Brave Brothers has enjoyed a resurgence with Brave Girls, fusing his classic dance-pop sound with the momentum spawned by viral popularity. Listening to mini albums Thank You and Summer Queen is like reading a guidebook on how to craft a rock-solid, classic K-pop song. Frustratingly, this Midas touch hasn’t quite made it down to Brave Entertainment’s other group: DKB.
Obviously, Brave Brothers can knock out a killer track, so it’s not a question of skill. Most of DKB’s title tracks simply opt for a different sound. Fair play to those who enjoy tracks like Sober (안취해). They’re not for me, and this one is particularly egregious. In fact, I’d call Sober aggressively obnoxious in its approach. It’s a ramshackle blend of shouted vocals and thudding percussion. Apart from the cool piano line that runs throughout most of the track, there’s nothing here I’d opt to experience again.
I think a Brave Brothers-produced hip-hop boy group could be very cool, and DKB have a few standouts in their discography. But, there’s only so much gruff sing-shout delivery I can take. Sober is at its best during its verses, when the guys tone down the bluster and opt for a more nuanced performance. In contrast, the chorus is just awful. It’s irritating and sing-song and stuffed with unpleasant textures. There’s a nice groove hidden somewhere inside, but you can barely hear it with so many warring elements thrown over the top. It’s a shame, because the guys clearly have skills. Their live performances have always stood out on music shows. But, a song like Sober is doing them no favors.