Head Trip In Every Key (Superdrag, 1998)

Some said 'Rock is dead' in '98 and electronica (i.e., Prodigy, The Chemical Brothers) is the next big thing. Well, Grunge died, sort of---after Cobain's death, Pearl Jam's No Code flopped, and Soundgarden split up. Unbeknownst to many, Pavement's Brighten the Corners actually saved Rock n' Roll in '97. And paved the way for Superdrag's… Continue reading Head Trip In Every Key (Superdrag, 1998)

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Hebigat Sounds Volume One (Razorback, 1995)

Hebigat Sounds sounds fine--but Inuman Sessions Vol.1 would have been more apt for this debut from Razorback. From the opening motif of "Tabi Ng Bulkan" to that riff that's played repeatedly and ends "Diwata," Razorback delivers bad-ass goods---equal parts booze, rock & roll---but not much else. "Stand by...rolling." Self-reflexivity: Check. I took one bottle, poured… Continue reading Hebigat Sounds Volume One (Razorback, 1995)

Kupal Destroyer (Tubero, 2018)

Tubero Brings Heavy Honest Pure Metal Music To The Fore There's no beating around the bush, no matter how thick the bush may be. They play hard, erect and direct. With songs the starts and expires as fast as one can say "Mamatay Ka Na," titles that could make blush even the likes of Boy… Continue reading Kupal Destroyer (Tubero, 2018)

This Year (Moonstar88, 2012)

This Year, Moonstar88’s answer to their fans, is either a long EP or a short LP. Or rather it’s more like a second disc to a repackaged Todo Combo. Only you don’t have to purchase the same album again (in case you already have) just to get the bonus disc. Nor their label needs to repackage that… Continue reading This Year (Moonstar88, 2012)

Kiko Machine (Kiko Machine, 2004)

The lads of Kiko Machine, indie/comedy/rock band composed of Fine Arts students from UP, aren't very fine, to say the least. Not only do they idolize a second-rate moustachioed matinee, they also dream to be on the cover of Pulp magazine, and if all else fail, they'll do everything to become boldstars. Musically, I'll put them somewhere… Continue reading Kiko Machine (Kiko Machine, 2004)

All My Friends (tide/edit, 2018)

Is this where it all starts to bleed together? Is this where it all starts to sound the same? I’m mean those towels hanging on the cover of IDEAS. Towels, ideas, songs—spin them thrice in the washing machine and colours will bleed for sure. Ditto with these tunes, tracks, songs.After Lightfoot, I have little use… Continue reading All My Friends (tide/edit, 2018)

Foreign Languages (tide/edit, 2014)

Math makes the intangible tangible, defines the imaginary, helps explain what seems to be, well, unexplainable---like our universe. With Foreign Languages, indie-rock quartet tide/edit does something---not exactly opposite---different. The tunes in Foreign Languages, they aren't easy to describe or explain---not that one needs to---yet they could easily capture one’s attention and/or imagination. tide/edit's music has… Continue reading Foreign Languages (tide/edit, 2014)

Effect Desired None

Probably Not But Most Definitely had me confused. They could have easily given Cynthia Alexander a run for her money (not that record sales equates to big money in the early aughts, not that there were any significant record sales numbers to begin with), I just don't get what the (vagina) monologues are for. What… Continue reading Effect Desired None

The Oktaves (The Oktaves, 2013)

Not quite as dismal as the last collaboration album with Ely Buendia's name on it. But not quite as good as Pupil's (or Hilera's) last album either. In case anyone's forgotten already, The Oktaves is Ely Buendia's kind-of-full-time-but-not-really other band, a supergroup who don't seem to hang out together. Or maybe they do hang out,… Continue reading The Oktaves (The Oktaves, 2013)

Rivermaya Albums Ranked From Worst To Best

Rivermaya never got rejected by record labels because their songs weren't "pop enough." They never experienced selling tickets only so they could play in Club Dredd. If there's anything naysayers had to say about Rivermaya, it's that they were manufactured (they were the brainchild of Chito Roño and Liza Nakpil), they never toiled the underground… Continue reading Rivermaya Albums Ranked From Worst To Best

Follow the Leader (Ciudad, 2012)

The trajectory Ciudad took from Happy Bear to Follow the Leader, isn't quite slanted and enchanted turning into bright corners until terror twilight comes in. See, Pavement references Ella Fitzgerald, not Helmet; Ciudad, on the other hand, echoes Korn, the fathers-in-denial of the bastard sub-genre called Nu Metal. Maybe they're more like The Dead Milkmen, who… Continue reading Follow the Leader (Ciudad, 2012)

Atomic Bomb (Rivermaya, 1997)

Took me a long time to fully appreciate Rivermaya's third album. Yes, the title's cliche and the album's more obtuse than a solid bang, but that's not it. Only lately did I realize what's keeping me from really enjoying this album. It's the track sequence. Of course, it's just probably me but I'm thinking about… Continue reading Atomic Bomb (Rivermaya, 1997)

RiverMaya (Rivermaya, 1994)

Aside from the hits (e.g., 214), Rivermaya, with this debut, gave what fans couldn't get from the Eraserheads: a pop-rock band with considerable skills and rockstars look and feel. (Though that's not something they couldn't get with either After Image or Alamid.) This idea of THE perfect band and the band's five-hit-string that parallels that… Continue reading RiverMaya (Rivermaya, 1994)

High & Dry: My Top 5 Radiohead LPs

"Hey, here's the new Radiohead album", a friend offered few months ago. I put it on, listened. So this is how they sound now. Interesting, I thought. But theirs is not the kind of music that I need. At least for now. Some people find meaning in lyrics that reflects the despairing things happening around… Continue reading High & Dry: My Top 5 Radiohead LPs

Foo Fighters’ Albums, Ranked From Worst to Best

The Foo Fighters, Dave Grohl's solo studio project that quickly evolve into a full band, are now well on their way to becoming a "classic rock" band. More than two decades old and they're still at it. For better or worse. They are like the granddaddies of corporate rock now---irrelevant and boring---in the same way… Continue reading Foo Fighters’ Albums, Ranked From Worst to Best

Your Universe (Rico Blanco, 2008)

Before we were re-introduced to the now solo Rico Blanco, the story went like this: the then-Rivermaya frontman went MIA; his former band, reduced to a trio, released the brilliant Bagong Liwanag, then staged an overblown TV search for a frontman, a new member. Meanwhile, some speculated Rico Blanco formed a new band and he's… Continue reading Your Universe (Rico Blanco, 2008)

Buddha’s Pest (The Mongols, 2004)

Got Buddha's Pest few months ago---got it pre-loved, second-hand, from eBay. As advertised, it is in mint condition. The CD inserts, with production notes and lyrics, are still intact---means the previous owner really took good care of it. It's quite amusing though, that the liner notes come with directions and precautions, warning about the dangers… Continue reading Buddha’s Pest (The Mongols, 2004)

Light Peace Love (Bamboo, 2005)

As The Music Plays, more than anything else, was about how "ecstatic" the band was, that its principal songwriter's friend, the rockstar vocalist had finally came back, after deserting them, some five years ago. It was good---that debut/comeback album---but not without its flaws. The lesser songs, I could barely remember now. This rushed follow-up is… Continue reading Light Peace Love (Bamboo, 2005)

Ultraelectromagneticpop! (Eraserheads, 1993)

Ultraelectromagneticpop isn't so much groundbreaking as it is an excellent pop record. The songs may sound pretty dated by now, but back in 1993, they didn't sound like anything else. Thanks mainly to the local mainstream music, which back in 1993, sounded like it was still 1983.

It’s Like A Magic (Ciudad, 2005)

Sadly, this would be the last of the fuzz/fun side of Ciudad. After this album, they got more sober, their lyrics started to make sense, and most of all, they seem to have lost most of the fun---and the fuzz. It's Like A Magic is hardly on par with Ciudad’s first two albums, but when… Continue reading It’s Like A Magic (Ciudad, 2005)