Random Shuffle Review: Bigbang – Bang Bang Bang

With over 2,600 songs on my iPhone’s “K-Pop Singles” playlist, I thought it would be fun to add a bit of unpredictability to my song review posts. So as a result, we have the “Random Shuffle Review” feature.

The rules are simple. I fire up my playlist, press “shuffle,” and whatever song plays first gets the full Bias List treatment!

Year Released: 2015

With the events of this past year in mind, it seems unlikely that Bigbang will ever be able to replicate an era as successful as their Made series. 2105 was absolutely dominated by the group, as they unleashed track after track throughout the summer. Of them all, Bang Bang Bang (뱅뱅뱅) has proven to be the project’s most iconic moment and — for better or worse — has had deep influence over the post-2015 K-pop landscape. For me, it’s the very definition of a grower — a song I initially despised but have come to love as time went on.

Back in 2015, I was craving a big, Fantastic Baby-style dancefloor filler from the guys. When they made their long-awaited comeback with Loser and Bae Bae, I couldn’t help but be a little underwhelmed. Then, Bang Bang Bang dropped and it was absolutely perfect — up until the 0:56 mark. The song’s first minute is among Bigbang’s most galvanizing moments, opening with an aggressive synth riff and handclap-fueled fervor. The verse and pre-chorus build breathless momentum in a way that few songs are able to, hurling you right into the chaos with an unrelenting beat and warped electronics.

And then comes the drop. A now ubiquitous EDM structure felt utterly baffling at the time, sacrificing all the song’s energy for a trap-infused, catchphrase-driven hook. I can’t even describe how irritated this made me upon Bang Bang Bang‘s release. Of course, Bigbang have a knack for getting away with styles that would feel cringe-worthy if performed by others. It’s a testament to Bang’s indelible hook that I now can’t imagine the song with any other chorus. It helps that the guys reignite their breakneck pace for a standout second verse, and that the anthemic chant that closes the track helps tie everything together. That’s the sign of a great group, I suppose. They took one of my least favorite song structures and made it work through the sheer force of personality and charisma.

 Hooks 9
 Production 9
 Longevity 10
 Bias 9
 RATING 9.25



11 thoughts on “Random Shuffle Review: Bigbang – Bang Bang Bang

  1. Upfront, the timing of this post set my creep-o-meter up to 11. I had just purchased MADE from Google Play a few hours before seeing this post. I was looking up something else, saw ‘MADE’ on the sidebar and noticed YG had marked it down to $6.99, felt bad, bought it. I already had a physical copy, now I have it on Android; double yay!

    Regarding the recent scandal.. ..I’m not regarding the recent scandal. This post is about the music.

    One of the reasons I like this group is they get me to listen to genres that I don’t usually get into because it’s them taking me there; if that makes sense. I was going to do a breakdown of every song on MADE (including Bang Bang Bang) but thought, what’s the point? You’re either familiar with BIGBANG’s legacy or you live under a rock feeling around blindly trying to find your hearing aids.

    I don’t think you can take a single song from their discography and say, “This epitomizes BIGBANG.” Sure, “Bang Bang Bang” is a great song, but it’s only one puzzle piece and you won’t get to see the full picture until you put all of the other the pieces (songs) in place. As far as pieces go, however, this particular one is a doozy.

    Wow, I’m not going off-topic with this post. Wait.. this going off-topic? Dammit! Umm, never mind.


  2. Big Bang truly excel at arena songs, and BBB with Fantastic Baby are among their best for that. Its a good thing my commute at this time was on a fairly empty highway, because at the top of your lungs, with the drop change, well it does interesting things to holding onto the steering wheel and keeping more or less the same speed.

    This one is all sex drugs and rock and roll, which in real life turned out to be all that and more.


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  4. One more comment to add: I have always thought the synth sound over the verses sounded like rubber ducks being hit by a mallet.


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