With leader Zico leaving Block B late last year, it’s hard to imagine a path forward for the group. I don’t mean to discount the contributions of the other members, but Zico always felt like the face of Block B. Luckily, the group already has an established sub-unit. Bastarz debuted in 2015, and consists of members P.O, U-Kwon and B-Bomb. Over the course of their four-year history, the guys have covered a lot of ground musically, making it hard to predict what a Bastarz comeback will sound like.
Last time we heard from the trio, it was in the form of the hard-hitting Make It Rain. In contrast, Help Me tackles a more subdued style. The song opens with a jazzy hip-hop beat and vocal-rich verse. It feels like the kind of track you’d hear in a smoky, dimly-lit club somewhere, casting off a cool vibe without ever drawing much attention to itself. B-Bomb and U-Kwon‘s vocals have always complimented each other, and the two blend especially well here. They craft an easy, airy tone that softens the gruff performance style favored by rapper P.O.
Speaking of P.O, he’s in charge of the first half of Help Me’s chorus — a loose, gritty hook that packs plenty of texture even if it may not reinvent the wheel. I’m less enthused by his verse, which warps his voice into a slurred, overly contentious beast that upends the song’s mellow groove. But then again, Help Me probably needed a blast of surprise. It’s a little too meek for its own good. I much prefer the group’s funky, guitar-led From Seoul, which was given its own music video as a pre-release.