Look out CN Blue and F.T. Island fans, there are some new kids in town and they’re looking to take your oppa’s spotlight. Touted as 2013’s “most anticipated rookie band,” the group Iconize has finally made their debut with the song entitled “Show You What I Got.” Although “most anticipated” may be a bit of a stretch, the group, which has a rare claim to being an actual band, with instruments, has had heavy pre-debut promotions in South Korea. Like many rookie groups, the band is composed of five members who are still in high school, but who have surprising talent for their age.
The lineup is that of many rock bands, a singer Lee Doo-ryut, a lead guitarist Kim Hyun, a secondary guitarist Jung Young-bin, a bassist Cha Bum-jin (also the maknae and back-up vocalist), and a drummer Jung Hoon. Their concept immediately brings to mind the other big-name bands in K-pop, F.T. Island and CN Blue, but with time, it’s hoped that Iconize will be able to distinguish themselves from their predecessors. Currently, the group is being marketed to a younger audience (since they are only teens themselves) as a way to differentiate themselves from their more masculine, mature, and senior groups.
In true rock band style, their debut MV is shot in a concert format. Although uncommon in K-pop, this theme is used widely in the Western music sphere. The camera records the band in a pseudo live performance, and films the fans in audience; it captures the ambiance of a rock show better than a heavily produced, artificial-looking MV shot in a studio. Using this style of MV is a perfect fit for Iconize’s concept as it shows off their charms, as opposed to dressing them up to be something they aren’t.
The choice of outfits is understandable as well; their stylized school uniforms are best classified as rebellious schoolboy chic and they work well with the age group of the band. Iconize has chocked up a couple of pre-debut high school performances, to gain popularity in the group’s target demographic, and these outfits are a fitting reflection of their music direction. However, the boys shine better in their live performance, J-rock, punk inspired garb. Hopefully, they’ll take cues to veer away from the overdone schoolboy genre they’ve eased into.
Although the song is infectious, the members themselves are lacking a bit in the liveliness category. Iconize’s leader takes the cake here, with his distinct lack of movement and facial expression. Going stoic could be his thing, but it’s been undeniably off-putting. The guitarists, however, have been getting into the show more, and they’ve showed off some tricks which have upped the ante in their performances. As it is with most bands, we’ve had a bit of difficulty spotting the drummer, but in his time in the spotlight, he’s thrown in a couple of drumstick tricks. That aside, do we have a Taemin doppelgänger here or what? Although the MV’s good for what it is, I prefer this live performance video instead — with the exception of their monotonous leader, it showcases Iconize’s fun and energetic side a lot more.
While Doo-ryut may not be the most incredible vocalist you’ve ever heard, he’s got a good and solid tone to his voice. As his career develops, we can probably expect his vocals to transform into something quite phenomenal. The rest of the members seem comfortable with their instruments and, studio recording or live performance, the songs take skills to play and they bring it. Like my aspirations for Doo-ryut, the more seasoned the group becomes, the more impressive their abilities could be revealed to be. Presently, the important thing to note is the fact that Iconize has started out as a young group. Already outdoing some of the groups out there with their talent and repertoire, and progressing with yet more maturity on the way, they’ll be growing into their own and drawing more fans as they move along.
Fans of pop music could find Iconize’s off-kilter, K-pop rock vibe harder to swallow, but there really is no harm in experimenting, if just for the refreshing brass section that breathes creativity into the genre. “Show You What I Got” is no abrasive, guitar-heavy song, so listeners may find it to be an easy-listening tune.
Rating it as a rock concert MV, I’d give it an overall rating of 2.5/5. To justify this, the setting and camera work look good, but it’s lacked the intense energy that can be expected from a concert video. Their youth definitely plays a part in this and I’m sure we can all look forward to better songs in the future.
What do you think about Iconize? Share your thoughts below!
(Nekki Entertainment, iconize YouTube Channel)