20140207_seoulbeats_GPBasicGP Basic is back! While the group has been active (especially member Janey), they weren’t very big when it came to promotions since “Jelly Pop.” They had a few quieter singles, but nothing that really caused a ripple in the K-pop scene. They were known for their young members more than anything else. It was during a time when it seemed like idols were getting younger and younger, and certain members of this group were even banned from music shows because of their age. After the initial fuss died down, most people were just waiting for this group to disband quietly like many before them. In fact, when Janey made an appearance with D-Unit, most thought it was a confirmation that she had either jumped a sinking ship, or was simply looking for another group all together. But it seems that it was all just speculation since the group has returned, though minus member Leah.

This single, titled “Pika Burnjuck,” is an in-your-face, swag-tastic  music fest that is quite refreshing when the current music scene is nearly smothered in hyper-sexualized girl groups. One of the first things that stands out is the styling of the girls. Neat, military-equse uniforms and matching hats are the attire of the girls through out the video, with a few variations here and there. There’s not a hint of “honey thighs” or bare mid-drifts in the entire video. While the girls do go without the hats from time to time, the outfits do allow you to focus on the girls and the moves, not their figures. The drawback, however, is that it makes them hard to tell apart. The hats obscure their faces just enough that you can’t really tell who’s who until the camera comes in close (there is voice recognition, though that can be difficult for people just discovering the group).

20140207_seoulbeats_GPBasicThe girls do reveal their more “feminine” side with close up shots and the ending reveal of long hair tucked under hats for most of the members, which is nice with the hard hitting moves. It does make the girls look a bit more, for want of a better word, “bad-ass” with their hair flying without care while doing their movies. There’s no attempt to smooth it, or to flick it to the side. It’s loose, but they’re still allowed to focus on the dance. While most girl groups are forced to keep a certain amount of composure and grace during their performances, GP Basic looked to really be in the moment for the majority of the video and indulge in a aggressive nature that is usually reserved only for the boys.

The dance overall is where they really take their “swag” concept and bring it home. There have been numerous girl groups that have gone for the “bad girl” or “tom boy” concept and very few that have followed through. Most girl groups get a fast, base heavy beat and maybe some chains or baggy pants, but it’s still the same body waves and chest thrusts that we’re used to. These girls give us a dance that’s crisp and precise when needed, and effortless when it’s time to push the bombastic image. While there’s nothing wrong with the average girl group flare, but it’s great to see a girl group market something other than their looks first. And, of course, the Micheal Jackson dance sequence was much appreciated.

Of course, with all this praise, there are a few issues I have with the music video and single. The rapping, at times, does come off as awkward. I know that the group (especially the youngest) have been praised over and over for their rapping, and this is not to take away from that; but it does lack a certain rhythm at times that can be jarring on the first listen. And, of course, the English: while I’m used to awkward English, especially when it comes to K-pop rappers, for this song, it almost takes too much away. While there isn’t much, it doesn’t help the song.

And, well, the music video is a bit boring.

Don’t get me wrong. I loved the dance, loved the outfits, and I think the girls really sold it; but, when stripped down, it is another video of people dancing in a box cut in with solo and group shots. While I don’t think this was the kind of song that warranted a story, some more dynamic shots would of been appreciated. EXO‘s “Growl” is a great example how camera work can make another box music video a lot more interesting.

20140207_seoulbeats_GPBasicAll in all, it is an enjoyable comeback from , and something that will at least get people to look them up again and take a look at how they progressed. I can’t say if they’ll follow this path, as girl groups are highly likely to ditch any tough concepts if they receive anything resembling a luke-warm reception. Even if they do go towards a more “conventional” path, I will wish the best for them knowing the long road they’ve traveled to get to where they are. Many groups would of simply have called it quits by this point.

For the video, I want to give them a 3/5, but for the added dose of swag and a girl group giving us a pure, dance and ego filled video: 4/5.

(LOEN Entertainment)