It’s the return of Kpopalypse Nugu Alert! Let’s take a look at some more nugus!
Yes we’re still clearing house of 2022 nugus and there will be one more post like this before the end of the year! This one is all about girl groups, and we all love girl groups don’t we (although your mileage with these particular ones may vary), so let’s dispense with the preambles and check out some nugu girl group offerings for 2022!
Usual criteria apply:
- Less than 20,000 views on official channels
- Won’t be seen in your favourite major media’s end of year hot debut wrap ups
- Relevant to Kpopalypse
PEACH A – Rebreath
Peach A serve up a fairly attractive video given their budget, with the usual nugu visual ideas in place, like random fluro objects on the walls for no reason and lots of fast cutting between one scene and exactly the same scene at maybe a two degree angle difference to make you feel like something’s actually happening other than a dance routine. Musically, “Rebreath” actually ends up surprising with a reasonably good chorus, which works quite well simply because the ladies of Peach A stop singing for most of it, and the usual post-second chorus breakdown doesn’t do anything shameful either which is nice. The rest of the song is not that great however with some fairly awful rap breaks, some horrible melodies and even a few rare-for-k-pop cases of technical incompetence, such as at 1:36 where the start of the big vocal build up to the chorus gets lost in the mix because the studio engineer didn’t turn the vocal compression ratio up far enough, but hey it’s musically still probably the pick of the bunch in this episode. At least they didn’t know how to do a trap breakdown properly so there’s just a bit of bass guitar noodling instead, let’s hope nobody tells them what that kind of thing is actually supposed to sound like.
Youtube views at the time of writing: 7885
Notable attribute: random subway train mock-up backdrop clearly loaned from a JAV set, I guess the outside of the Paradise Diner was being rented out by a bigger group that day
Nugu Alert rating: very high
EUNOAI – You Know I
Gullible k-pop fans globally have been brainwashed by years of marketing to believe that “innocent”, “girl crush” and “sexy” are the only three k-pop concepts that exist, but the fact is that there’s a wealth of k-pop concepts out there, and always has been. Eunoai here show one of my enduring favourites, which is the “you can do it, girls” concept. You’ve all seen it before: the girls in the group all try to do a random performance-oriented activity for the first half of the video and keep messing up, but gosh they are determined and they keep trying hard and later on in the video they are doing the thing that they couldn’t do before, cheers for them. Only girl groups ever get this type of concept (because boys fucking something up even a little bit temporarily would take a few chips out of their fragile masculinity I suppose) but it’s a concept that’s been around ever since Girls’ Generation’s “Into The New World” and has been a big favourite of AOA and many others. Anyway I really enjoyed Eunoai’s take on this concept because it seems more realistic with a very young group who would in real life actually still be learning things, unlike the SNSD members who really should be able to taxi a light aircraft along a runway on their own by debut, jesus fuck, does the most powerful label in k-pop teach you girls nothing. Although I’m not sure about that girl at 0:53 who only has to stand without falling over rather than doing anything actually hard like skateboarding or abseiling down a cliff and she still can’t manage it at first, she wouldn’t last a week in T-ara, but to the rest of them, solid effort girls, you can do it.
Youtube views at the time of writing: 1885
Notable attribute: having a group name with all five vowels in it but only six letters total probably deserves some sort of linguistic achievement award
Nugu Alert rating: extreme
Flush – Tng
A real musical oddity, “Tng” has the usual slow boring trap sonics but also features some pretty cool guitar and bass riffs with a sort of psychedelic 60s rock vibe, making me think that perhaps someone in the studio was actually fighting upstream trying to make this song not suck. It’s a pity that all that stuff kind of gets drowned out and everything just ends up being sonically way too messy as a result of all the conflicting elements, especially as the vocals get busier and busier. Still, what seems even more crowded than the music is the set design, with most of the dancing happening in tiny corridors where the girls barely even have room to swing their arms without knocking the candles off the walls, and on the “chessboard” they even had to push all the chess action into a corner just so they had enough room to do their routines. At least they have a “flooded floor” scene in the best Gfriend tradition, although it looks like it might be a cut-and-paste of two completely different shots from two different places, as the building they’re in actually looks pretty spiffy and I doubt there was enough in the budget for post-flood cleanup… or maybe it was an actual flood and not part of the plan. Anyway if the toilets really did overflow, let’s hope next time someone remembers to “flush” properly.
Youtube views at the time of writing: 1811
Notable attribute: pawn on the right at 1:00 is moved a few squares over by 1:10, presumably because dancers were bumping into it. Check?
Nugu Alert rating: extreme
GEMtopia feat. Kyurim, Eun U, Hana, Dabin – In To You
It’s not very often that you see duo groups debut in k-pop, sure we had TVXQ but they sort of became a duo by accident, other than that there’s Davichi, Keembo, Cocosori, and… not a lot else, but you can now add GEMtopia to that list. Their song “In To You” also bills four other collaborators, or perhaps it’s just the two girls in the group plus two other collaborators, who the fuck knows, but I’m really not sure what anybody here actually did so I guess it doesn’t matter much. What does matter is that the song is fairly disastrous with some of the most awkward tempo changes I’ve ever heard in a pop song and yes that’s including anything by NMIXX. There’s also some very strange David Lynch style imagery, which I guess is a polite way of saying that nothing that happens here makes any sense, when the proceedings eventually turn into a basic outdoor dance video during the choruses you’ll breathe a sigh of relief that at least they’ve stopped messing with your head. The CGI stars they’re looking at with the telescope are pretty wild though, more of that please.
Youtube views at the time of writing: 1119
Notable attribute: someone decided to add margins to the screen at 1:26 before immediately deciding it was a shitty idea and scrapping it, good work, maybe they can teach others and we can have less shitty mobile phone format vertical videos wasting our desktop widescreen real estate in future
Nugu Alert rating: extreme
That’s all for this episode – Kpopalypse will return soon with the final Nugu Alert for 2022!