Last summer, GWSN completed their Park in the Night trilogy, which paired them primarily with producers Stupid Squad (who have one of the worst team names in recent memory). Now, the girls seem poised to evolve their sound, branching out with new collaborators and releasing a mini album that doesn’t define itself as a piece of some bigger whole. Title track Bazooka is a solid way to usher in this transformation, giving the group their most instantly addictive single yet.
The filtered cheerleader chants that open the track do not portend good things, and the first half of the verse is equally cloying in its cutesy, affected delivery. But, after this brief aegyo attack, Bazooka settles into its groove. I’m a big fan of its spunky instrumental, which blends muted guitar with a peppy beat that has a real retro appeal. Remarkably, its arrangement stays consistent all the way through, resisting the urge to tumble into some unnecessary breakdown. This goes a long way in making Bazooka digestible, and heightens its pop-fueled power.
I’ve always found GWSN’s vocals to be a bit indistinct, and the group’s lack of tonal diversity hinders Bazooka a bit. They’re at their best when the production knows which approaches to take, like the catchy “watch me, watch me” pre-chorus and the bursts of layering that pepper the verses. The chorus is less successful, reverting to the kind of cheery exclamations that tend to punctuate many girl group tracks. If acts like April and Apink have taught us anything this month, it’s that sometimes a more restrained performance can work wonders. I keep waiting for GWSN’s music to sound as cool as their unique (often wordy) titles suggest. Bazooka is a step in the right direction, but they still have a ways to go.
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