Review

Song Review: CRAVITY – Gas Pedal

CRAVITY - Gas PedalCRAVITY have had a very successful debut year, but I’ve yet to connect with any of their title tracks. Some of their b-sides and follow-up promotions have shown more promise, but the group’s sound seems stuck in this noisy, shouty style that takes promising concepts and upends them with ill-fitting breakdowns. This was especially apparent in January’s My Turn, which sacrificed a few excellent moments to the all-powerful altar of “skrrt skrrt.”

New single Gas Pedal also shows potential, but its glimmers of hope are harder to uncover. In a way, this is to the song’s benefit. I’d much rather have a messy track that’s messy all the way through than a smooth arrangement that collapses into some jarring diversion. Gas Pedal commits to its madness, and I guess you have to respect that. Like many boy group tracks, it feels heavily indebted to NCT’s clanging, experimental sound.

Wonky, oscillating synth acts as an unconventional backbone to much of the track, spiraling downward as if the song is staggering around drunk. The pre-chorus adds a bit of momentum as the energy rises. But by the time we reach the titular, shout-along hook we’re into K-pop breakdown territory. For a track called Gas Pedal, its velocity stalls quite often. I’m sure this is designed to bring the “swerve” of the lyrics to life, but its too dull and droning to have much of an effect. I wish the entire song sounded more like its bridge, which adds robust synth bass and offers a glimpse of the vocal bombast that’s missing from other segments.

When it comes down to it, I may just have to shrug and admit CRAVITY’s music isn’t for me. We’re four title tracks in and I still haven’t found one I enjoy.

 Hooks 7
 Production 8
 Longevity 7
 Bias 7
 RATING 7.25

30 thoughts on “Song Review: CRAVITY – Gas Pedal

  1. My Turn had vroom vroom vroom vroom skirt which is at least good for the meme. This doesn’t even have that.

    Also I’d like bgs to steal great vocal sections when they plan to rip off NCT

    Liked by 6 people

  2. It’s strange. I remember CRAVITY’s Cloud 9 and Ooh-Ahh. I even remember their debut somewhat. But I don’t remember anything else.

    It feels like Starship’s management wants to really put CRAVITY into this specific concept emulating some of the top boy grounds. Ironically, their bright concepts work the best for them, but for some reason they are dragged down into a sound. I think the members themselves seem very talented but their producers and the people choosing their concepts just can’t get it together.

    I’m curious how it would’ve gone through if their title tracks went like: Cloud 9 > Ooh-Aah (or Hot Air Balloon) > Dangerous > Grand Prix or Divin or even the unique Veni Vidi Vici. Those three seem like the best in the album.

    I don’t know, it seems more fitting to them than what is essentially co-opting an NCT-esque sound. Their b-sides have more identity than their title tracks.

    Oh right, Gas Pedal. I don’t really have much to say. It’s been done better by better producers.

    On a side note: ZSunder made an interesting aespa knockoff demo. I like it, but without a melody I can’t really judge how it would sound, but I can imagine them singing it somewhat.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I…ahhhh. I really wanted to like this comeback. I wanted to like one of their title tracks. Flame was interesting for me and my turn was pretty good if you drop that…vroom vroom ordeal.

    However, this literally feels like…other groups. Like NCT emulation. I only made it to the second chorus so far- but I already know it just isn’t my taste. Which is sad, but I guess not all groups can be for everyone.

    I’ll still watch the whole thing with and without the mv to give it a chance. But song just isn’t my vibe. I’ll keep coming back for for every title track though because I will not lose hope.

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  4. I can’t connect with them and I can’t figure out why. I like boy groups, I like loud, I like chaos, and this doesn’t do much for me.

    I think the vocals and raps are kind of generic and lack fire. And there should be sharper dynamics. It’s an extreme sound but it pulls its punches. I think this sonng would be a different thing in NCT 127’s, MCND’s or even CIX’s hands.

    But if there is an instrumental for this, I want it. That warbly synth slaps. Maybe someone will rap over it and make me like it more. About a 6.75 for me.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Also, in other noisy news, have we talked about how awful Enhypen’s Billy Poco single is with vocals, and how cool it is without? Like a crazy instrumental carnival ride.

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    • Samesies on your first paragraph. I re-visited CRAVITY’s previous release and find I like each release less than the one before it. “Break All The Rules” is 100% my sort of loud, chaotic jam and the entire EP is basically the same vibe. “Flame” I didn’t like as much, but it’s still got it’s high points, and I like a couple of the b-sides. I couldn’t handle the chorus in “My Turn”, although I LOVE “Bad Habits”, and “Mammoth” grew on me. Now we’ve got an 8 track album and “VENI VIDI VICI” is the only one I like enough to playlist, and even that’s more a “I wouldn’t mind hearing that trumpet riff again” than a “wow, I love this!”

      Liked by 1 person

    • Update, not only did I love Veni Vidi VIci, but i made it the centerpiece of a playlist that secretly wishes Todd Rundgren or Jeff Lynne would produce a Kpop group.

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  5. This is hard. I’ve been interested in this group since their debut (or more accurately since the Starship boys appeared on Produce X) and I’ve yet to be happy with any of the choices they’re making regarding title tracks. My Turn and Gas Pedal in particular may be fine songs, but they’re just not for me at all, and it frustrates me a little because much as I like these boys and think they’re very talented I don’t think this sound fits them at all. Cravity’s strength for me is their vocals (especially Woobin) and the fact that the majority of the group exudes a refreshing bright energy in their promoted b-sides where the execution seems to be much more assured and confident. These aren’t being highlighted by their recent title tracks at all, and I wish they would be at some point. And while I’m not super in the know about what the fandom thinks, I feel this sentiment is becoming increasingly common recently. Let Cravity try something different soon please!

    Their b-sides though are really good and keep me still interested in them. This time around I really like Veni Vidi Vici, Grand Prix, and Divin’. Any one of those could have gotten the title track treatment and I’d have loved it. Starship… why, just why

    Liked by 1 person

  6. You know how when Paul Mccartnet wrote “Yesterday” it started as “scrambled eggs”

    I can imagine some producer/toplining 6 person team doing that but instead of “scrambled eggs” they started with “hot sauce drippy dripping”

    Liked by 2 people

  7. I never return to any of the group’s tracks, but they’re clearly talented. I think I only like this song because I knew what to expect and no section of the song was unexpected in a jarring way. Though I can’t figure out when I would want to listen to this song I can appreciate some parts. The pre-chorus grabs my attention every time I play the song ,and I much rather have the descending synth instead of a clanging beat.

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  8. Yeah not the biggest fan of their sound but i do love their dystopian / futuristic aesthetic.

    I also only watched the first music video teaser and came into this thinking we would have a dark synthwave track 😂.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. While we’re on the topic of boy groups, what are your thoughts on Stray Kids’s upcoming album and the tracks they’ve teased so far?

    I’ve got to say, I’m not quite feeling too much of it. I just watched the MV teaser and it’s pretty much the opposite aesthetic of what I hoped. I also think the songs in the album are good, but nothing stands out as of yet. (Domino is really growing on me, though). I hope they manage to out-do their GO LIVE album, but i feel like that’s going to be a very tough task.

    Liked by 1 person

    • The title song this time for me is like a lost twin of God’s menu last year with a more dramatic mv. The #2 teaser may show the climax of the song and nothing is magnificently beautiful but noisily rude. God’s menu has been their most successful track so far after a few centuries being intangible nugu hence they just want to profit that saint formula until they will be brave enough to overcome the ‘God’s menu trauma’. Anyway, I assume they would’ve dropped a mini album in the end of June this year if Hyunjin scandal would not had happened. It’s quite late and the company want to get as much money as possible with a full-length album, many songs in this album (3/4) seem to be forgettable sketches…

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      • I remember watching a video when they announced a full-length album at the start of the year, but Hyunjin’s situation and the Kingdom show most likely pushed the release back.

        I wouldn’t say they are following a formula, rather I think they have just experimented with sounds that aren’t quite my thing. I don’t mind most of the songs in the album either, but the consistency of songs 7-11 on their ‘Go Live’ album [Phobia, Blueprint, TA, Haven, TOP] definitely raised my expectations for this one.

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  10. Long time lurker here to say that Woobin has been wasted in this group’s title tracks. Starship managed to get their hands on a vocal powerhouse but they seem strangely eager not to utilize him. It’s just odd.

    Aside from that, I honestly don’t mind this track. Though I vastly prefer the pop-house of their b-sides Hot Air Balloon and Dangerous, the dark-hiphop-synth-racer sound isn’t terrible. It’s certainly not the one I’d like to see them continue to pursue but they pull it off well enough. If anything, I appreciate how genuinely weird it all sounds. The contrast between the bouncy descending synth and the percussive bursts of what sounds more like static than anything you’d find on a drum kit, the way the first chorus refuses to up the ante even a little, the brief glimpses of melody sprinkled throughout, the introduction of new percussive elements in the bridge and final chorus. . . the Bad Habits influence is undeniable.

    Also I’m glad that the chorus isn’t a complete shout-fest. I actually liked My Turn, but dear lord, that VROOMVROOMVROOMVROOMVROOMVROOMVROOMVROOMVROOM SKRT!! Just a baffling choice for an otherwise solid song.

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  11. This isn’t my type of music and yet…I kinda like it. I like that wonky, lurching synth you talk about. This happened with Bad Habits, too.

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  12. This honestly sounds like an unfinished demo. It sounds like an intro on an angsty boygroup k-pop album (which I think it is). This does not sound like a title track at all.

    As someone said above me, it frustrates me that I can’t like this song. You can tell the boy’s are better with brighter songs. Cravity’s voices suit songs that are belted and have a higher range (I think, I’m winging this honestly). You know, songs that they don’t have to shout to.

    At least My Turn is like the movie The Room to me. But I did enjoy the music video, it has hints of Akira in there.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Nope. Just plain boring with a dose of “hot sauce deeply dip that.”

    But then Cravity has always been about the b-sides anyways, and those are still pretty good. Specially Veni Vidi Vici, although I think it still sounds slightly too tame for a title track. (It screams “intro” to me).

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Sorry to say this. But this style dont fit the group. It’s the 4th time Starship gave them songs with angsty Monsta X/NCT like sound but it doesn’t work well.
    Gas Pedal is a generic boy group song that another group could have done, maybe better. They are following trends and blending with other groups instead of trying to stand out.
    I think Cravity should embrace their brighter song Cloud9, Hot Air Balloon, Ooh Aah, Dangerous.
    But the bsides in this album aren’t strong enough to be title.

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  15. I do not usually like this kind of music but somehow Cravity gets the pass from me with this because it’s pretty much what I expect 😂 Honestly I can only agree with this kinda song if it’s from Cravity or NCT.🙃😂

    But other than that Veni Vedi Vici is so damn good!!! It would have been an amazing title track but oh well I understand the boys did cars, now bikes so Gas Pedal was the choice😂

    Like

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