TRCNG - WOLF BABY
TRCNG is the latest 10-member boy group coming out of TS Entertainment. They debuted late last year with "Spectrum," a song that absolutely put them on my radar as a group to look out for in the future. Apparently that future has come rather early, as TRCNG is the first group to come back in 2018 after less than three months from their debut. From the teasers and even just the title of the song, I was curious about what style of song they would choose to go for this time around.
The song immediately starts off with a high-pitched flute tangled in amongst a ditty being scatted and filtered to make it sound as though it were coming through a record player. After a few seconds, horns and drums blare out to interrupt and transition us to the real instrumentals that continue the same tune that we'd been introduced to. A heavy electronic vibe fills out a majority of the instrumentation, fluctuating between highs and lows while the boys sing and crisply rap over the beat. Horns are sparsely used and are practically unnoticeable, though they add further differentiation when they are present.
The first thing that I have to say is that this song is a great progression for TRCNG. "WOLF BABY" shows a very similar color to their debut, but it departs enough to obviously be a different direction for the group. While I didn't have time to review "Spectrum," this song retains the qualities of it that got me excited for TRCNG in the first place. The potential for this group is put on display once again and this left me with only a couple of negative remarks. The biggest critique I can give is that there wasn't a strong high note that really topped off the song, leaving me wanting for just that little bit more. The beginning of the bridge is also a little awkward and it feels kind of hitched on rather than flowing smoothly, but that may fall to simply being my opinion.
Aside from all of that, I want to praise the great job done with the instrumentals against the vocals. With the heavier sound that's used in this song, it could have very easily overpowered the vocals and drowned them out completely. Instead, we always have a clear tone of both and it's rather simple to distinguish it all from one section to another. There's several sections that help break up what could become a monotonous sound, such as when they draw back everything and only have finger snaps during the first verse. Overall this song is executed well and it has cemented my eagerness to see how these boys continue down the line.
With a song title like "WOLF BABY," you'd have to expect that the video would be very Halloween-esque. TS Entertainment didn't disappoint as they had the boys running through a myriad of horror tropes. However, instead of going full in on the horror concept, TRCNG's "WOLF BABY" hedges on the more silly, comedic side of things. The boys all play pranks on one another in the most extreme of fashions, ranging from simple shadow puppets to full on chainsawing a hand off. A grainy filter is layered over a majority of the video, removed particularly for individual member closeups and the occasional shots of the group choreography.
The video is standard in terms of what you expect - it shows off the dance, it has a bit of plot, it has the individual member shots, and it's a concept that we're all familiar with by now. However, the concept is done in a fun and quirky manner that gives this video a unique, fresh coat of paint. Nothing is taken too seriously in this video. From the trees in the background of the outdoor shots that are very obviously just cardboard cutouts, to the very fake wolf mask that's adorned at the end of the video, even down to their outfits which are literally just high school jackets with some fur tacked on. All of this adds charm to what could otherwise be a recycled idea.
TRCNG has set themselves up to be one of my favorite new groups with this comeback. "WOLF BABY" represents another step for the group and also highlights their ability to bring a special type of allurement to concepts that might not be entirely original. Being able to set yourself apart from other groups in the current K-pop scene seems to be getting more and more difficult, but I think TRCNG absolutely knocked it out of the park with this comeback. If you aren't a fan, or if you haven't checked them out already, I'd recommend that you reconsider.