Reboots always scare me a bit, especially when attached to a group or artist that I like. I’m all for musical growth, but a “reboot” connotes something more dramatic – a shedding of an old sound in favor of something completely new. The Rampage’s upcoming album bears this troublesome name, and from the tracks we’ve heard already it does feel like the group is pushing into new territory. As someone who adored pretty much every track from their first two albums, this change is getting a fair amount of side eye.
Now don’t get me wrong… last year’s Fullmetal Trigger is one of their best songs, but it’s not indicative of what was to follow in 2020. I liked Invisible Love a lot, and thought Fears was solid. But, new single Silver Rain comes across as more generic. Specifically, I feel like I’ve heard this sound in K-pop quite a bit. Too much attention is given to mood and atmosphere. The percussion is fitful and the chorus has that lurching, future bass style that prevents it from growing into anything truly transcendent. A noisy, pots-and-pans EDM breakdown only furthers the track’s inability to keep its momentum.
Thankfully, The Rampage manage to elevate a rather forgettable production. Their vocal performances remain top notch, and I like how they’ve given room for their rap sub-unit MA55IVE to shine. Still, there’s only so much that can be done with a song that never really goes anywhere. I think a much stronger chorus could have put this on par with the best of their singles run. For now, I’m selfishly hoping that this reboot doesn’t take hold too strongly.