Core Contents Media revealed some months ago that they would be debuting a new girl group with members from different backgrounds, from actresses to models to former T-ara line-up members. And let’s face it: most of us were skeptical — CCM is not know precisely for having the best management techniques, if you know what I mean. Especially when the appeal in this case was that they forgot they had to include some singers in a group.

After a trip through Europe for the shooting of the MV, Gang Kiz have finally revealed their first mini-album, We Become Gang. Aside from a horrible band name, let’s see what the Gang Kiz have in store for us.

We Become Gang opens with title track “Honey Honey,” which is described by the company as an Euro-pop electronic song, but sounds more like a Latin version of “Lovey Dovey.” Does it work? Well, if you like Latin rhythms and “Lovey Dovey” maybe — if you are fond of none of them, then not really. The result for me is a rather bland and repetitive track, which doesn’t showcase the singing abilities of the members, and uses the same “uhh-uh-uhhh” background chorus as “Lovey Dovey” (recycling much, CCM?). Actually, the Latin vibe is the only element that makes it unique as compared to other T-ara songs, so although I’m generally not really into that, I give it a shot here.

The same goes to “Tonight,” the second track. I would say “Tonight” is actually more appealing that “Honey Honey,” probably because it sounds just like a replica of T-ara’s “Cry Cry” — I have always been more into “Cry Cry” than “Lovey Dovey,” what can I say. However, the synthesizer sounds extremely cheap, especially at the beginning, and the rap part does not fit the song at all.

“Super Love” is surprisingly what I consider the best track of the album. I say surprisingly because I don’t usually enjoy bubble-pop songs, but there’s something that makes this song stand out — it doesn’t sound like a T-ara song. The rap is, as often happens in K-pop, awkward and out of place, the song is simple and repetitive, but I’m kinda enjoying the whistle sound and the synthesizers. “Super Love” is light-hearted and I can’t help but feel infected by his cheerfulness, and damn is it catchy.

Both “Shh” and “I Would Never Think of Goodbye” have the same problem, especially the latter: both, being slow-paced songs, would require good vocals to support themselves. I was actually surprised, since none of them seem to have been trained as a singer — well, since some of them were supposed to be T-ara members, I guess they took some singing lessons — that their vocals aren’t half bad, not worse than most idol groups at least. However, most of the girls lack depth and sound too much alike, so the two last songs in the album feel too plain.

“Shh” has something that makes me feel awkward — I’m not sure if it’s the background moans or the synths, highly reminiscent to miss A‘s “Touch.” However, the song itself is quite enjoyable, and the girls sound the best in this song. “I Would Never Think of Goodbye,” on the other hand, sounds just like your typical K-pop ballad.

Unfortunately, Gang Kiz has the same problems as T-ara — a production that kills their vocals and makes all of the members sound exactly the same, as well as songs that don’t require any special singing abilities — and none of their strong points: original concepts and eye-catching acts.

Taking into account that some of the members are ten years older than the rookies we are used to, I was expecting a mature version of T-ara. Why not? A new group whose members are not teens anymore could have been able to put on a sexy concept without looking awkward or a classy concept without looking out of place. What “Gang Kiz” is, however, is just… another version of T-ara — the one who gets the rejected T-ara songs, probably.

Album rating: 2.5 out of 5

(GMcontentsmedia, AsianDreamAudio)