No, this isn’t a version of ATEEZ’s Rocky performed in their boxers. This is a re-recorded Japanese take on the track that serves as the group’s latest J-pop single. As such, most of this review is simply a cut-and-paste of my “buried treasure” write-up from last year.
However, I’m bumping up the bias rating just a bit because of the extra guitar the producers have sewn through the entire track. It’s omnipresent, almost to the point of distraction. But, it gives the arrangement a welcome jolt of intensity.
I’m glad ATEEZ re-recorded a b-side for promotion rather than simply cut-and-paste an already-released single. Rocky deserves the extra attention.
Original Review (Sept. 2021)
ATEEZ’s music is at its best when it goes big. Rocky turns the volume up to eleven and unleashes its stomping, guitar-fueled blast without restraint. I’ve read that this was considered as title track material alongside Deja Vu and Eternal Sunshine, and it would have made for exciting promotions. The instrumental swaggers all over the place, anchored by heavy percussion and a dramatic riff. At times, the blustering brew feels like reheated Monsta X, but that sense of familiarity is salvaged as soon as electric guitar rips through the final chorus. Rocky finds a satisfying climax, and that’s always been a vital aspect of any good ATEEZ track.
If I had my way, Rocky‘s fun instrumental would be paired with an even stronger hook. The melody is a little one-note, relying heavily on snarling bravado. Compliment Rocky’s engaging bombast with a more melodic topline and you’d have an incredible highlight. As it stands, the track is one of the best from ATEEZ’s Fever series. But compared to the 2018-20 Treasure Era, that’s a lower hurdle to cross.