With each new release, the K-pop boy band Stray Kids seem to ask, “What next?” The octet’s latest mini album is worlds away from the early sounds of the JYP Entertainment group’s debut. Their hard-as-hell K-hip-hop has made way for a broader musical palette, boasting Southern California pop-punk na-na-nas atop distorted guitars (Seungmin and I.N’s “Can’t Stop”), hyperpop-trap (“3RACHA,” courtesy of Bang Chan, Changbin, and Han), and sultry, gothy R&B (“TASTE” by Lee Know, Hyunjin, and Felix). At the end of MAXIDENT is a familiar coda: a Korean version of their summer 2022 Japanese single “CIRCUS” and its springy production and descending vocal melody.

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