With all the boy bands debuting lately, like CUBE’s Pentagon and FNC’s SF9, it’s easy for some talented rookies from smaller agencies to get lost in the crowd. MASC, is one of those groups.
The quartet launched back in August with “Strange”; a dark, rock-tinged dance track from MAMAMOO producer Park Woo Sang. With its moody, addictive melody, and overall mature sound, “Strange” was an instant standout, which is why I’m so happy that MASC have kept the formula for their new single, “Tina”.
Park Woo Sang keeps things more or less the same, but injects a little more soul this time. The guitars are fuzzy and funky, and there’s even a few ska-ish horns in the mix. K-pop blog The Bias List compared “Tina” to early Maroon 5, which is pretty spot on.
There’s a lot of talent in MASC, especially in places that you wouldn’t expect to find it. Rapper ACE doubles as a singer and sounds great opening the first and second verses. Gorgeous maknae, HeeJae, is listed as sub-vocalist, but sings half the chorus and manages to rival lead vocalist and group leader WooSoo.
It’s a surprise that MASC aren’t receiving more attention, considering just how different they are from current boy band trends. First of all, they only have four members, as opposed to the current average of about ten, and the members are all aged in their mid-to-late twenties, which explains the more mature sound of their music.
I wonder if MASC can go down the Nine Muses route, using great music and a grown-up image to carve out a niche fanbase among K-pop fans in their twenties and older. There’s always room for more musical diversity in the idol scene, especially when it comes to boy bands, so MASC are definitely one to watch this year.