Debris, Sandwich’s eighth LP, despite having “Kagulo” and “Outlaw,” is a little less than their previous outing—the one which they recorded live, in studio. “Kagulo”, easily Sandwich’s most recognizable hit since “Betamax,” could have been up there with the band’s best album openers—alongside “Sugod”, “Procastinator”, and “Cheese Factor Set to 9”—if only it isn’t the third cut in the album. Instead, we have “Border Crossing” opening Debris, which isn’t just as good. I miss the charred, slow burning eponymous track that opens their last record.
The chorus of “Border Crossing” is a bummer, good thing there’s “Amphibious” to make up for it. Then, we have “Kagulo”, but it is followed by another bummer, the uncharacteristically sentimental “Buhangin.” What is it with Sandwich and beaches? Remember their awful song about getting “Sunburn”? Yes, Raymund Marasigan had another stab at a song a bout going to the beach and it still isn’t good. At least it’s not Marasigan’s worst song ever. That award goes to the song about Manny Pacquiao, which he gave (good move!) to Protein Shake, otherwise known as 6cyclemind’s brother band, who’re much less talented and just as offensive.
“Kagulo”, which roughly translate to “riotous” is exactly what the title says, Bianca King or no Bianca King in the music video. And speaking of music video, the one Sandwich made for “Outlaw” is a must-see. Set in a George Miller post-apocalyptic world, the band is seen playing instruments that look like something straight out of a Lirio Salvador exhibit. It’s a perfect companion to Pupil’s Manila as gates of hell in “Out of Control” and it would have been perfect, if not for that huge CGI creature from the Clash of the Titans remake.
Though not necessarily an improvement, the songs in Debris sounds bigger, fuller, cleaner. Fat Salt & Flame sounds a bit muddy by comparison, but that’s probably inherent to recording the songs live.
After two coherent sounding LPs, Debris finds Sandwich leaning back to old habits, the mix and match modus of their first two albums and S-Marks the Spot (arguably their weakest album). That is, the last four cuts sounds like they’re from another album. The last two cuts “Bato-Bato Pik” and “Sunriser,” stick out of the mix while “Napapanahon” and “Balintawak,” though not totally out of step with most of the tracks, might sound more at home in Contra Tiempo.
Also, with that title, I expected it to be more like this…
and to have less of this…