I woke up today resigned to the fact I’d be writing about yet another K-pop song from twelve years ago. It turns out, it’s quite challenging to run a K-pop review blog without new K-pop releases! But, Bias List favorites OnlyOneOf have swooped in to save the day, unveiling their new Japanese single Chrome Arts ahead of their upcoming EP.
With a Korean comeback on the way and their individual Underground Idol series wrapping up, the guys have been busy. Chrome Arts feels more like a detour than an expansion of their story, but if you’re eager for more prickly pop in the vein of Libido and Skinz, this song will definitely scratch an itch. In many ways, Chrome Arts feels like a mash-up of those two tracks. It has the same energy, twisting and lurching on a fitful bed of angular, industrial percussion. It’s chanted as often as it’s sung, and its dangerous aura almost dares you to keep it at arm’s length. Each iteration of this sound struggles to match the sheer power of Libido – a true revelatory moment in their discography. But, the formula still pays off.
When all is said and done, I don’t think I’ll play this as often as either of its predecessors. The hook is a little undercooked for my taste. But, there are plenty of highlights to be found. I’d like to spotlight the second verse – a segment that often draws ire on this blog. It’s my favorite piece of Chrome Arts, unveiling a new flow and energy that pushes the song forward rather that run it off a cliff. A track of this style feels like an ever-evolving beast. Its best moments occur when it feels like that beast is about to break from its shackles. A powerful bridge echoes this intensity as the instrumental grumbles and roars behind it. The tension is palpable.