Ultraelectromagneticpop on Vinyl: The Good The Bad & The Ugly

I was plugged in to my phone when the news came crashing outside my window: on its 25th anniversary, the remastered version of Ultraelectromagneticpop would be available on Spotify and other digital platforms. And I listened to it on Spotify the same day it came out. What tiny tidbit I missed at the time, is... Continue Reading →

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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 →

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 →

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 →

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 →

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 →

Tabi Po (Graphic Novel)

Rebyu ng rebyu ng Tabi Po ni Mervin Malonzo (Warning: NSFW) Unang una, na-disappoint ako nung malaman na yung nabasa ko sa web ay sya ring matutunghayan ko sa print version ng libro (hard copy, ika nga, at hindi e-file). Kung mababasa ko sya ng libre, ba't ko pa binili 'tong libro? Pero tama si... Continue Reading →

Kita Kita (Sigrid Andrea Bernardo, 2017)

Kita Kita (I See You) could be a distant relative of Richard Linklater's Before Sunrise; only it isn't presented in real-time, it's set in Japan instead of France, and the male lead (Empoy Marquez) hardly resembles Ethan Hawke. And KZ Tandingan's version of Air Supply's "Two Less Lonely People" frequently plays in the background. Okay, the two... Continue Reading →

Bliss (Jerrold Tarog, 2017)

Bliss is a well-crafted little film, an elaborate tease tinged with mild voltage of shock, a psycho-sexual thriller that approaches but never quite reaches the level of mind-fuck. The movie's a clever play on parallels: Iza Calzado's showbiz career with that of Jane Ciego; Jane's to that of Abigail, the protagonist in Bliss; Jane's real-life... Continue Reading →

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 →

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 →

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 →

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.

Ourselves the Elves, The Strange Creatures

Two excellent lovely twinkly EPs... It’ll Be Alright (Ourselves the Elves, 2013) What elevates this from the rest of female-fronted bands of local indieland, I don’t know exactly. Maybe it’s the lack of synths. Or the lo-fi prod perhaps? Maybe it’s the untamed cymbals occasionally clashing with the guitars. Or maybe it’s the intimate air... Continue Reading →

Sila (Sud, 2015)

Found this music video last night. Couldn't remember if it was the recent controversy or something else that made me click on it. The song is fine, suave, horn-y (or make that sax-y) and reminds me of pop songs from the pre-Ultraelectromagneticpop days - something like Bodjie's Law of Gravity's “Sana Dalawa Ang Puso Ko”,... Continue Reading →

Baby I’m-A Want You

Not All Songs with the Word Baby Are Wussy The word baby, like love, is one of the most frequently abused words in popular music. From Peter Frampton’s 1975 single “Baby I Love Your Way”, to the annoyingly ubiquitous Big Mountain cover of the same in the mid-90's, to Ed Sheeran’s 2014 hit “Thinking Out... Continue Reading →

Sticker Happy (Eraserheads, 1997)

A few of my favorite records came out in 1997. Pavement’s fourth “masterpiece” Brighten the Corners was released that year. Ditto with Radiohead’s critically acclaimed OK Computer and Foo Fighters’ The Colour and the Shape. In the same year, Teeth returned with Bum Squad EP and a healthier Glenn Jacinto. Then the Eraserheads, fresh from... Continue Reading →

As The Music Plays (Bamboo, 2004)

They caught and drowned the front man of the world's worst rock and roll band. He was out of luck because nobody gave a fuck. The jury gathered all around the aqueduct, drinking and laughing and lighting up, reminiscing just how bad he sucked, singing “Throw him in the river, throw him in the river... Continue Reading →

Bananatype (Eraserheads, 1997)

Before Sticker Happy came out late in 1997, Eraserheads released an EP called Bananatype. For a band that has released one LP every year since 1993, a stopgap midyear release was nothing short of surprising. They just have too many songs for the new album that they have to put away some of them, the... Continue Reading →

Dating Gawi (Rico Blanco, 2015)

This isn’t just fantasy superband come true. This is the superband that supersedes all other superbands in recent memory – Bamboo, Franco, Audioslave, Atoms for Peace, and even the Oktaves. I mean, c'mon, this is Rivermaya’s main man and one-half of the Eraserheads – two godhead bands from the 90’s – in one album. Okay,... Continue Reading →

The Blashuvec (Rebelle Fleur, 2013)

Like with any guitar-heavy rock band, one can namedrop the usual suspects with ease - Nirvana, Pavement, Husker Du - as usual. But one has to realize how tonally and aesthetically disparate those bands were and that their least common denominator is a RAT pedal. Yes, the singer strains his cords like Cobain and the guitars are... Continue Reading →

Fat Salt & Flame (Sandwich, 2013)

Fat Salt & Flame opens with grinding of the axes that segues into a series of build up and release - a layer cake of feedback and guitar screech. Around the two minute mark, you start to wonder - either they forgot the lyrics or somebody forgot to switch on the mic. But it never... Continue Reading →

Zilch (Pupil, 2015)

Three albums in and Pupil goes back to zero - a restart, a new beginning. Yan Yuzon's out and erstwhile Mongol Jerome Velasco comes in. The angular riffs and dream-pop soundscapes are out - traded for the more compact ones. The alt-rock palette with strong post-punk leaning, they decided to explore no further. We saw... Continue Reading →

Pop U! (Eraserheads, 1991)

Not the first ever indie, rather self-released cassette of dozen songs already worth a proper album. Some of which already recorded for what is now known as “garjam” demo, and half of which would later appear on their major label albums. Sound-wise, it’s a combination of pop, post-punk and whatever they heard inside their heads,... Continue Reading →

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