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Stray Kids Deliver Power-Packed Performance with ‘Thunderous’

Introducing the South Korean group’s second LP ‘No Easy’, the new single blends their drive for artistic expression with booming trap

Divyansha Dongre Aug 23, 2021
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South Korean boy group Stray Kids have released “Thunderous,” the title track to their second full-length album No Easy.

Centered around a powerful message of self-expression, the group keep their identity intact as they reflect on hate directed towards their artistry– “Keep on talking/We don’t play by the rules.”

Combining traditional Korean instruments with thumping hip-hop trap, “Thunderous” takes place in a historic Korean setting with both the group and background crowd dressed in hanboks. Forayed by an animation sequence, the music video opens with an aerial shot of the group. Rapping to the beats of a rhythmic flute backed by trap, rapper-producer Changbin kicks off the track addressing critics who’ve deemed the group’s music as ‘noisy,’ “Oh so they call me, the one shouting oh/ Changbin, I choose my own path/ Attitude tough, like a runaway train going recklessly down the track.”

Written and produced by the group’s sub-unit 3racha (producers Bang Chan, Han and Changbin,) “Thunderous” delivers a particularly captivating chorus. “We made the hook first.” Stray Kids leader Bang Chan revealed in the group’s 24-minute long documentary Intro: No Easy. He continued, “We used that as the foundation for our entire song.” The said hook–which blends dynamic synth-bass with celebratory cymbals and traditional instrumentals–creates an immersive sonic experience that instantly jolts the senses.

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Aligning their spirits to the force field of thunder, the group stand firm with their stance on individuality and artistic freedom– “I don’t care how they look at me/ I’ll always say what I have to say, Ptui, Ptui, Ptui/ Thunderous.”

Stray Kids’ second album, No Easy (a witty wordplay on the misconception that the group creates ‘noisy’ music) brings forward a defining sonic scape for the octet and serves as a strong follow-up to their 2020 LP, Go Live. “I do think our team is taking on a more decisive personality,” rapper-producer Changbin reflects on the thematics of the album in Intro: No Easy. “Some parts are fun. Some parts are mischievous. Some parts are witty, fresh and new. Those are some of the things we’ve been striving for.” With a total of 14 tracks, the group takes a mature route with a blend of trap, EDM, pop and ballads.

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