[Review] Dreamcatcher continue to evolve beautifully with dynamic “Piri”

Dreamcatcher have seemingly been talking about ending their nightmare chapter for years now, but they thankfully haven’t actually done it, because for my money this era hasn’t produced a title track that was anything short of quality, birthed successful b-sides, and even amazing fansongs. But ‘The End Of Nightmare‘ seems like their most definite declaration yet, and if “Piri” is indeed the end at least it’ll have gone out on high note.

As is tradition, “Piri” is attention-grabbing from the start, immediately setting the tone with something that sounds like a call to arms before immediately showcasing the instrumental foundation of electric guitar and flute, meshing modern and traditional with surprising effectiveness. As many of you know by now, I’m a sucker for that type of interplay, so this was always engaging for me.

Perhaps the most surprising thing was that instead of a constant background guitar riff, it’s more utilized alongside percussive hits to create an impactful beat in a sort of nu-metal deal. That helps it segue well into the rap sections, which utilize a trap flow while thankfully leaving their voices unaltered, and the surprising exchange between Dami and Gahyeon was effective because of it. “Piri” trends toward something more K-pop mainstream and melodic at points, but it still ends up well within the range of their established sound.

JiU‘s piano-backed pre-chorus is the gentle section that provides a bit of a aural break, belying the coming drum kit build. That launches the chorus, which is thankfully multi-faceted, using an instrumental-heavy start that emphasizes the flute. But that only serves to whet the listener’s palate for the coming central elements, as it builds with heavier rock influences and features the “hey!” interjection before the addicting refrain of “더 끝없이 난 down down down for me” that has already left an impact in the short time it’s had to stew. The “pilililililili” and “emergency emergency” section is more of a post-chorus than anything, and it doesn’t wear because it’s not the focal point and everything that surrounds it is developed so well.

I’ve come to accept that Dreamcatcher’s music will likely never make it in the K-pop mainstream, but I’m glad they’re sticking with their guns anyway as they continually pump out something unique in K-pop that also happens to mesh perfectly well with my musical preferences. I’m curious as to where “Piri” well settle in the rankings among Dreamcatcher songs, but due to being its clearest departure from a more pure rock/metal sound (which is still great) to something a bit more dynamic, it definitely stands out right now even within their own discography and that helps make it one of their very best.

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