I also begin this week off with another review for a release that I had missed. This time it is a song and the artist in question is DRIPPIN. They made their comeback back in June of this year with ZERO and the single-album Villain: Zero (which I will be reviewing at a later date). Prior to their June comeback, we also saw DRIPPIN this year through their VILLAIN promotions (and their third mini-album of the same name).
VILLAIN was all aboard the funky train, which most of KPOP was on for a while. Since that comeback, it seems like DRIPPIN moved with the crowd and transferred to the rock train. The rock in ZERO‘s instrumentation is a different to what we have heard so far from the ongoing trend, as far as I can remember. ZERO feels quite intense, but in a more subtle manner. There is also this grungy feel to the instrumentation, which adds a different dynamic. This brings a powerful and hefty energy to the table, but I actually wanted more. I personally felt ZERO could have upped the ante with a more electrifying feeling. And they could have done this by featuring prominent electric guitar riffs as accent pieces in the background for some parts. This would have balanced out the heaviness of ZERO, which there was a lot of. A prime example of the heaviness is in ZERO‘s instrumental break, where the heavy thumping and deep guitar work together to bring about an intense environment. The brighter and more vibrant brass offsets this, makes the instrumental break more interesting and brings a bit of flair to the song. Moving on, ZERO really showed off the group’s vocals. The members who handled the pre-choruses impressed me with their delivery. But the standout is Yunseong, whose vocals following the instrumental break left me in awe. I felt the chorus could have been more dynamic, simply because the hooks that we did get felt weighty to a degree and doesn’t really drive the song forward as much. But over time, they ended up being quite catchy and definitely got me chanting along to the song. Overall, ZERO is a neat comeback for the group despite it following the same trends as everyone else. It could have been better, but what we got definitely suffices.
The music video for ZERO links up to VILLAIN. My guess is that the events we see in the ZERO sets up the events in VILLAIN. We see the origin story of the members, who have been locked away for some unknown reason. But they are closely monitored by cameras and guards, indicating they are dangerous. As the video progresses, the members gain the upperhand and escape from the facility they are confined to, leading the events in the VILLAIN music video. The ending of this video is the start of their VILLAIN music video, in case you did not notice. In particular, we see the origin story of Junho, who has some deep childhood trauma. He is woken up by one of the other members and the memories of his childhood seemed too much to handle, so he released his emotions in an explosive manner via fire (which played a part in his childhood trauma) and escapes from the facility with the other members. That scene at the end as the members watch the burning building crash down (presumably the facility) looked very cool.
The choreography definitely looks good. The members did a great job of looking tough and intense on stage. There was intensity in the choreography behind the different moves and parts of the routine were satisfyingly powerful. I enjoyed the dance break that aligns with the instrumental break in the song.
Song – 8/10
Music Video – 9/10
Performance – 8/10
Overall Rating – 8.3/10