When it came time to draft my “top ten rookies of 2018” list, I wanted to find a place for NeonPunch. After all, their June debut was an early-summer highlight amidst a sea of similarly-pitched 90’s dance throwbacks. But, the girls came and went without much fanfare. With only one song to their name, it was hard to know what direction their future may take (or if they’d even have a future…). Thankfully, all is not lost. Seven months later and they’re back with TicToc — a worthy successor to Moonlight.
Composed by the same team (producers TENTEN), TicToc takes much of what made Moonlight fun and expands on it. A similar 90’s house beat drives the instrumental, overlaid with an extremely catchy vocal hook that’s pitched up to create bright texture. This element could have easily grated, but it’s used in just the right dose and greatly enhances the song.
TicToc’s chorus doesn’t explode in the way I might have hoped, but it still acts as a strong anchor. Interestingly, its pace feels slower than the rest of the track, but its sonic density is much more robust and gives it the kind of climactic appeal every good chorus should have. This arrangement becomes even more engaging as electric guitar enters the fray for TicToc’s final thirty seconds. It’s a real “Iggy/Youngbae GFriend” move, which makes me wonder if NeonPunch may adopt a similar style in the future. So far, they’re two for two when it comes to quality. I hope they can keep it up.