Sopiz- High School Life

A pubescent Session Road at first, then a less-catchy Avril Lavigne group as their debut goes on, Sopiz should be commended for not just sticking to the typical pop-rock themes of love and loss, as their initial foray into the local music scene also features stalkers, terror teachers, and exams, playing well with their band and album names. Sadly though, the rest of the musical package is lacking, as the album suffers from a severe case of schizophrenia, shifting from the pop ballads in the opening tracks into a pop punk sound in the second half, then finishing with a more alternative rock sound in the end. At the same time, there isn’t a standout track, essentially wallowing in its mediocre pop sound aside until the album’s two punk covers, one of Prettier Than Pink’s Cool Ka Lang and Sharon Cuneta’s (of all people) High School Life. The subsequent punk sound fails to impress as well, with cheesy execution marring the passable thematic focus of the band. In the wake of Hilera’s impressive debut album, even younger acts such as Sopiz have to be held to higher musical standards, and this album doesn’t meet them.

Rating: C-

For more on Sopiz:

Malaya covers the band along with Delara somewhere in the latter section of this post

Odyssey Live Page

Music Lokal Page

Delara- Delara (2008)

Once upon a time, there were two Hungry Young Poets. To (presumably) put food on the table, the duo of Barbie, and Ricci released a self-titled album. Drowning in Fire Women and Personal Flirts, Barbie’s and Ricci’s works were infused in artistic melancholy, from the pressures of being Torpe to Running Away. Finding a receptive audience to their art, they soon found another poet in Franklin, and the Hungry Young Poets were complete.

However, as time passed by Ricci sought new horizons, and found solace in his Little Green Men. And while Franklin and Barbie Cradled poets old and new alike in writing more songs, poet Ricci found kindred spirits in artists like Kitchie, Rann, and Jun Jun, and promptly celebrated the Birth Day of MOJOFLY. Spurred on by a unique vocalist and the same gripping songwriting, the band had their share of success as well, even as group members came and went through the course of A Million Stories, culminating in a new singer in Lougee and a new identity as Ricci gave Lougee free rein to write songs, which would produce a different sound and a new identity for the band, as this would present itself to be Close to the End for Ricci in MOJOFLY.

Now, without any of its founders in Ricci, or Kitchie, or Rann, or Jun Jun, MOJOFLY trudges on as DeLara. How does their new self-titled debut measure up? Continue reading

Pedicab- Shinji Ilabas Mo Na Ang Helicopter (2008)

Composed of Raimund Marasigan, Diego Mapa, Mike Dizon, Jason Caballa, and RA Rivera, Pedicab has returned with another serving of dance punk courtesy of a new full-length release, Shinji Ilabas Mo Na Ang Helicopter. Bolstered by a slew of hit singles like Dizzy Boy and Dito Tayo sa Dilim from their debut album Tugish Takish, the band has already placed itself at a lofty position within the music scene. Now, with their sophomore album, the band looks to reinforce themselves as one of the movers and shakers of the local dance and rock scenes.

Continue reading

Drip- Identity Theft (2008)

Drip- Identity Theft

Has anyone seen that Morning After video on MTV? Better yet, has anyone else noticed how oddball Drip’s videos always are? We had that alien cannibalism video, the adobo cooking recipe video, and now, we have a girl with a golf cub beating up a bunch of gang-bangers (think clean thoughts, now), including Mr. Ramon Bautista (who has cameo-d in quite a few videos now).

Videos aside, the band has released very good electronic music, a mix of Continue reading

Paramita- Paramita (2008)

One of the hardest things about making a positive dent in today’s music scene is standing out from the crowd. Bands are dime a dozen these days and being unique is a valued commodity, for both the band and the manager-label contingent. Sometimes it’s the sound, or the lyrics, or technical ability, having something unique about the band can go a long way towards catching few peepers. Being different, therefore, isn’t a bad proposition. Hopefully, the band is different in a good way, and not in the ear-piercingly awful kind of way, though.

That said, one of the more unique bands in the Philippines is Paramita Continue reading

Rivermaya- Buhay

So the new Rivermaya has released a new EP. After the Rico Blanco fiasco, and the open auditions for a new singer, Rivermaya, now backed with Jayson Fernandez as the new lead singer, has come up with another record, fresh off the heels of last year’s Bagong Liwanag. Of course, Bagong Liwanag was an LP, and if one considers that Isang Ugat, Isang Dugo was a collection of covers rather than an album, Rivermaya hasn’t released a bona fide, full-length album since 2003’s (!!!) Between the Stars and the Waves. That said, Buhay definitely an important release for the band, as it establishes its new identity post-Blanco. Continue reading

On Callalily and the Pogi Rock Phenomenon

Against my better judgment, I decided to listen to Callalily’s new album, Fisheye. Gaining massive popularity because of a big debut single Stars, the band now has legions of fans and strong album sales. They also have a male contingent calling for their heads. People would most likely put me in the latter party. After all, I’ve lambasted them time and time again. They are getting highly undue spotlight and are depriving more deserving bands of it as well. Still, when everything is all said and done, is all the badmouthing for all of this commotion well-deserved? Continue reading

Pupil- Wild Life

Album Art

Just a few months after Ely Buendia’s heart-attack, I really did not expect this album to be put out so soon. Just chalk that up to Mr. Buendia’s passion for making music I guess. Either way, Wild Life is out, and it might be a bit different from what music enthusiasts were expecting.

One of the biggest criticisms on Mr. Buendia has been his recent… aversion from his pop roots. From the final albums of the Eraserheads, to Wanted: Bedspacer, to the Mongols, and to Pupil, Mr. Buendia’s music has definitely been unique, to say the least. Albums like Carbon Stereoxide and Buddha’s Pest Continue reading