First comebacks can be even more exciting than debuts. It’s where you begin to see the path of an artist. Will they double down and quickly develop a signature sound? Or, will they display their diversity with a new concept? I tend to prefer the former approach, unless I really disliked the debut song! With new single Zombie, Purple Kiss have chosen a stylistic switch-up, but retained some of the creepy edginess from March’s Ponzona.
Ponzona didn’t do much for me, so I’m happy to hear more bounce in Zombie’s sprightly step. It’s the girls’ take on a bright, quirky concept with a slight bitter taste that makes the sugar go down easy. This duality is on display right off the bat, as the sharp instrumental unveils its rhythmic guitar hook and we’re greeted by the song’s titular chant. This repeated vocal remains just short of cloying, aided by a performance that feels strong and assured. Horror-show shrieks pepper the playful verse, underlining an addictive rap.
The atmospheric pre-chorus is less engaging, as Zombie briefly loses its pace. But, the track quickly rebounds into a multi-pronged chorus. I’m of two minds about this series of refrains. It starts off strong, but quickly devolves into seemingly random melody lines that never form one cohesive whole. The “zombie-bie-bie-bie” hook ties everything together, but a stronger centerpiece would have alleviated some of the pressure put on that line. Even so, this is a welcome pre-Halloween dance track with just enough bite to keep Purple Kiss’s name on the tip of K-pop fans’ tongues.