Despite not loving the teasers, Just B’s debut song ended up exceeding my expectations. They found a great collaborator in B.A.P’s Yongguk, and seemed to be heading toward a lasting partnership that could develop that all-important “signature sound.” For their first comeback, Yongguk is nowhere to be found, but the agency has enlisted another Bias List favorite: Andreas Örhn. I’ve been following Örhn’s work for well over a decade, and it’s been fun to watch him break into the K-pop industry. With all this talent involved, Tick Tock should be an easy contender for “song of the month.” But, I’m shocked at how bad it is.
This sort of boy group “noise music” is par for the course, and there have been a fair share of strong songs to come from this approach. However, the bland Tick Tock alternates between generic and obnoxious, lacking the promise found in debut track Damage. The song is designed to emulate the ticking of a bomb, and attempts to develop the same tension as that life-or-death situation. But although the track cycles through so many familiar K-pop tropes, nearly everything falls flat.
From what we’ve heard so far, Just B has a strong vocal line. That skill is displayed here, but the guys aren’t given any engaging melody to play with. Every refrain feels smoothed of its edges, resulting in phrases that fizzle out rather than hit hard. This all climaxes in one of the worst choruses I’ve heard all year – a monotonous “tick tock tick tock tick tock boom” that feels designed to grate. There’s no variation in melody here, just an off-putting shout-a-thon that undercuts Just B’s immense potential.