By: Claudia Siregar |
“Entropy, the measure of a system’s thermal energy per unit temperature that is unavailable for doing useful work. Because work is obtained from ordered molecular motion, the amount of entropy is also a measure of the molecular disorder, or randomness, of a system.” (Britannica)
After the release of their EP “The Book of Us: Gravity” earlier this year, Korean rock band Day6 is back with “The Book of Us: Entropy”, a full-length album taking another physics-related concept as its title. Just like the first single off this long-anticipated album, “The Book of Us: Entropy” is indeed a “Sweet Chaos”, bringing in new colours and influences from sub-genres of rock that I did not expect would come out of an idol band such as Day6, and of course, a concept that defines the band’s infamously diverse and “cannot-be-defined” sound.
First, let’s talk about how Day6, up until the release of their previous EP, is pretty infamous for not having a distinct sound as a band (something that is common among male JYP artists, if you’re familiar with GOT7 and the likes of them). Contrary to older bands such as FTISLAND with their heartwrenching rock ballads and emo undertones complemented by vocalist Lee Honggi’s melancholic, powerful vocals, BUZZ with their power metal influences (and rock ballads), and CNBLUE with their Britpop influences, there is no definitive description when it comes to Day6’s musical style. Sometimes it’s Fall Out Boy-influenced pop punk, sometimes it’s catchy power pop, sometimes it’s…hair metal, which we will get into in a bit. Yet this chaos, or disorder if you may call it, is the main concept of their newest album.
“Entropy” serves us with the classic “no definitive sound” Day6 style, yet this album proves to be a bit different from their previous releases as it’s even more chaotic and diverse than usual – a concept that is definitely in line with the title of the album. You can tell Young K and Park Sungjin, the main songwriters and composers of the band, have been listening to more metal than usual as the album opens with “Deep in Love”, a track with guitar riffs and synths reminiscent of 80’s American hair metal bands such as Skid Row (this song in particular), Poison, and Warrant. Main vocalist/guitarist Park Sungjin adds his own LA metal touch to the song with his high-pitched, raw screams (something I bet no one has ever heard on Day6’s previous releases). The next rack, “Sweet Chaos”, is a homage to early emo and pop-punk bands (it may be argued that My Chemical Romance’s Dead! played a big part in shaping the chord progression and riffs) – something Day6 has always been lowkey with. After these two heavy rock tracks, “EMERGENCY”, a considerably light pop track comes up next, dominated by chaotic techno-influenced synths and funky guitar riffs combined with members rapping over the background music, only to be succeeded by “Rescue Me”, a track seemingly influenced by American alternative metal (Deftones being one of the band that came to mind when I first listened to this song), the heaviest track off the album.
If you think the chaos stops there, you’re wrong. “365247” and “About Now” sound rather post punk revival, reminiscent of bands such as The Strokes, a rather drastic change from the alternative metal-influenced “Rescue Me”. From here on, the album builds itself towards a harder direction once more, continued by “OUCH”, a midtempo track influenced by bossanova, “Not Fine” and “Stop Talking”, rock ballads reminiscent of Day6’s previous album “Sunrise” (each with increasing intensity and tempo). “Not Mine” brings us back to the heavy sound (though not as heavy as “Deep in Love”) Day6 had at the first half of the album, only to be silenced again by the piano-based rock ballad “Like a flowing wind”.
All in all, “Entropy” serves us with a rather chaotic and drastic set of tracks, just like its title. While other rock bands in Korea could be defined using sentences, Day6 has successfully proven that we only need one word to define their musical style.
Listen to “The Book of Us: Entropy” here: