[Review] Strawberry Cake – Xdinary Heroes

Xdinary Heroes is nominated for Best New Male Group and Best Band Performance in the 2022 KPOPREVIEWED Awards. Support Xdinary Heroes, and your other favourite artists, songs, and performance by clicking here to vote today!

I guess if you are seeing a review for a side-track, you can confidently say that an album review is coming you way. In order to complete the album review for Xdinary Heroes’ 1st ever mini-album, Hello World, which was released back in July of this year (and features the title track Test Me), I need to review Strawberry Cake, a single from the mini-album that was selected for follow-up promotions. In terms of the album review, it isn’t scheduled until very early 2023. So keep your eyes open for that. But for now, here is another Xdinary Heroes’ review, this time for Strawberry Cake.

When you think of a song titled Strawberry Cake, you might think of something sweet or even potentially cute sounding. While that would be quite a stretch for Xdinary Heroes, who has ventured through the different styles of rocks since their debut, I was expecting something more along the lines of pop rock for this track (best of both worlds). Instead, Strawberry Cake delves into a punkish style of rock and spins the idea of a Strawberry Cake into a partner that acts sweet, but ends up being fake and a liar. I liked the paced lurching momentum the verses had, and the ramp-up to the chorus was clean. The chorus was a bit unexpected. With the shouty ‘Strawberry Cake‘ that kicked off the chorus, I expected the song to follow through with a robust and blastful punk rock piece. But instead, there is no drop and that expectation does not eventuate. Rather, we get an instrumental piece that serves like an anti-drop that we tend to find with EDM songs. It was an interesting flip and one that I find to help make Strawberry Cake come off as unique. Towards the end of the chorus, we do get into that blastful trajectory, but it doesn’t get too far, keeping in in-line with what Strawberry Cake has given us thus far. This ‘anti-drop’ like approach does allow the focus to be put on the members and their vocals. I really like the oomph and passion they put behind their vocals in this song, which speaks volumes and express the discontent and upset message behind the lyrics of the song. Overall, an unexpected twist to Strawberry Cake, but one that displays Xdinary Heroes’ creativity and individuality.

I understand that Strawberry Cake is just additional promotion for the group and doesn’t necessarily require a full fledged music video like the title track. But the difference between Test Me and Strawberry Cake‘s video is pretty night and day. Test Me had a video that was filmed with CGI technology, while Strawberry Cake was virtually empty. It is more of a performance piece than anything else. Strawberry Cake was shot in a train carriage, packing the group (and their instruments) into a very tight narrow space for all of the video. It doesn’t highlight the punkish sound that I mentioned nor does it add value to the side track. The video could have gone with a simple plot line featuring a relationship breakdown to aid the lyrics, or some sort of visual effect to really amplify the song’s sound/style. Just something to give the video Strawberry Cake a bit more body than just the group playing their instruments (though I appreciate the passion they are putting into the performance aspect of the video).

Song – 8/10
Music Video – 6/10

Overall Rating – 7.2/10

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