[Review] QWER return with an impressive throwback J-pop sound on “T.B.H”

Following their successful debut with “Discord”, QWER are finally back with their newest release “T.B.H“, and they continue to delight with their addictive J-pop-esque sound. Their debut mini album, MANITO, consists of songs reminiscent of my fond memories the early 2000s electronic J-pop, something that’s a welcome addition to the Korean music scene at the moment.

While “T.B.H” clocks in at sub-3 minutes, it remains upbeat and fills me with a nostalgic sound I didn’t know to be yearning for in 2024. While this is more evident in their other songs, the title track does a great job showing the charms of QWER, as fun drum fills and a catchy bassline hum along in the background. Meanwhile, that empowering guitar intro riff really sets the tone from the start, but “T.B.H” also knows when to reel it in and let the piano and acoustics sing along with Siyeon‘s vocals, as she guides us to that next drum fill by Chodan. The electronic breaks are some of my favorite moments, as we get a small reprieve from the vocals and a massive hit to my personal nostalgia of growing up listening to early 2000s J-pop/electronica. While the song doesn’t have the usual shredding from the groups I write about, I still enjoyed the pop instrumentals that also fit perfectly with each track on the album.

Obviously, “T.B.H” isn’t breaking new ground, but it’s given me one hell of a way to start off my Monday. I would highly suggest any fans of YENA‘s recent releases to check out not only “T.B.H”, but also “Free-Dumb” and “G9JB“. Meanwhile, the last two tracks slow things down and show off a different side of QWER, as despite still being explosive at times, they prove this isn’t all just a bubblegum pop filled mini.

Overall, I have absolutely been loving “T.B.H” and the rest of the songs on the mini, and can’t wait to go back for more listens. QWER continue to impress while giving us a distinct sound from other bands in the K-pop space.

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