I would never have predicted it, but low-budget, perma-rookie boy groups are kind of having a moment right now. Without the means to hire trendy, big-name producers, acts like Seven O’Clock and BLANC7 have been relying on a proven sense pop songcraft. None of these comebacks has been idiosyncratic enough to become a 2018 standout, but their classic approach has definitely been appreciated.
AlphaBat has had quite a rough go of it, debuting as a hip-hop group during the rookie boom of 2013 but never gaining much traction. Over the years, they’ve lost seven members due to military enlistments and other departures, but have kept chugging along with new faces joining the group. New World (신세계), then, is an appropriate title for this latest comeback. The song doesn’t sound anything like their 2013 work, but it does throw back to the styles preferred during that year.
In its opening moments, New World seems as if it’s going to launch into yet another over-played tropical instrumental, but its familiar synth squiggles are quickly replaced with a funky deep house beat. Deep house is right on the cusp of becoming yet another lifeless trend, but New World augments its signature structure with plenty of other electronic influences. However, what really gives this song punch is its confident chorus. The melody has a wonderful surge, followed by an extended post-chorus refrain that supplies World with satisfying moments of climax. AlphaBat give an assured, polished performance, culminating in a series of power notes that send the track off with energetic flair. It’s a shame the group doesn’t have stronger backing when it comes to promotion and music video production. A song like this deserves more attention than it’ll likely receive.