T1419’s debut Asurabalbalta was one of the few K-pop singles that never grew on me. And, it definitely had the opportunity! I feel like I watched it promoted on music shows for months. To me, Asurabalbalta was emblematic of the worst “noise pop” that’s taken over certain sub-sections of the industry’s boy group landscape. Add to that a group name that fosters no curiosity whatsoever, and you’ve got a rookie act who have their work cut out for them.
I’m eager for T1419 to release something that catches my ear. New single Exit is a step in the right direction, but still feels under-formed and generic. The rubbery bass that opens the track calls all the way back to H.O.T’s Warrior’s Descendent days, and I’d love to hear the rest of the song replicate that charm. There are flashes of creativity here and there – especially the filtered background chants and spiraling synth samples – but the track could use more bite.
I appreciate how specific Exit sets its sights. It’s a good old-fashioned hip hop track, and doesn’t twist itself in multiple directions trying to be something else. The head-nodding beat is very early-00’s Dr. Dre, and carries a certain level of nostalgia. Meanwhile, the brassy distortion that makes up the bridge/dance break is pure K-pop bombast, and should have been jettisoned altogether. In between, we have some decent rap verses and a swaggering chorus that doesn’t go hard enough. It’s all quite pleasant and much less obnoxious than their debut, but I think T1419 still have a way to go.