Military enlistment has always been part of K-pop’s boy group narrative, but in past generations these enlistments often occurred after a group had already reached their commercial peak (or ended their contract). This newer generation tends to have a slower, steadier rise in fan base, meaning that some members enlist just as their group is gaining steam. It’s interesting to see how agencies handle this. Larger group configurations certainly help.
One way to get around the enlistment dilemma is to create sub-units. There’s no telling if Pentagon’s Yuto, Kino and Wooseok will forge a lasting unit, but they’ve teamed up for special hip-hop single Cerberus. The track is a nice departure from most of Pentagon’s group work, though it’s more of a curiosity than a chart-conquering smash.
Cerberus’s bass-heavy beat echoes my favorite tracks from the group’s last album, pounding with a gritty groove that will sound great when played as loud as your speakers can handle. I could do without the whistling samples, but the entire track is a playground of competing sound effects. This chaotic energy matches the trio’s performance, which often has an unhinged character. There’s not much of a hook to be found, but I don’t think that’s the point. Cerberus is all about intensity. And while it may not be the kind of song I find myself reaching for often, I can’t fault its ability to get the listener’s pulse racing. At the very least, it’s one of the strangest unit tracks to come out of a mainstream idol group in a while.