Archive for April, 2011

Hellogoodbye – ‘Would It Kill You?’

Saturday, April 30th, 2011

The appeal of indie music for a good number of those who listen to the ‘genre’ is the great deal of honesty and the crafty musicianship that goes behind each song. Each track is a reflection of the freewheeling spirit that defines being indie. They may not be allied with a major label, but Hellogoodbye is certainly a force to be reckoned with in the field of social media. With almost half a million fans from all over the world, these guys from California have certainly made a good name for themselves.

Their new album Would It Kill You? is being pushed locally by Lilystars Records – a label that has the great goal of making indie (as well as other lesser known genres) more accessible to Filipinos. (more…)

‘Enemies of Saturn’ enters the ring

Wednesday, April 27th, 2011

Enemies of Saturn creates music that is part throw-back but still very fresh for the current scene. The band captures the spirit of rock music that is both hard-hitting enough to get your heart pumping yet sensual enough to make you want to move to the beat and feel the music even if you’re hearing a track for the first time. Their songs just have an innate ability to permeate through space and time without being too esoteric – in fact, it’s the exact opposite; the songs from their first album feel quite visceral in terms of appeal.

If you’ve been listening to NU107 years before they closed shop, you would have probably heard ‘Bigayan’ – the band’s biggest hit on mainstream radio. It’s a very catchy collaboration of funky beats and crunchy riffs that just has dance floor filler written all over it. There’s no way that you’re going to listen to this track sitting down. Coupled with the very suggestive lyrics, it’s definitely a recipe for a very good night – or at least a great story for the morning after.

The song ‘Mushroom Stomp’ also delivers the same punch and the underground seems to agree – it is easily among the band’s better received tracks in the local circuit. It’s very obvious as to why this is a crowd pleaser – just like the opening track, ‘Mushroom Stomp’ will definitely get butts off seats in a gig venue.

The band takes a break and goes on a more delicate route with ‘Descent’. There’s something very ethereal with the musical and vocal treatments in the song and this makes the experience of listening to it such a soothing experience. The song is a triumph in combining the feeling of yearning, obsession and even a little bit of desperation fit in a very gorgeous package.

“Charger” takes on a very bass-driven melody that embraces a more funky approach to songwriting. It’s certainly explores the music that great bands like P.O.T. and Kapatid have explored but not fully fleshed out during their existence as awesome creative entities. There’s definitely a market for music like this and it’s great that Enemies of Saturn is here to produce great tunes and indirectly educate people by expanding their musical horizons.

Enemies of Saturn is a very tight unit that packs a punch that’s somehow married with copious amount of musical libido and testosterone powered hard rock. It’s a very scary combination… for people who hate good music. Give these guys a spin, you won’t regret it.

Urbandub sends a message and rocks the Music Museum

Tuesday, April 26th, 2011

The Music Museum is some sort of hallowed ground as far as Philippine Music is concerned. In a country where large scale concerts by local bands are usually few and far in between, events held at this venue in Green Hills are generally anticipated and sold out.¬† Urbandub recently added to the lore of the Music Museum as the band successfully held their monster concert that rivaled some of the longest sets ever played by a local band. Bands rarely play over 20 songs during gigs- you’ll be lucky to have some bands play 7 songs – so having a band perform almost two dozen songs in succession is definitely a welcome treat. (more…)

Blast from the Past: Battery

Saturday, April 23rd, 2011

Since a lot of Filipinos are observing Lent, let’s refer to the pages of history and re-familiarize ourselves with a great band who didn’t just rock hard but also wore their faith on their collective sleeves. The band was a tight unit comprised of Mike Turner, Miguel Ortigas and Johnny Besa. Battery was formed around the time when the rock movement was slowly shifting to a more urban sound – there was good deal of rapping going on on a lot songs and old school rock was left in the hands of old reliables like Wolfgang and Razorback.

Michael Turner won as NU 107 Rock Awards 2000′s Guitarist of the Year and his win cemented his legacy as one of the most unique front men in the history of Pinoy Rock. Much of the hurt of the music lies in Turner’s faith and devotion to his god. All the songs of Battery had a significant religious slant – the lyrics were so dead on and that there’s no more debating whether the intention of the words were religious or not.

Christian rock music is rarely good so it’s definitely a plus to see a bad ass band like Battery who can rock as hard as any other band in the country. Their biggest hit was the song ‘Come To Me‘ – nominated for Song Of The Year back in the NU 107 Rock Awards for 2000 . The lyrics are really quite simple and easy to remember:

 

You come to me

when I can’t see

you comfort me when I call

Yahweh,  come to me.

It’s very hard to find a copy of Battery’s first and only album so you better ask your friends who were actively buying CDs during those days for a copy. There are also a handful of videos available online.

The Radio Dept. at Hardrock Cafe (April 20, 2011)

Sunday, April 17th, 2011

Dream pop band The Radio Dept. will be hitting Manila on April 20, 2011 and the city better be ready for this group’s unique sound that’s coming straight out of Lund, Sweden. Many critics have lauded their most recent release Clinging To A Scheme (2010) for being¬† brilliant album. If you’re a fan, there’s a good chance that this will be one of the few times that you’re going to have a chance to catch them so you might as well make this opportunity count!

 

Tickets are being sold for 1800 pesos (comes with a free drink). You may get it at the door on the day itself or in any of these venues until April 19. Show starts 9PM. See you there! (more…)

We Are Kids Forever – Subscapular

Thursday, April 14th, 2011

Youth and the desperate attempt to bottle and contain it has always been and enduring theme among music artists. Many have gone the manic depressive route and wrote very heavy and dark songs that mourn each day that adds to aging while there are artists who revel in the idea that it’s all in the mind.

Enter Subscapular and their new album¬†We Are Kids Forever; the band describes itself as “experimental rock alternative pop” on their Facebook page and the label is definitely consistent with how the new album sounds. There is something vaguely familiar with the way Subscapular sounds but there’s a very strong sense of individuality in the music as well. There are elements of punk, classic rock and hard rock that peek out of the rich musical landscape that the band has been able to lay out for their listeners to explore. (more…)

First batch of winners to the JD Set Reveal Night

Wednesday, April 13th, 2011

The first batch of winners’ names are in!

 

1. Nino de Leon
2. Chelle Estranero
3. Matt Young
4. Karlo Zapatero
5. Erika Rubion
6. Sam Fanibyo
We still have a lot of tickets to give away so head on over to the contest page and tag your friends! Each winner will get 10 tickets each!
Get a chance to see seven great indie bands, send off URBANDUB before they go to Indonesia and best of all; get a shot to win a trip to Bali!
Contest cut off is tomorrow night – show’s Friday night!

The Late Isabel is anything but ‘Lackadaisical’

Monday, April 11th, 2011

The Late Isabel made heads turn when they released Doll’s Head almost half a decade ago and while it wasn’t exactly mainstream fodder, it was surprising to hear the sheer amount of people who have found the album to be very refreshing. Five years later, the band is still at it and while the darkness in the music is still palpable, there’s definitely a lot of grit added to the mix. The band did take a while before they released a follow up EP but it really feels like The Late Isabel produced something special with Lackadaisical.

The title track ‘Lackadaisical’ has a very dirge-like rhythm that just drones out for the rest of the song. There’s an almost hypnotic quality to the song that’s makes the track achieve what it seems to want to achieve from the get go – create a mood instead of just being a collection of sounds.

Wawi Navarroza takes over vocals duty once again for the second track ‘Isabel The Damaged’ that has a very good contrast from ‘Lackadaiscal’. While still evoking a very dark feel, the song does manage to sound upbeat and gritty at the same time. If the first track was successful in making your spirit weigh hundreds of pounds, ‘Isabel The Damned’ would make you want to move and listen to what happens to the story of Isabel after she approaches the fateful water tower. There’s something that needs to be said for a band that could pull off sounding dark but at the same time creating music that most people would want to move to.

‘Tinstick Romance’ takes off from where ‘Isabel The Damned’ ends. It once again captures the musical dynamism that seems to be the underlying theme of the album contrasted with relatively dark lyrics. The song transports you to a very aurally-heavy place that seems very familiar but at the same time feels very new, novel and somehow alien.

The fourth track ‘Imperial’ sticks out with a very distinct progression that’s set to an almost pentatonic rhythm. The mood does change quickly though as the song lends itself to the prevalent theme of The Late Isabel – the familiar feel of darkness and doom that is somehow faced with gutsiness and reckless abandon. There’s an air of impending doom but there’s a tongue-in-cheek approach to the apparent seriousness of it all.

The last track ‘Midnight City’ captures the faint cries of an aimless soul wandering through a cold ubran landscape. It’s hauntingly beautiful and it definitely relates the feeling of a humdrum existence that a creature of the night would probably experience. It’s a perfect ending to a very solid compilation that would definitely want you asking for more.

The Late Isabel is definitely one of those bands that you would wish could come up with a full-length album. The band will be going on semi-hiatus with Wawi going to Europe for her studies and while five tracks may not cut it as far as quelling for the longing is concerned, Lackadaisical will probably come very close to doing so.

All you need is MOMOL

Friday, April 8th, 2011

Splintr may be best known for great music videos and other exclusive content but there are other goodies that you can find on the website. One of the best nuggets you can discover is the MOMOL short films. MOMOL is a well-known Filipino acronym that stands for make out make out lang. The first movie ‘Park Girl’ is only six minutes long and it’s certainly entertaining enough to capture your attention for that time frame. Watch it and for sure, it will remind you of someone you know – and maybe, it will help you see a bit of yourself as well.

Basti is back for good

Wednesday, April 6th, 2011

Wolfgang has had a very interesting state of existence in the past eight years. The band has seen a near disbandment due to the almost simultaneous-but-completely-unrelated decisions of Basti Artadi and Wolf Gemora to migrate to the United States and both have also gone on to form bands overseas – Kitaan Club, Lokomotiv and Three-Headed Dog to name a few. Wolfgang has been doing shows regularly sans Gemora with Francis Aquino doing drum chores along bassist Mon Legaspi and guitarist Manuel Legarda for the past four years. Despite being fragmented by geographical locations, the band has been able to play almost a dozen times in Manila, Cebu, Dubai and Singapore.

Basti announced via a recorded interview last month that he was returning for good to join Wolfgang on a thirty-city tour of the Philippines. The band is also writing new material for the seventh Wolfgang studio album that will be released later this year.

There are many Wolfgang videos on the Splintr page so feel free to browse and check ‘em out.

Basti is back! Spread the word.