Though they haven’t received as much attention as some of the year’s more prominent rookies, boy group DKB has been chugging along, steadily releasing music that matches the sonic history of their agency Brave Entertainment. Unfortunately, as they’ve gone on I’ve enjoyed their output less and less. Though Brave Brothers is listed as a composer, it feels like we’re getting his style without the knockout hooks that characterized his best work.
Speaking of work, Work Hard (난 일해) is oddly titled. I get that it’s an encapsulation of the lyrics rather than the track’s general sound, but Work Hard doesn’t feel like it’s exerting itself at all. This can be a positive, as a laidback charm goes a long way toward bolstering the appeal of certain tracks. But, Work Hard doesn’t bring anything new to this sub-genre of boy group K-pop. Its electro trap approach is consistent all the way through, but fails to elicit sparks. The song has a droning quality that makes it feel incredibly languid, assisted by vocal effects that dull the members’ performance.
This is unfortunate, because there are a few decent melodic turns within Work Hard’s subdued bounce. I don’t mind the chorus, though it would improve by having more meat on its bones. As catchy as it is, the singsong refrain is repeated over and over again to the point of exhaustion. The rest of the track feels incredibly affected, with swag and “skrrts” the order of the day. This is a shame, because DKB have delivered some decent b-sides in the past. But for me, their title tracks continue to be completely inert.