One of the pioneers of the rise of Cebuano music, along with contemporaries such as Urbandub, Faspitch, and Cattski, Sheila and the Insects became a critical darling in releasing four acclaimed albums of a new wave-post punk sound distinct from anything else heard in the country. Their latest release, Flowerfish, was able to garner considerable spotlight even in the congested rock scene, with coverage in MYX and MTV. With their place in the rock scene seemingly set, the band looked to be one of the mainstays of Filipino rock for years to come.
A monkey wrench was thrown into the plans though, when one of the band’s members, Ian Zafra, left the group. In the wake of this, the band basically disappeared from general view. Even their last commercial release, a cover of APO’s Softly, was nixed by music executives from inclusion in the second Kami nApo Muna release. (It can, however, be downloaded here courtesy of the band’s blog.) With that, Philippine music was in danger of losing another one of its better groups.
However it seems like the band is receiving another stay of execution, at the very least. With a new lineup and quite possibly a new sound, the band is trudging on, and they want the fans to decide the name of the new group. With more than fifty (!) names already suggested, fans are encouraged to pick the best one, or make up another. From the suggested names, I personally like Portal, though the name may suffer in search engines (one of the band’s criteria for selection). I don’t really like some of the suggestions (Phoenix Down? I get the reference, but this isn’t Final Fantasy.), and I would’ve liked the name Immaculate, but apparently it’s taken.
The blog post for this can be found in their official blog, so take the time to give a great band a great name. After all, the band might take a chant of “Ay Caramba” to be a sigh of exasperation rather than of applause. With that here’s Quick to Panic from Flowerfish, a fantastic track and video if I do say so myself: