Photo: Youngjun Kim

Korean skate punks Drinking Boys and Girls Choir return with purpose and focus on “Obody”, prepare sophomore album

For those still not familiar with Drinking Boys and Girls Choir, well, familiarize yourself. Hailing from Daegu, South Korea, the skate punk rogues are just about as vital as the genre has been in recent years. Their debut, 2019’s frenetic, fun-packed Keep Drinking largely found influence in their own genesis, ranging from railing against conservative Korea to their love of alcohol.

Now, they’re through playing games. Their approaching sophomore LP, titled Marriage License, finds them delving into “fiercer” politics, dealing with the truly numerous issues facing women and the LGBTQ+ community in a still sheltered South Korea.

This isn’t to call the album a grim affair, far from it. The band explain, “We are angry and anxious about the world that does not change easily, but we believe that it can definitely be a good world and we want and sing brightly to live together with hope.

Look out for Marriage License come July 21, which will be a waterfall release on Spotify, gradually sharing songs up until release day. Listen to newest single “Obody” below, and beneath read an extended quote from Drinking Boys and Girls Choir on the themes and narrative on Marriage License.

Drinking Boys and Girls Choir’s new album Marriage License arrives July 21 through Damnably / Electric Muse (pre-save it digitally or pre-order the physical from Bandcamp). You can find the band on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

The band shared a wider statement in a press release, along with a reflection on each track, some of which this writer feels is genuinely essentially to share here. Read on:

In Korea, a woman and a man, who are each legally single and adult, can report their marriage at any time if they agree with each other. No other verification or prior permission is required from these two who intend to register their marriage. After the marriage registration, these two will have all legal benefits and obligations without any further action. On the other hand, there are marriage-type relationships that the law and society do not recognize at all. A relationship in which they have been practically married for decades, in all ways but legally, are in love, and care for each other, but cannot take any action when they are in an emergency or when they die, because their relationship has not been legally proven, and where there is not even a small social safety net. Marriage can be the most official form of romance, promising and committing to love someone in uniting their lives. For some, it will be a blessing and responsibility, but for others, will it be an experience of being denied by the state, of being denied an existence.

The second album of Drinking Boys and Girls Choir tells the story of a worker in their 30s, and punk rocker women. What a harsh society it is for women and queers, in their representation by the system of marriage, and for others who have diverged from ‘normality’. It should be something that anyone can do easily, but it is still difficult for some people to talk directly and indirectly about being discriminated against.