For a while, we weren’t sure what rookie group, Pritz, was all about. But by the time we’ve gotten to “Sora Sora,” six months and three videos later, we finally think we get them. Yes, they are one of the strangest rookie groups we’ve seen in years. They bring an entirely new sound to Kpop. But there’s also something sinister about this group, and we’re not just talking about the Nazi iconography either. So what do you think? Can Pritz make it in the ultra-competitive world of Kpop?
With “Go Girls,” Pritz pushes the bounds of good taste. This is a very strange video, even with the foreknowledge of their inspiration from manga RPG-characters. We’re all for sexy concepts, but to have this animated in such a style, with multiple shots of bouncing breasts and crotch shots, and a Basic Instinct leg crossing homage, is somehow more troubling than sexy, or even amusing, which we figure Pritz was aiming for. Which is also very strange, considering this was their debut video. Why would you introduce your rookie group in such an utterly anonymous way? There could literally be anyone singing behind these animations. Thus began the riddle behind Pritz, and if creating an enigma was the intention of this video, PandaGram succeeded admirably.
“Too Difficult - Oh Eh Oh Eh-”
Although we discuss Kpop’s popularity in Japan quite frequently, it’s not often that we see Jpop-inspired groups operating in Korea. Operating in the style of the now famous Babymetal, Pritz may very well be the first Korean group to cross heavy metal with idol vocals. Pritz introduces a new and fresh sound to the Kpop scene, one which our ears are rather enjoying at the moment. “Too Difficult - Oh Eh Oh Eh-,” however, may surprise casual viewers with its frenetic energy and their punchy mascot. The video may not look like much, but it’s another indication of what to expect from Pritz: a penchant for virality. Just because this one didn’t go viral, doesn’t mean they won’t keep trying.
“Melon Melon Watermelon”
Think: Cheesy Karaoke video. There’s even the lyrics fading in and out at the bottom of the screen. If you’ve missed the punchy mascot from the last video, which was released just a week before this one in July, he’s back, floundering in the background. The terrible lighting, flimsy skirts, and haphazard choreography give the girl group a low-budget lo-fi impression, which looks like a throw-away weekend filming, as if after “Too Difficult - Oh Eh Oh Eh -” the powers that be at PandaGram said, why not film another video? Still, there’s a real intensity and dedication to this video that shouldn’t be ignored by even the most cynical Kpop fan, even though it feels as if Pritz is trying too hard here to go viral - to catch the strange charm of Crayon Pop’s “Bar Bar Bar.” But there we go being cynical again.
You’ve heard the controversy over “Sora Sora” by now. All four members of Pritz wearing armbands that look remarkably similar to the armbands which Nazis wore to denote positional titles within the party. Of course Pritz has denied any offense was intended. And frankly, we’re tired with this constant controversy-apology-forgiveness cycle. Controversy already should come as no surprise for this group, given Pritz’s clear inspiration from Jpop group Babymetal, who have no trouble performing “Gimme Chocolate” in front of a larger-than-life statue of the Virgin Mary. Controversy may be exactly what was intended here. No publicity is bad publicity, right?
Instead of discussing any further, let’s talk about what Pritz is doing right here. For starters, the song is firing on all cylinders. “Sora Sora” is, in our minds, the group’s first successful fusion of genres. Metal meets pop. This is what we want to hear more of, again and again. This song is why we desperately hope Pritz does not get themselves mired in controversy, because they are just starting to find their voice. And come on, the lightsticks? This is a ready-made concert that we can’t wait to attend! Kpop could do with some shaking up, and if Pritz is willing to stop trying to go viral, they might just have what it takes to make it.