When BIGBANG compared their then upcoming single “Bang Bang Bang” to their 2012 mega-hit, “Fantastic Baby” before calling the excellent “Bae Bae” and “Loser” ‘appetizers‘ before the ‘main course,’ I knew I probably wasn’t going to love their next offering.
“Bad Boy” was clearly the best single from the entire Alive era yet the more generic “Fantastic Baby” stole the spotlight, and as expected, “Bang Bang Bang” is a case of history repeating itself.
BIGBANG’s always right on time when it comes to the latest club trends to be swallowed and regurgitated by the mainstream, so “Bang Bang Bang” opens in a flurry of handclaps and rapid-fire laser synths, then slows to an electro crawl on the chorus. Sedated sirens wail like a weirdly clever reverse psychology call to the dance floor, and a baby G-Dragon amps up the odd factor by chirruping “Bang bang bang!” like a little kid with a new toy gun. (The latter plays out in the MV with a questionable Cowboys and Indians concept.)
The slow motion hook isn’t a new technique (just listen to any Mad Decent mix online), but it feels fresh for K-pop when stacked against such speedy verses–especially as far as commercial boy band EDM goes, one of the more pedestrian corners of Asian pop music.
Even so, “Bang Bang Bang” is still just one Ultra Music Festival away from becoming a David Guetta hit, and that’s not a good thing. I got into K-pop to try and get away from that shit.
I don’t care how many Melon roof hits or YouTube views BIGBANG’s trashy turn up records get, I still stand by my opinion that their dance music sounds better with some feeling. This is Korea’s biggest band we’re talking about, not some nugu idols we can forgive for peddling forgettable electro.
Lowest common denominator dance music is fun, but there’s a time and a place for it–it’s called G-Dragon’s solo career.