If last year it was B2ST vs. MBLAQ, this year it's Z:EA/Child of Empire vs. F.Cuz - and of course I have a say about both of them. Both bands are from lesser-known talent companies (and when I say that it means they're not from SM, YG, JYP OR DSP) but I don't really care if they were from SM or whatever.
Round 1 is the debut - their first singles/music videos. Round 2 will be the first live performances and round 3 will be the first full-length or mini-albums (whenever they come). Ready? OK.
In line with me trying to establish PRN as the blog for critical reviews on kpop, I'll be as ruthless as possible - if you get offended (which you have no reason to be but whatever) just close this tab/window. And don't you dare tell me I don't know anything - I do so just leave if you don't like what you're reading.
Let's start with Z:EA.
Originally called Child of Empire (and they still are, I've heard), the band have been under fire for using the name 'Z:EA' as the hangul is the same as an existing artist. They started sometime last year under the same talent company as Jewelry and performed guerilla concerts all over the place. Their formal debut was pushed back several times but finally a few days ago the mini album was released.
There are 9 guys, NINE guys. Yes, if you're thinking the male SNSD, possibly.
When I first heard the song I was neutral - they're not bad, they're not good. They can potentially get better with their next release and things are looking pretty good. When I saw the video though, I saw a DBSK (Mirotic) AND SS501 (Love Like This) rip-off. It sucks, I mean why'd you copy two established bands (one of whom is a legend in kpop)? But it's not like I care about the video.
The song itself is very generic, it sounds like everything else but it can be bearable with good execution. Sadly, that's something these guys don't have. They do however have the potential. I can't tell if they can sing because once again EVERYTHING'S PROCESSED. Will people PLEASE get over this whole auto-tune crap and start getting back to ACTUALLY SINGING? Like, everyone can sing now with processing, even if they have no right to. They're kinda like what B2ST were last year, only with less visible ability at the moment.
I'll be watching them though.
Now, on to F.Cuz
F.Cuz were the band that everyone got excited over at the sight of pictures but because my focus is the music, I never really checked them out until the video was released this morning. You know what? They're not worth even one ounce of the hype.
I tweeted this morning that Jiggy screams NOVELTY SONG and I still think so. The song is a joke, what kind of self-respecting person who knows anything about music would actually think this is decent? It's cheap, it's gimmick-y in the wrong way and for crap's sake do they seriously think they'd get any respect for making music like this?
It's a joke. But then again GD's the same thing. However GD tries to sound 'classy', it can be both bad and good depending on how you look at it. Now that I think about it, F.Cuz sound like a bad, tasteless shot at Big Bang. Big Bang have class, no matter how novel GD can get, the others are enough to carry the band musically. And do these guys even write their own material?
I'm sorry F. Cuz, even the choreography sucks. The video looks like a bad attempt at 2PM's My Color, and even that wasn't their best. There are no outstanding voices in the band from what I'm hearing, but then again WHAT THE CRAP CAN I HEAR WHEN EVERYTHING'S PROCESSED LIKE THERE'S NO TOMORROW?
SO of course, Z:EA win round 1. The live performances will tell me if these guys really have any semblance of talent.