80s Pinoy Punk bands gather for Eighties Enough
by rick olivares
The romance with the 1980s as a decade is in full swing. All over pop culture are 80s themed shows from Transformers, Stranger Things, Deutschland 83, The Americans, Ghostbusters, and Red Oaks to name a few. Flicks such as The Lost Boys, Blade Runner, and Lethal Weapon are due up.
In the recent Spider-Man Homecoming film, British New Wave band A Flock of Seagulls received a healthy dose of attention as one of the songs in the soundtrack.
Domestically in the Philippines, there was the successful Urban Bandits reunion concert last February and now its highly-anticipated follow-up this September 30 called, Eighties Enough”.
Taking part in the concert organized by Lock & Load Productions at B-Side The Collective are 80s punk rock bands Betrayed, Wuds, Philippine Violators, Collision, and the Urban Bandits.
These five bands came up in the early 1980s and had albums released in cassette format by Twisted Red Cross records that was put up by Third World Chaos’ Tommy Tanchangco (who is currently working for ABS-CBN). These bands were outspoken against the Marcos dictatorship at that time and their music reflected the anger and tension of the times.
Betrayed put out a controversial if not infamous album that featured for its cover the front page of an issue of People’s Tonight with then sexy starlet Vivian Velez. The album music-wise featured two editions of the band with original vocalist Eddie Siojo presiding over the “Then” side with its punk songs having a more reggae-bent. The “Now” side featured the Dominic Gamboa (who went on to greater fame as aka of reggae outfit Tropical Depression) era that was more in tune to the nascent hardcore scene sweeping the United States and the United Kingdom.
The Urban Bandits featuring vocalist Arnold Morales released “Independence Day” that has become one of the best-selling punk rock albums in Original Pilipino Music history. Like Gamboa, Morales switched to a Jamaican music influenced crew in Put3ska in the early 1990s.
Although the Wuds (featuring vocalist and guitarist Bobby Balingit) released their first album in the 80s with “Arms talk” under Twisted Red Cross, it was their independently released third album, “At Nakalimutan ang Diyos” in 1994 that is perhaps their most critically acclaimed album.
Collision was a UST-based punk band that was featured in the TR release that was a compilation album featuring various bands called, “3rd Bombardment Rescue Ladders and Human Barricade”.
The Philippine Violators are the only outfit to have put out an album recently – “Noon at Ngayon” that was released in 2015. Betrayed and Urban Bandits are in the middle of recording their second album that are three decades overdue.
The original Twisted Red Cross cassette albums are prized today by music collectors and fans alike with good and working copies fetching for huge sums of money.
Ticket price for Eighties Enough is pegged at a flat PhP350 that not only gets you inside to watch the show but also comes with a limited edition cassette that featured classic tracks from all the night’s performers.