[Review] ALL(H)OURS bring the (drift) phonk to K-pop with the relentless “Shock”

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ALL(H)OURS is a rookie boy group that debuted this year in January, but while said debut didn’t make much impact with me, it’s impossible to say that about their comeback single in “Shock“. While not the same genre, the dynamic EDM influences reminded me of early A.C.E at times and included some of the best aspects of what K-pop can do with a genre.

Despite not usually being a fan of the shouty, posturing boy group sounds, “Shock” manages to impress by leaning in to is genre from the start and rarely letting up the momentum. ALL(H)OURS deliver a great drift phonk (roots in Memphis hip-hop) production whose cowbell synth immediately captures the attention of the listener from the get go. It’s one of those adrenaline-pumping productions that’s at least perfect for the moods where you want a boost.

The shouty chorus that I alluded to has a hook that feels a bit cheesy at first, but thankfully dokkaebi references sound less tortured the further we get from the release of the drama, so my concerns faded eventually. Still, the standout is more the pre-chorus lead in, which effectively built tension, and the “whoop whoop” siren onomatopoeia that follows is more memorable than I’d honestly like it to be — with it invading my brain. Honestly, the chorus makes me want to break shit, which is exactly the feeling it should invoke. And if I had one complaint it would be that “Shock” should’ve been even more balls to the wall than it was (especially towards the end).

I suppose the caveat here is that if you’re chronically on TikTok where you almost have a reflexively bad reaction to how drift phonk is used in compilations and stuff. Additionally, However, in K-pop terms this is a refreshing turn for ALL(H)OURS and provides an exciting shot of adrenaline with its bold choices. Going in this direction is huge improvement for ALL(H)OURS and they’re definitely a group for me to watch now.