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)

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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)

Have you ever wished you were a 90’s kid? FYI, the 2000’s was awesome too!

Note: This was originally written in September 2016, around the time everyone was going crazy over a TV ad featuring the Eraserheads. “We grew up listening to the music from the best decade ever.”                                          … Continue reading Have you ever wished you were a 90’s kid? FYI, the 2000’s was awesome too!

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)

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 Ourselves the Elves, The Strange Creatures

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 Sila (Sud, 2015)

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 Baby I’m-A Want You

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 Sticker Happy (Eraserheads, 1997)

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 As The Music Plays (Bamboo, 2004)

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 Bananatype (Eraserheads, 1997)

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 Dating Gawi (Rico Blanco, 2015)

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 The Blashuvec (Rebelle Fleur, 2013)

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 Fat Salt & Flame (Sandwich, 2013)

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 Zilch (Pupil, 2015)

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 Pop U! (Eraserheads, 1991)