During their debut last year, D-CRUNCH displayed tons of potential but never gained much attention outside of a niche group of listeners. When I think of the best that their music has to offer, my mind immediately conjures impressive instrumentals and hard-hitting hip-hop hooks. New single Are You Ready (작당모의) gets one half of that equation right, but feels under-formed.
My favorite aspect of Ready is its big, boisterous instrumental. Its thunderous beat is nothing new, but I like that it sustains throughout the entire track without collapsing into trap or future bass influences. There’s something refreshingly old school about that. I can’t believe I’m calling this particular brand of K-pop “old school,” but that’s where we are in 2019. As an energy-lifter, Are You Ready‘s ceaseless bombast gets the job done.
Unfortunately, that’s about all the song does. It feels underwritten from the very beginning. Each moment comes across as a post-chorus ad-lib from a stronger track, with its central hook essentially composed of instructions for how to dance to the song. There’s nothing wrong with music designed solely to start a party, but Ready never does anything new with that motivation. It’s rambunctious and addicting on the surface, but without a strong melody there’s not much to keep listeners coming back. Worse yet, a track this generic does nothing to evolve D-CRUNCH’s unique sound. On the plus side, the song continues to spotlight impressive rap verses from its members. The guys are clearly capable of tackling more interesting material than this. I hope they get the chance.