In their relatively short existence as a group, TO1 has been through the ringer. First debuting as TOO in 2020, they changed companies a year later and were rebranded with their current name. Then, a handful of members left the group and three new guys joined. Whatever the line-up, let’s pour one out for the TO1 iteration that gave us Count 1, 2 and Step By Step – career highlights that are unlikely to ever be matched by future comebacks.
New single Drummin’ is a solid rebound from last year’s disappointing No More X. It’s playful and rambunctious – a combination of Block B’s freewheeling energy and more standard summer-themed boy group fare. There’s a lot of whooping and hollering, and I can’t help but feel the track would have benefitted from a more streamlined approach. But, I appreciate the bright, upbeat energy. The rollicking instrumental is supported by bursts of brass and a catchy, repeated synth flourish that feels very retro. The producers even manage to shoehorn in their post-chorus tempo shift without totally upending the structure of the track. Given its title, I’m surprised they didn’t feature a prominent drumline!
Drummin’ suffers from an underdeveloped hook that opts for easy, catchphrasey repetition over melodies you can really sink your teeth into. The energy is brisk enough to make this approach work, but in a sea of chanting boy group releases this doesn’t stick out as much as it should. Add it to your playlist for some silly K-pop fun, but look elsewhere for something that’ll knock you off your feet.