Archive for June, 2011

‘Dualist’ by Taken By Cars – an album review

Sunday, June 26th, 2011

Taken By Cars made a lot of buzz during the start of the year when their brand of dance rock got a well-deserved mention in a Time Magazine article. Along with four other bands from Asia, Taken By Cars were named as one of the best musical acts to watch out for in 2011. It definitely put the spotlight on the band right before the release of their much-anticipated second album Dualist.

Their first album Endings of a New Kind drew acclaim from a lot of quarters so a lot of musical aficionados awaited their second studio effort. Staying true to their already established musical approach, Dualist shows the band’s dedication to their preferred sound while continuing to develop towards the direction that they want to follow.With influences like Deerhunter among others, it really is clear that the band means business despite all the things they have had to go through during the interim between albums. For more on that, join the over 14k fans the band has on their Taken By Cars Facebook page.

The great thing about the band is that they do offer something new but they don’t take you out of your comfort zone so much that you get lost in the esotericism of it all. A perfect example of this novel yet accessible (enough) sound is the first track on Dualist – ‘This Is Our City’. The band was generous enough to offer this one up on Splintr for a limited time and it’s an awesome way for people to know more about the general mood of the second album – the band admits that it reflects the ups and downs that they had to go through to have this record finished. The first track has a lot of get up and go in it and is a perfect opener for an album like Dualist. It’s certainly a taste of the things to come.

Another standout from the album is ‘Unidentified’ – a song that explores dealing with persistent individuals who are really glorified nuisances. Despite the potentially frustrating topic, the song has a catchy hook that does make it a lot more pleasant than the actual topic.

The band slows down a few beats with the very chill “Thrones: Indifference” that features heavily textured guitars and electronica.¬† It’s still undeniably Taken by Cars but it’s from the opposite side of the octane spectrum – there’s less get up and go in this song and more room for emotional depth and spacey effects.

The following song “Thrones: Equals” pushes the boundaries a bit further with a quirkier treatment of the vocals and the general progression of track. The lyrics do hint at a glint of frustration and apprehension and the song does the whole idea of building drama and anticipation fairly well.

‘Autopilot’ also does well in conjuring the the snowballing of tension as it crescendos after a series of very catchy verses. It all explodes in a rich blanket of sonic madness in the end in a seamless stream of musical chaos that dies in a glorious and almost sobering feedback.

Taken By Cars definitely deserves all the accolades they deserve. The band raised the bar yet again with Dualist and it’s not unlikely that their fans would be eagerly awaiting the follow-up to this already successful release.

3 Headed Dog EP – Download the EP on Splintr!

Tuesday, June 14th, 2011

When rock and roll luminaries like Wolf Gemora and David Aguirre come together to make music, fans of their past work will definitely take notice and see what the two legends are up are up to. With Danny Gonzalez formerly of Lokomotiv to man bass duties, it’s clear that these three men mean serious business. 3 Headed Dog has been very generous to allow a free download of their self-titled EP.

 

The 3 Headed Dog Facebook page is very transparent with what type of songs they gravitate towards. With influences like Led Zeppelin, The Doors, AC/DC among others, listeners can easily surmose the type of music that the band is likely to produce – very competent, honest-to-goodness hard-nosed rock that would certainly appeal to anyone who knows their chops when it comes to the genre. Given the track record of the people behind this triumvirate, it’s no surprise that the band’s EP is more than satisfying despite only containing three songs.

The track “30 Years” starts of dirge-like before taking off to more ethereal sounding components of the song. The central theme of deception hangs heavily on the persona of the song – and vocalist/guitarist Dave Aguirre is more than able to channel this very complicated feeling through his singing style. It’s actually a treat to hear Aguirre sing on tracks now since he was chiefly a guitarist on his past bands. The story unfolds beautifully through the lyrics and the arrangement that eventually crescendos in the¬† angst-filled screaming that would typically associated with emotions of frustration and betrayal.

“Maynilad” starts of a lot slower than the first track and not unlike a diesel engine, it takes its time to warm up and get into a groove. Anyone who has listened to classic rock would find this track to be very comforting – it’s a brand new track and there is a good amount of innovation that went into the conception of the song; but at the same time, the general feel of the composition feels very familiar. It’s almost like a homecoming to a sound that you’ve always known – only that that you’re hearing it for the very first time.

The very aggressive “What Do You Want” is a very straight forward song fueled by frustration and despair. There’s a lot of energy that goes into the track and due to this, it does feel like it’s a lot longer than the actual 84 seconds that the song lasts. Despite the ‘shortness’ of the song in the temporal sense, the band definitely made it feel like a full-length song in terms of structure.

3 Headed Dog may be formed by legends who are better known for their great works with other bands but this band certainly has material that can be put side by side with the best compositions of their musical careers.

Again, the 3 Headed Dog EP is available for download on Splintr!

Wilabaliw’s “Me Techie Love You Long Time” video exclusive on Splintr

Tuesday, June 14th, 2011

Wilabaliw is one of the most dynamic forces in the local music scene today. With a front man like the wildly talented Ian Tayao and other members like legendary drummer Robert dela Cruz (of Skychurch fame), Louis Isok and Francis Magat, it’s easy to see why the band is currently one of the most sought after live acts. Born from the shared vision of producing good music despite coming from a wide spectrum of musical genres (it’s literally an enchilada from folk rock to heavy metal), Wilabaliw has emerged as a creative force that continues to push boundaries and tap into new audiences during a time when it seems like institutions of the local rock scene seem to be running out of steam.

If you’re already a fan, and join the almost 28 thousand fans on Wilabaliw’s Official Facebook Page. As an added treat, for one week, the video for “Me Techie Love You Lone Time” will be exclusively available on SPLINTR for one week!¬† The song is Wilabaliw’s third single and second video.

The video is available in the New Releases section of Splintr. Just follow the link and watch the video to “Me Techie Love You Long Time” by Wilabaliw! Again this is only available for the next seven days! Share it to your friends!

 

What’s your favorite Incubus album?

Monday, June 13th, 2011

Love ‘em or not, Incubus has definitely been one of the most prolific bands of our generation. The music has definitely changed throughout the years but that just shows that the band is willing to grow and change directions throughout their almost 20-year existence as a band.

Two decades later, the band has seven studio albums to show for their portfolio as one of modern rock’s most noteworthy mainstream acts.

Each album had a unique flavor that is almost incomparable to  the next.

Fungus Amongus had a very distinct funk sound that pushed a lot of boundaries.

S.C.I.E.N.C.E. was a very varied and eclectic mix of funk, modern rock and the kitchen sink.

Make Yourself was the first album that got the band known into the mainstream.

Morning View allowed the band to explore a more mellow sound.

A Crow Left of the Murder was slightly more melodic and marked the first time that Incubus went to the Philippines.

Light Grenades took people for a spin and spawned hits like Anna Molly and Love Hurts.

And the new album, the new album If Not Now, When? despite getting lukewarm reviews is beginning to grow on some people.

 

What’s your favorite Incubus album?

 

 

Just a reminder, the Incubus concert is on July 28, 2011 at the Araneta Coliseum. Tickets are already on sale so make sure you get yours soon!

Win a limited edition Splintr shirt!

Wednesday, June 8th, 2011

Want your own Splintr.com shirt?

Watch the video.

Invite six friends on Facebook to join the Splintr Page by tagging them on your status message. Give us the URL by posting them on designated threads on the wall and you’ll stand a chance to win Splintr shirts as well as other exciting prizes.

Good luck, guys! :)

Enemies of Saturn and Subscapular team up for bar tour

Wednesday, June 1st, 2011

Enemies of Saturn and Subscapular – two bands whose awesome albums were reviewed on Splintr – are combining forces along with other bands to go around the metro for a series of shows that will run for the rest of the month.Cushe Footwear is presenting the Vintage 2011 Deuce Bar Tour that would send EoS and Subscapular to B-Side at the Collective, Sazi’s, Saguijo and Route 196! That’s more or less the four most popular gig venues of the past few years.

Enemies of Saturn embraces a very visceral and almost sensual approach to their musicality. The tracks that they’ve dished out on their self-titled album are quite catchy and one could only imagine that it would be even better live.

Subscapular on the other hand goes towards a more ‘experiment rock alternative pop’ route and their themes are rooted on youth, self discovery and nostalgia.

 

Catch the shows on the following locations:

June 3 – B-Side ( with Six The Northstar, Hijo, Audible, Taken By Cars, Miscellaneous)

June 11 – Sazi’s (with Inday Bote, Faintlight, Maryzark, Mr Bones)

June 17 – Saguijo (with Malay, Kjwan, Blue Boy Bites Back)

June 24 – Route 196 (with Butchercons, Kuwago, Hansom, Tonight We Sleep)

 

This tour sure covers all the hot spots. Whether you’re in Makati, Manila or Quezon city, you’ll definitely get a chance to see the show.
See you all there.