Song Review: WARPs – Rock Tonight

Dear Bias List readers: this is the kind of beat that makes me deliriously happy.

Growing up, Michael and Janet Jackson’s discographies were my definition of pop perfection, and that really hasn’t changed. Give me a bright, funky instrumental and I’m happy. Add a powerful kick and layers upon layers of rhythm and I’ve reached a state of pop euphoria. Rock Tonight feels like a long-lost cut from the Jackson’s early-80’s oeuvre, slotting right between Don’t Stop ‘Til You Get Enough and Wanna Be Startin’ Somethin’. This is one of the highest compliments I could give a group.

Rock Tonight is also the debut of new Japanese/Chinese boy group WARPs, released under mega-label Avex Group. Despite the cachet behind the track, I haven’t seen anyone talking about it. That’s going to change now, because I am obsessed with this song.

This isn’t an overly complicated production. Rock Tonight finds its groove immediately and retains that structure all the way through to its end. But with funk energy this palpable, the instrumental doesn’t need to swerve and loop all over the place. The percussion hits hard, with stabs of brass and nimble bass guitar giving it plenty of life. The group’s vocals effortlessly wrap themselves around this brew. They’re especially potent during the standout chorus, which is a rhythmic centerpiece unto itself. It’s been awhile since I’ve heard a pop single this infectiously joyful. I’m gonna need these guys to become huge so that we can get more A+ material like this on the regular.

 Hooks 9
 Production 10
 Longevity 9
 Bias 10

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9 thoughts on “Song Review: WARPs – Rock Tonight

  1. Hi, Nick, I am really glad that you reviewed this single. But I was wondering about your thoughts on a couple of other great Japanese singles like – former U-Kiss members Juns, Phenomenal World, and Kevin’s Freedom, as well as newest Johnny’s debuts Sixtones and Snowman.


    • I want to write about Sixtones and Snowman, but I don’t feel like I can yet because the youtube mvs don’t seem to be shortened edits of the songs. Unless I’m wrong, they’re each missing the second verses.

      I missed that Jun song. It’s good! I also like his new Korean track. The Kevin song is good too (especially the chorus and instrumental), but they both came out too long ago for me to write about, unfortunately.


      • Oh, yes, I was really disappointed when I saw that the music videos came YouTube version tag. Sixtones one lacks central part and that is so annoying.
        Anyways, Nick, thank you for replying to my comment. I wish you all the best in new year.


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