I’ve had quite a mixed history with DRIPPIN. I adored debut effort Nostalgia and last years Young Blood proved to be an equally addictive followup. In between we’ve had two phenomenal b-sides in the form of Overdrive and Reach Out Your Hands, songs that pointed towards a more dynamic sound for the young and incredibly promising group. However, I’ve failed to really connect with the group after their first two comebacks. Neither of their Japanese efforts have done much for me and though January’s Villain was solid, it alongside last years Free Pass felt more like placeholders than convincing comebacks. And while new single Zero could have easily fallen into the same category, its rock tinged arrangement and unrelenting energy come together to form a surprising standout.
Produced by the ever reliable Newtype production team, Zero takes the shouty, noisy and borderline obnoxious nature of modern day boy group tracks and flips it up to a 100, bursting out the gate with an aggressive guitar riff and militaristic hook that makes an immediate impact. It’s all a little silly but if you’re going down this particular route, I’d prefer you go all the way. It’s an incredibly textured production, shifting the expected arrangement ever so slightly to make it feel fresh and exciting, bringing the aforementioned guitar to the forefront to create a track that feels much heavier than its counterparts. It’s an aggressive brew, never once feeling piecemeal or undercooked, instead perfectly shifting between its more aggressive and melodic moments in ways that feel natural and help improve the flow rather than derail it. The pre-chorus is a great example of this, slowing the track down but maintaining the grit of the production through an equally intense delivery.
But as great as all of that is, Zero’s highlight is its immense two part chorus. In a year dominated by anti-drops or noisy shout-a-thons, Zero manages to bring a full, meaty, centrepiece that feels incredibly impactful whilst still harbouring a palpable sense of melody. Opening with a rousing refrain before moving into more militaristic sensibilities, Zero thrives on its over the top structure and arrangement. Something that I’ve been hoping other groups would do. The secondary chorus is easily the tracks most addictive segment, hinging off a catchy repetition of the title to create a commanding centrepiece that lends itself very well to the rest of the track. And by the time we reach the tracks double time climax, I’m absolutely sold.
Final Rating: 8.75 / 10