is more rhythmic, and savors distorted powers chords and deep drum tones, allowing more of the bass to be felt. Sehun yells in time to the many tempo changes on the track and never loses his fire: “Tried to tie me down/ Sunday services a waste to me/ Priest jerking off on your family tree /Jesus’s cult Society.”

SUBHUMAN” screeches and bolts the thoughts that seemed to have been held an eternity under a minute and is the shortest track that connects the build from the origin of Holt to the goal and closer, “EASTERN REVENGE.” ER continues with another soundbite of an investigation tracing back to war and explodes with the raging hook, “USA USA get out of Asia.” The track is the heaviest in aggression of the EP and contains the undertones of metal with one of the best and quickest grooves between verses, an all-around favorite in production.

With members spread across the East Coast, the band have told Unite Asia that they don’t plan on being a band forever, but want to “inspire the next generation of Asian Americans in hardcore.”

Continuing to share on Unite Asia, vocalist and frontman behind label Kill Yellow Fever Records, Sehun Ji, shares: “These songs are about my anger living in America as a Korean Adoptee/American. There’s so much unsaid shit that the media brushes under the rug or things we ourselves don’t know how to talk about. Music is my way of talking about these things.

“I don’t know if I’ll ever have the capacity to explain everything I feel, but I think these songs are a good starting point for that.”

Connect with the band/label:

Bandcamp | Spotify | Instagram

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