MCND Comeback Review and Press Conference Takeaways
If there is anything that all relatively new K-pop groups have been shaped by, it’s the need to be responsive to a world full of fear and stress. More often than ever nowadays, fans seek comfort and an escape through music, yet these emotional needs have become harder to deliver in a time of online-only performances and a torrent of distressing news stories. Nevertheless, MCND has defeated the odds and risen to the occasion, delivering a massive mood boost through [THE EARTH: SECRET MISSION Chapter.1].
Jam-packed with quirky sound effects, hip-hop influences, sing-along-ready choruses, and highly danceable beats, [THE EARTH: SECRET MISSION Chapter.1] is entertaining from start to finish. If the title track does not leave listeners hooked, the track immediately following it sure will. After “Cat Waltz” comes the equally celebratory “Bowwowwow.” “H.B.C” (the song the members seem to have been the most excited about during the press conference) delivers an even larger jolt of adrenaline than the previous tracks, and “Play Pungak” keeps things cute and upbeat as well. Lastly, “Reason” fittingly ends the album where it starts, message-wise: it serves as a reminder to GEM (MCND’s fans) that their relationship to MCND is mutually beneficial and immensely appreciated.
Further giving fans a much-needed energy boost is the title track’s action-packed music video. In “Movin’,” the boys defeat a range of obstacles on their quest to retrieve their microphones. In their music video world, MCND has been literally living on a different planet than GEM, and the microphones the members seek are their keys to reconnecting with GEM on Earth.
Overall, this comeback does not just stand out for being perfect for this moment, serving as comfort and a pick-me-up for fans, but also for serving those functions in ways unique to MCND. They don’t just deliver a catchy array of songs, but songs that will create lasting memories for the GEM who have dance parties to them. They don’t just deliver a fun music video about wanting to reunite with fans, but a video in which they literally go to the ends of the Earth to do so. MCND takes the feeling of longing for in-person interactions and makes that feeling the foundation for their video’s super-dramatic premise. In a time like this, that drama is anything but over-the-top. MCND validates the feelings of fans in this moment, showing GEM a sense of understanding and urgency about lessening their worries and reuniting again soon. In sum, MCND’s comeback is a sweet reminder that the band appreciates the energy fans give them and is willing to go the extra mile to return the favor.
Below are just some of the many takeaways from MCND’s press conference, which put on full display many reasons to love this group and check out their new album.
The Various Causes of MCND’s Worldwide Fame
When asked about what has caused MCND to receive attention from around the world, BIC credited their fans with helping spread the word about the group. And, although this was in response to a different question, Castle J pointed out how the group’s confidence is part of their appeal: “When we were promoting ‘Nanana’ and ‘Crush,’ we uploaded a video of us singing live in the practice room without a microphone. We were so confident in our live performances and dancing that we wanted to show [fans] everything.” HUIJUN added, “we wanted to show [fans] that we're good at singing live as well as dancing. We're going to release a live choreography video of our title song, ‘Movin',’ too.”
In addition to having fans help promote them and having a likeable confidence, MCND’s global appeal comes from their message of hope. After all, “MCND” stands for “Music Creates New Dream,” a statement that is not plural for a reason: “all five of us are dreaming about one thing through music,” said Castle J. WIN reiterated this message of creating unity through music and a shared dream, although he also expressed hope that “[this] album will help [fans] make new dreams” too.
MCND’s Work Ethic
When asked about what their goals are for this album, WIN said, “It could be a big dream, but I want our songs to enter Billboard and other domestic and international online charts to promote the group MCND to more people.” Comments like these, mixing humility with the ability to dare to dream, were a frequent presence in MCND’s responses. While they repeatedly acknowledged their global popularity, they also expressed a desire to improve. MINJAE shared, “Our teamwork has become stronger and stronger,” a point of well-deserved pride. Castle J furthered this sentiment: “There are still a lot of people who don't know MCND. We'll work harder… so that more people can get to know MCND.”
A Next-Level Performance
BIC showed off the “killing part” of the “Movin’” choreography, calling it the “Let’s Go” Dance. HUJIN mentioned that MCND would additionally like viewers to pay attention to the mixed-up pairings for this choreography: “We really worked hard to show you a three-dimensional performance. In pair dances, MINJAE [and I] usually dance together. But this time, you can see other members' pair dances. I hope you look forward to that, too. In particular, MINJAE and Castle J have a pair dance facing each other. It's in the second verse. I think that part is very memorable to me.”
The Care Put Into Each Song
The fact this album sounds like classic MCND is no surprise, given the relatively long period of time the members have held onto its songs. “Cat Waltz” is a track the group revealed they had been wanting to promote since they were in the middle of “Not Over” promotions, and “Bowwowwow” is a song they have practiced since their trainee days.
This is not to say that MCND does not work on new material; they just take their time and ensure each song is only released when they feel as if it has undergone enough revisions. HUIJUN explained this, mentioning there were lots of edits done throughout both the writing and recording process.
More than Just “Monster Rookies”
Instead of still being called “monster rookies,” BIC expressed a desire to be called a group that is “rich with excitement.” He stressed that the group’s uniqueness keeps things exciting and is not a bad thing: “I want [people] to see our performances and go, ‘Wow, this is crazy.’... A lot of people around me say ‘You guys are crazy’ in a good way. When a lot of fans… are watching, I want to hear that this [‘Movin’] performance is crazy.”
Check out MCND’s new album here!