NeonPunch—”Tic Toc”

From the “Tic Toc” MV

NeonPunch—”Tic Toc”
Watch Out lead single
3:17
January 30th, 2019
A100 Entertainment
Written and produced by TenTen 
Stream: Spotify

Barely a year into their career, NeonPunch are one of those girl groups who’ve managed to garner positive buzz from a scant amount of material. The quintet’s debut single “Moonlight” was one of the sleeper smashes of the year, capping off a brief four-month promo period. The gentle disco-house number, along with member Baekah’s brief stint on MixNine, did a fair amount to grant the group a respectable profile. With 2019 barely begun, NeonPunch are already looking to ramp up their momentum by releasing their first mini Watch Out, bolstered by lead single “Tic Toc.” And with this single—the first NeonPunch music we’ve gotten in six months—the group feels ready to eclipse the modest success of their debut and push themselves to higher levels.

Like “Moonlight,” “Tic Toc” is another dance-tinged track, but with a much more adventurous sense of structure. Whereas the earlier song lived and died by its verse/chorus structure, “Tic Toc” fits a hyperactive, nonsensical chorus among constantly shifting verses padded with fluffy synth layers and a skeletal 2-step rhythm, surging EDM-typical pre-choruses, and a light (albeit unremarkable) bridge. It’s a baby step forward, but one in the right direction. While the group’s songs have been developing rather admirably, and their choreography is fun in spite of its simplicity, the visual element of NeonPunch remains a bit too ambiguous. Trendy cosmic arcane symbolism and solo close-ups litter the video, all sitting awkwardly alongside stagey shots of the girls dancing in front of green-screened clocks.

Granted it’s still relatively early in their career, and label A100 Entertainment has never even managed a girl group prior to NeonPunch, but there’s no real sense of a thematic or visual coherence to the group that could entice new fans. The group’s music is progressing at a respectable pace, but their unfocused presentation may yet keep them from leaving a better impression. For now NeonPunch remain right on the verge of finding their voice, an essential step in taking them beyond their initial promise.

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