Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Six Filipino bands in Singapore you should check out Part 1

Six Filipino bands in Singapore 
you should check out Part 1
by rick olivares

In recent articles, we featured some Filipino bands who are either performing abroad or who have been signed by foreign labels. There’s Narcloudia, that shoegaze/dream pop band out of Singapore that is fronted by former Sugar Hiccup lead singer Bea Alcala, Singaporean thrash metal band Tormentress that features a Filipina lead guitarist in Gwen Ca├▒ete, and Quezon City-based outfit Dreaded Mortuary that was signed by Japan’s Rock Stakk Records and who were invited to perform in the True Thrash fest in Osaka twice already. There are more but that is a feature for another day.

This week, we will feature six Filipino bands who have released albums in Singapore. All these bands are wholly Filipino but who all live and work in the Lion City. Their releases are all independent. You might want to check them out on their respective Facebook pages and better yet, ask your friends in Singapore to pick up their albums. Buy them! Don’t download, cheapskates.

Rise by UlingGang (genre: Heavy Metal)
If you like male-female vocal interplay like Lacuna Coil, the Devin Townsend Project, or even Nightwish, then you have to check out this awesome album by UlingGang. Their five-track EP, titled “Rise” is something that grabs you right away. Terrific and strong vocals by Shielah Nueva and Dyason Ramirez that grab you. Tight performances and a twin guitar attack for that shredding and crunching punch to the gut. Love the production and I appreciate that the album is properly pressed and not just burned. Powerful debut by the six-man band.

Hats by VunderVeil (Pop Rock)
Cheerful pop rock that reminds you of the Cardigans or Sixpence None the Richer but with a Filipino bent. Love the earthy and sweet vocals by singer Anlyn Curay who is backed by a capable rhythm section. I also like the fact that this full length album (12 songs in English and Tagalog) comes in nifty packaging that can also double as a brown paper hat!

Flashes of Random Spaceship by Obet Rivera (MOR Rock)
This one’s got groove and meaning! For fans of Pinoy 70s outfit Soul Jugglers that will also appeal to those who dig the late great P.O.T. (minus the funk). Rivera once played guitar for Emil Sanglay and Penpen (whose neo-ethnic style was part of that wave of folk singers in the late 1970s) and Polityx which played in Ultrastorm with the Dawn and After Image. Upbeat and stirring stuff! Rivera knows how to write songs with a hook that drip with passion. If you like Jackson Browne, Paul Westerberg and the like, check out this darn good album.

One Love by Cool M (genre: Pop/R&B)
This one takes you down a notch with cool grooves. Cool M has D’Sound vibe (that tres cool trio for Norway) with a pixie dust sprinkling of jazz and pop rock musings. They write catchy pop songs that will have you nodding along. Before you know it, you’ll find yourself dancing. I can only imagine how they sound live. Am sure their live performances are better! While Mercy Labarda sings most of the songs, her husband, Def, also alternates at the mike. When he does there’s a more pop rock to the RNB styles that work well with Mercy. For fans of Side A, South Border, and D’Sound.

Poetic Tragedies’ self-titled EP (Indie Rock)
Four-track EP. If you like bands like Thursday, Finch, and Taking Back Sunday to Name a Few or those who dig homegrown bands Richard Collier of the Skeleton Years, Poetic Tragedies will appeal to your taste buds. Bloody intense. Get ready to play air guitar along coz this one will rock your socks off.  

Pariah self-titled album (genre: Heavy Metal)
A seven-track EP by this five-man band. If you like Parkway Drive, Fiver Finger Death Punch and the like. Muscular and tight performance. You can see that Pariah has chops. Not crazy about the vocal mix though. Could be much better to make for better listening. Nevertheless, still good if you enjoy this kind of music. Wish they also added some liner notes to this.

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