Currently comprised of founding members and childhood friends Jae Young (bass) and Kim Byungkyu (guitar) with Sumi Choi (vocals) and Kim Changwon (drums), the Busan, South Korea-based indie rock quartet Say Sue Me can trace its origins to when its founding members Young and Byungkyu, who had played together in a number of bands together throughout high school were drinking tea and beer in a Nampo-dong tea shop when they met Choi. Young and Byungkyu liked Choi’s speaking voice and immediately offered her a spot as the vocalist in a band that would eventually become Say Sue Me. Coincidentally, as it turned out, Choi turned out to be a natural songwriter. The bandmates then recruited Kang Semin to play drums — and with him, they recorded their full-length debut We’ve Sobered Up, which established the South Korean band’s reputation for crafting a sound that draws from 60s surf rock and 90s alt rock. And with Semin, they recorded 5 songs of their sophomore album Where We Were Together before having a near fatal accident that has left him in a near comatose state.
Deciding to continue onward while hoping for their dear friend and bandmate’s recovery, the band recruited Changwon and finished their sophomore album, which interestingly enough marks their first album recorded in a professional studio. Unsurprisingly, the album’s material reflects both professional studio polish and a young band that has grown more confident in their songwriting and playing — all while managing to be a tribute to their fallen bandmate that focuses on the emotional fallout over the loss of their friend. As the band says in press notes, “We made 5 of the songs on Where We Were Together with Semin before his accident, and of the remaining songs on the album 4 of them (“Let It Begin,” “Funny and Cute,” “B Lover,” and “About The Courage To Become Someone’s Past”) are about Semin or made with him in mind.
Although we can’t be together right now, we decided to give the album this title because it reminded us of everything we’ve shared with Semin. And what’s more, sometimes we’ve thought if we make this album a wish to return to the place we were together, some powerful spell might rise up. Who knows if it’s even possible but sometimes we think maybe it could work.”
The South Korean indie rock quartet’s latest 7 inch single features two singles from “Just Joking Around,” a song that was cut from their latest album but features a line from which the album’s title is derived and “B Lover,” a brash and scuzzy power chord-based garage rock/punk rocker burner that the band explains was originally written for Semin’s other band Barbie Dolls, who play insanely fast garage rock/punk. The song’s lyrics were written as a tribute to their dear friend’s mischievous ways and desire to “just let go of worries about the future, buy as much good beer as we wanted.” They go on to say that Semin’s jokes and tastes were like those in a B movie with a Type-B personality, “so we stuck the name B Lover on the song.” While “B Lover” is an incredibly self-assured, almost swaggering sort of track, it possesses the wistful air of missing a dear friend, who’s one of life’s true characters.
The recently released video for “B Lover” is a mischievous take on classic B movies — featuring a local garage rock band, playing on their local beach, as well as Kung Fu movies and action movies. It’s ridiculously tongue-in-cheek in every possible way and pretty damn funny.