ATEEZ Comeback with "BOUNCY (K-HOT CHILLI PEPPERS)"

ATEEZ Comeback with "BOUNCY (K-HOT CHILLI PEPPERS)"

ATEEZ have returned with the next installment of their The World series! We’re here to look at the ATEEZ comeback, “BOUNCY (K-HOT CHILLI PEPPERS),” and the rest of their new EP, The World EP.2: Outlaw! 

The World EP.2: Breaking into “BOUNCY”

ATEEZ’s latest extended play (EP) is a direct follow-up to their previous The World albums, which started with EP. 1: Movement (July 29, 2022). Set in a dystopian world where everyone is stripped of their emotions, ATEEZ tell listeners to “Break the wall!” and calls on them to wake up the rest of the world. The title track, “Guerrilla,” is a metal-inspired number with screams, guitars, and a cyberpunk aesthetic that suits this new series.

The Japanese mini-album, Ep.Paradigm (November 30, 2022), was another entry into The World, with a darker sound and a performance video that gives “HALA HALA (Hearts Awakened, Live Alive)” vibes. A month later (December 30), Spin Off: From the Witness dropped with an epic title track. “HALAZIA” calls on listeners to “Be the light," accompanied by tolling bells and an addictive chorus. Its beautiful music video contains Easter eggs from past releases.

Whisperings of a new ATEEZ album sounded on April 29, 2023, when the Seoul Economic Daily published a story about a June comeback. Fans attending the first night of ATEEZs Seoul encore concert (April 28) found a QR code that led to an intriguing teaser poster, along with other banners hinting at a comeback.

Wanted poster for ATEEZ members

Image Credits: 떵( ˘ ³˘)화 (SLOW) via Twitter

The next day, ATEEZ played a teaser video at their encore concert that confirmed the news. However, the official release date was revealed only on May 14, when the group posted their first teaser photos that combined Western and sci-fi aesthetics. Bear with us, you’ll hear those terms a lot in this blog!

Teaser for ATEEZ June 2023 comeback

Image Credits: ATEEZ via Instagram

Along with the teaser we just showed, ATEEZ also posted a somewhat confusing timeline for promotions (bottom right). Over the next few days, they released the first set of photos, showing the characters that the members play in the official trailer and music video. (You'll see who they are in the next section!)

Teaser photos and comeback timeline for ATEEZ June 2023

Image Credits: ATEEZ via Instagram

On May 17, the group posted a colorful poster for the title track “BOUNCY (K-HOT CHILLI PEPPERS),” and the following day they released the official trailer for the EP, as well as an accompanying poster. This comeback was shaping up to be ATEEZ’s most cinematic, and fans were now impatiently awaiting its arrival.

From May 22-25, ATEEZ dropped posters and teasers for each duo (San and Wooyoung, Yungo and Jungho, Seonghwa and Yeosang, Hongjoong and Mingi). Each video contained a snippet from one of the EP’s tracks, which we’ll link in the second half of this blog.

Teaser images for "BOUNCY" by ATEEZ
Image Credits: ATEEZ via Instagram 

On May 27, the group released their tracklist, and from May 29-June 2, they released their second set of concept photos, showing them dressed like street performers crossed with biker gangs.

Eight men dressed in black with a black background and "Outlaw" in white letters

Image Credits: ATEEZ via Instagram

June 5-7 had another set, with ATEEZ dressed as secret agents mixed with chaebols. The corners and tops of the photos had parts of the members’ faces drawn in a manga/manhwa style. During this time, they also dropped the cover of the EP, which you’ll see in the photo after this one.

Eight mean in black and white suits with a white background and drawings at the top of image

Image Credits: ATEEZ via Instagram

The next two days saw more individual photos, with the members officially looking like a biker team in brown jumpsuits on a slime green background.

Solo images of ATEEZ members with green backgrounds and a purple cover of "Outlaw"

Image Credits: ATEEZ via Instagram

The last set of photos appeared on June 12-13. Here, the members are dressed in white uniforms courtesy of Prestige Academy (from the “Guerrilla” music video), which barely hides their blue bird tattoos. The first teaser for “BOUNCY” was also released on June 13, while the second teaser dropped on June 14.

Eight men in white with one man with blue hair looking at camera under a white balcony

Image Credits: ATEEZ via Instagram

The day before “BOUNCY” and the EP dropped, ATEEZ released the opening sequence of their music video. Dressed as your typical lone gunslinger, Mingi enters a bar to the twang of acoustic and electric guitars. He seats himself at the bar as the bartender goes to look at the “Wanted” posters, quickly finding the rapper's face on the wall...

Shortly before “BOUNCY” dropped, ATEEZ released a cinematic poster that (spoiler!) shows the final scene of the video. Fans were enchanted by the punk cowboy getup and eagerly counted down the minutes to “BOUNCY’s” premiere.

Eight men in black, white, and red with a red background and "OUTLAW" spelled in red behind them

 Image Credits: ATEEZ via Instagram

Bringing the Heat Back with “BOUNCY” 

The teasers and photos promised ATEEZ’s latest comeback would be hot and spicy. Cowboys, motorcycles, chilis, and a chorus that moves hard and fast – what would the rest of the song be like?

A cowboy standing outside a bar with fire on the roof

Image Credits: KQ ENTERTAINMENT via YouTube

“BOUNCY” opens with an abridged version of the opening sequence video. Mingi (top left) is joined onscreen by Seonghwa (top right) and Hongjoong (bottom left). Seonghwa is part of an elite biker corps with Yeosang, while Hongjoong is an outlaw cowboy with a goat. They share the fast-paced opening, which both mocks opponents and tells them to take it easy.

Three men and a goat from ATEEZ's "BOUNCY"

Image Credits: KQ ENTERTAINMENT via YouTube

Seonghwa races away with his motorcycle gang, and the video moves to Outlaw Customs, a garage that doubles as Yunho (center) and Jongho’s hideout. Above, you can see the neon lights outlining a chili pepper.

Eight men dancing in front of neon green "Outlaw Customs" sign

Image Credits: KQ ENTERTAINMENT via YouTube

We then see San (bottom right) boxing against a persistent rival, while Wooyoung (top left) collects money from bets people have made on San. Intercut with their scenes, we see Yeosang (top right) riding in style with Seonghwa.

A man with money, a motor cyclist, and two men boxing

Image Credits: KQ ENTERTAINMENT via YouTube

The first verse captures the sentiment of restless youth who are “still hungry because we’re young” and looking for some action. It transitions seamlessly into the anthemic pre-chorus, punctuated by clapping in the music and onscreen. (You also learn that that Yunho and Jongho, bottom right, are undercover cops.)

Three men clapping and two undercover policemen showing IDs

Image Credits: KQ ENTERTAINMENT via YouTube

The chorus is repeated twice, with Hongjoong singing it the first time, appropriately adding a pause between “Slow it” and “down.” He ushers in a new “BOUNCY” era while referencing the Cheongyang chilli pepper (which is 10,000 on the Scoville scale). The second time is high-pitched, led by Yunho and later San. Onscreen, however, it looks like it’s being sung by Yunho and Jongho’s scarlet macaw.

A cowboy on top of a building, a man smelling a chili pepper, and a scarlet macaw with two men

Image Credits: KQ ENTERTAINMENT via YouTube

The choreography for the chorus is one of ATEEZ’s hotter efforts. The first time, the members thrust their pelvis forward and lean back, quickly standing to mimic seasoning and dipping food before making large clapping motions. The beginning of the second chorus is slightly different, but we’ll get to it in a moment.

Four images of the choreo of the first chorus for ATEEZ's "BOUNCY"

Image Credits: KQ ENTERTAINMENT via YouTube

Mingi ushers in the second verse, which calls on everyone (regardless of race or religion) to “shake it until you’re about to overheat.” Meanwhile, the anticipated fight breaks out, with Mingi shooting chilli peppers at unsuspecting patrons.

Mingi shooting chillis at man while another man watches in horror

Image Credits: KQ ENTERTAINMENT via YouTube

Seonghwa sings the second part of the verse, calling on listeners to follow him or surrender. Onscreen, he zooms through the city with Yeosang, even taking his hands off the bars to lean back and look up at the sky.

Two men riding motorcycles in red and black jackets and one man leaning back on motorcycle

Image Credits: KQ ENTERTAINMENT via YouTube

The pre-chorus returns us to the boxing ring, where San takes a break to get orders from Wooyoung and recharge before delivering the winning kick. “BOUNCY” is definitely the video for Woosan shippers!

A man pouring water on another man's mouth, a boxer kicking opponent, a man watching match in disbelief

Image Credits: KQ ENTERTAINMENT via YouTube

As the duo celebrates, the chorus cuts between the ring and the exterior of Outlaw Customs. The choreo at the beginning of this chorus involves the members marching/dancing in a spiral formation, performing the chef-like hand motions.

Two men with faces close, eight men dancing under neon chilli peppers sign, dancing in boxing ring

Image Credits: KQ ENTERTAINMENT via YouTube

Both the song and the action intensify. At the end of the first chorus, you see a chamber with a vacuum-sealed jar. Inside are the Cheongyang peppers, guarded by motorcyclists, including Seonghwa and Yeosang.

Motorcyclists standing around red jar, red jar with chilli plant beneath

Image Credits: KQ ENTERTAINMENT via YouTube

During the bridge, Hongjoong receives one of these peppers. Inside is a bullet that he promptly loads into a rifle (which is a Karabiner 98k, according to Mingi in the MV reaction). At this point, the members are now in a completely white lobby, presumably Prestige Academy.

A cowboy biting into chilli, finds bullet, loads rifle, eight men in white in a white room

Image Credits: KQ ENTERTAINMENT via YouTube

As Hongjoong fires, a similar bullet breaks the glass of the Cheongyang jar and flies out of the chamber. It zips through the city and into the head of a masked stranger. Who is he? How did Hongjoong and the bullet break the laws of physics? We don’t know, and we don’t care!

The final chorus is frenetic, with shaky cameras, fireworks and rain (courtesy of Yunho’s and San’s water bottles), and lots of cutting between scenes. And as mentioned earlier, we have an epic shot of the members walking towards the camera, a fiery explosion behind them, which turns into a gorgeous album cover.

Two dance scenes with fire and water effects, eight men with explosion behind them, same scene but painted like album cover

Image Credits: KQ ENTERTAINMENT via YouTube

But wait, it’s not the end of the video! Mingi stares at the camera before turning away in disgust, revealing a wall with “Wanted” posters. They’ve been marked, however, by a Z similar to the mark of the iconic bandit Zorro (and its Dreamworks counterpart Puss in Boots).

A cowboy walking away from "Wanted" posters marked with a "Z"

Image Credits: KQ ENTERTAINMENT via YouTube

As always, ATEEZ gave fans an action-packed video that blew their minds and their senses. We’re looking forward to the next part of The World.

Before and After “BOUNCY”: The Rest of Outlaw

Besides “BOUNCY,” ATEEZ gave us five songs that fit the dystopian and Western genres. We’ll take you through them quickly, but give them a listen once you’ve finished reading this blog.

This World

“This World” is the first track, and it sets the tone for the EP. The opening is reminiscent of a retro video game, but the overall song is subdued and brooding like a sci-fi thriller. Recalling the hopeless world of “Guerrilla” and “Halazia,” “This World” asks its protagonist whether it can fight back, to which ATEEZ respond: “I’m ready for the dark, I’m ready for This World.” What an intro!

Dune

Sharing a name with a popular book and film series, “Dune” sees our hero less optimistic. Instead, they are faced with despair and the crushing reality of their existence. They're the ones asking questions now: “What am I hurt for? Of all the many people, why me?” With the main character at such a low point, now’s the perfect time to transition to the upbeat "BOUNCY."

DJANGO

After “BOUNCY” is “DJANGO,” named for the violent gunslinger that has appeared in several iconic Western and Spaghetti Western films. The singer – Django himself – taunts his foes, challenging them to a fight that they’re bound to lose: “Shoot everything you walk on, right now…If you wanna run, run. Ain’t nobody mess with DJANGO.” It’s a intoxicating mixture of confidence and danger, and ATEEZ pull it off in style.

Wake Up

Recalling the teaser for Ep.1: Movement, “Wake Up” is a call to action. Addressing the residents of this cyberpunk dystopia, ATEEZ promise freedom to all who can hear and sense them, if they just wake up from their hypnosis and follow them. “Wake Up” is the perfect song for Atinys who want something less metal than “Guerrilla” and more somber than “HALAZIA," hitting that sweet spot between anthem and requiem.

Outlaw

Our final song comes full circle with the track of the same name. “Outlaw” follows a lone wolf who tries to hide his vicious nature. He warns opponents: “Don’t wake up the monster inside me.” The rising bridge captures the ensuing chaos, with the outlaw saying, “Run away to somewhere far/Your prayers are no use/There’s not even a law here.” It’s an explosive end to this tense, action-packed EP.

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What did you think of this ATEEZ comeback? What’s your favorite song on The World Ep.2: Outlaw? Let us know below!

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