Track: We Like | Artist: Pristin | Album: SCHXXL OUT

I have a love-hate relationship with Pristin, the latest girl group to come out of Pledis Entertainment.

I love them because, well, they’re great! We Like is ridiculously catchy, and I’ve been waiting for Xiyeon to debut for nearly a decade (you can catch a glimpse of her as a young trainee here at 0:26). I hate them because their debut means that the fate of After School, Pledis’ original girl group, is practically sealed at this point.

I’ll get into After School in a later column, but just mentioning this ill-fated group (my bias by an incredible margin) gets me riled up. Let’s focus on Pristin, though: they debuted in 2017 with ten members, but several of them gained fame beforehand through their appearances on Produce 101, a reality show where the public could vote on who they wanted to see in an ideal girl group.

Informally, Pristin was known as “Pledis Girlz” before their debut among insiders and fans, and held small-scale concerts to grow their base before officially announcing their name. Their cover of After School’s Bang! is full of energy, and you can really feel the enthusiasm from the crowd.