[Review] Tick Tock – JUST B

Also making their comeback on Wednesday of this week was JUST.B. Their first comeback since their debut with DAMAGE comes in the form of the single TICK TOCK and their first single album, JUST BEAT. Let’s see if TICK TOCK has what it takes to put JUST B on the map, following the likes of DAMAGE, which has managed to secure the group their nomination for Best New Male Group in the 2021 KPOPREVIEWED Awards (voting will open mid-November).

If I have to answer that above proposition right away, I would have to say no. TICK TOCK, as JUST B’s second step into the industry, doesn’t really live up to the same standard as DAMAGE had set for them. To me, TICK TOCK is not a bad or terrible song. But long story short, TICK TOCK is just rather stagnant and plain. Despite all the abrasive synths and edginess that comes from the song, TICK TOCK‘s instrumentation sounded one-dimensional and lacked charm. It was pretty much neutral throughout, with nothing memorable or worth mentioning. The exact same could be said about the vocals and rapping. The member just didn’t infuse much character or personality, and hence TICK TOCK just doesn’t come off as a strong release. There, however, seems to be two somewhat decent elements to the song, but it isn’t really enough in hindsight to rescue the song from the pits of the song’s boring nature. The first element in question is the song’s repetitive ‘Tick Tock‘ hook. At first, it came off very monotone like the rest of the song. But as usual, a few repeats of TICK TOCK since its release has shown some hope for the song’s repetitive phrase. But it isn’t as strong as many other hooks in KPOP. The second is the glitchy effect in the song’s background. While I did like the effect in the song, I don’t think I can get past the rest of the dull instrumentation to really dig back into the song. It is quite disappointing, but there is (hopefully) next time for the group to show something of DAMAGE‘s calibre or more.

From what I understand, the video is all about tackling your own fears and getting that feeling of fear controlled. The video begins with the members in these futuristic machines that place the members into their worst fears or situations. Fires, lack of sight or not knowing what is happening around you, darkness, being chased by someone, underwater and loneliness (the mirror scenes) are fears or situations that the video zones into. I am not sure what the butterfly represents, but it seems to help the members overcome the fear – maybe its presence evokes a sense of calmness. But anyway, once the time is up, the members are pulled from their scenarios and wake up, with their fears controlled. I quite like this concept, if I interpreted it correctly. The sets looked industrial and futuristic, which helped with the edgy appeal.

The choreography for this comeback is its strongest element by far. I really enjoyed the impact the entire hook sequence had on stage, with said sequence consisting of their Tick Tock hand movement, the zombie walk and the vibrating bomb. The bridge was cool, with the x formation.

Song – 5.5/10
Music Video – 8/10
Performance – 9/10
Overall Rating -7/10

[Review] DAMAGE – JUST B

Time for the final review of this focused weekend. Firstly, I want to say that I enjoyed this intensive reviewing weekend and will probably do it again in the foreseeable future when I know I don’t have much going on. But next weekend, it back to the usual transmission of album reviews (and I believe I had promised some International Song Reviews – a lot of big names to cover). But before I can get to next weekend and the week ahead, I have to complete one more rookie review. The artist is JUST B, who debuted at the very end of June with DAMAGE. It is a song produced by former B.A.P member Bang Yong Guk (one name that I have not heard for a while). JUST B is a six member male group (consisting of Geonu, Bain, Lim Jimin, JM, DY and Sangwoo) under Bluedot Entertainment.

DAMAGE is a powerful debut track that really thrives on intensity. Listening to this track was a thrilling experience and I liked how the energy kept me on the edge of my seat. And once again, leaving such an impression is a great start to ones career. DAMAGE starts off with this distorted vocal ‘Heya‘ that finds itself present throughout the track. It is quite catchy. Opening up with that was pretty smart. We are then taken into a pretty standard dance track verse. I didn’t find anything worth mentioning here, aside from the use of the opening in the background which I had already mentioned. But I was still keen on the rest of the track. Alongside powerful vocals in the pre-chorus is a rap sequence that I find reminiscent of Bang Yong Guk’s raspy and deep rap style from back in his B.A.P days (I haven’t been following his solo work, but I imagine he continued with this memorable style). The rest of the rap sequences throughout DAMAGE are of a similar manner, which is a big positive. For those who don’t remember or know, I was a big fan of B.A.P and their discography. And hearing anything that reminds me of those times is bound to get a nod from me. The chorus blasts us with some typical but refreshing EDM. I found it to be quite effective and really enjoyed the drive it brought to DAMAGE. The chorus also featured vocals and melody, which sets it apart from the releases reviewed today. Though, it was missing a memorable hook, as well. The melody just didn’t seem to be strong enough, despite such a powerful backing. The second chorus is followed up with an extension of the EDM, allowing the members to showcase their performance skills (more on this later). I did enjoy the extra texture it had, giving us a bit more to keep the song interesting and not repetitive. Following the instrumental sequence, the song ends by fading out somewhat. It slows down and we hear a light touch of piano in the background. I think this was an interesting way and place to end the song, given that I expected a final run of the EDM chorus. While it might be weird to some, I actually liked the way the song ended. It was unexpected, but creative and unique. Overall, DAMAGE really hit the mark and definitely introduced JUST B as rookies to look out for.

The music video tells the classic KPOP tale of being trapped and controlled. JUST B are members of a grid iron team, who are controlled by whoever (never revealed or touched on). Everyday, they are stuck in a routine of class (i.e. where I assume they are brainwashed) and training. They also have to take these blue and red pills, which I think enables them to be brainwashed and controlled. One member mistakenly drops one of these pills one day (and subsequently doesn’t take it) and notices that they were being watched. He rallies the members together and they all choose not take the blue pill. They rebel once whoever is controlling them activates alarms (i.e. the warning sign on the screen) and runs away from the facility to a stormy city. I hope their next comeback continues the story and sees the members in a different world that they are used to (i.e. the outside world). I do wish that we got to see a hint of who is controlling them or the people who were chasing after the members at the end. In addition to the plotline, I also liked the choreography scenes. I am not a fan of the football outfits, though the black and red suits look really good on them!

I liked how the performance emphasizes the intense and aggressive nature of the song. The members’ have this animalistic vibe, which I find extremely fitting for a song like this. Aside from that, I feel that this performance looks like a good thigh workout. The routine during the performance break was also quite thrilling to watch, while the ending had a very soft vibe and dififerent feel from the rest of the performance.

Song – 9/10
Music Video – 8/10
Performance – 9/10
Overall Rating – 8.7/10