An old band with a young sound

SOUNDS FAMILIAR - Baby A. Gil () - April 3, 2006 - 12:00am
I think of the new hit tune Sugod by Sandwich as a close relation of Orange & Lemon’s Pinoy Ako. Not that there is any similarity in the themes of the songs or between the interpreters. Pinoy Ako is all about pride in being a Filipino. Sugod, while inspired by Andres Bonifacio and his katipuneros, is really all about having a good time. Both songs though have the same get-up-and-go quality listeners find irresistible. Get up, move those feet and sing out, those tunes seem to say.

is the first single release from the album Five on the Floor, produced by former E-head Buddy Zabala. Other cuts are Sunburn, DVDX, Photocopy, View Master, Walang Kadala Dala, In Case of Fire, Resbak, Goodnight January, Kalendaryo, Marikina and Let Your Cellphone Shine. Well-crafted, the songs are the sort you can expect to get from rockers who know what goes on in the music business. Never indulgent, these have just the right amount of edge, humor and capable craftsmanship.

Compared to most groups we have these days, Sandwich can be described as an "old band." Not Rolling Stones old but certainly not young in the Hale category. The guys of Sandwich are "old hands," seasoned musicians who will one day surely earn the elder statesmen of rock status given their credentials.

The group is made up of Raimund Marasigan who was, is, and some of the time also with Eraserheads, Cambio and Pedicab on vocals, guitars, synths, percs and melodica; Diego Castillo on guitars, vocals, toys and alien pillows; Mike Dizon of Teeth and Pedicab on drums, vocals and videocam; Myrene Academia of Imago on bass, vocals and PS2 and Mong Alcaraz of Chicosci on guitars, vocals and iPod video.

They have also harvested quite a number of trophies. From NU Rock Awards came Album of the Year for Grip Stand Throw, Song of the Year for Butterfly Carnival and Best New Artist of 1999. The Awit gave them a Best Performance by a New Artist win the following year and 99.5 RT honored them as Best Alternative Artist. The second album Four Track Mind was also NU’s Album of the Year in 2001. The next one, Thanks to the Moon’s Gravitational Pull, earned NU’s Album Producer of the Year for 2004.

Given all these, it is no surprise that listeners will find it easy to heed Sandwich’s call for Sugod and give the group its most commercial success ever. Like I said in previous pieces, trophies are nice but nothing beats having a hit song. Sandwich has that now with Sugod.

Sugod mga kapatid/ tayo ay magsama-sama/iwagayway na ang bandera/ rakenrol hanggang umaga….
Sugarfree’s repackaged Dramachine
Still on the local band scene. Sugarfree has released a new, repackaged version of its charming big seller Dramachine. One of last year’s best releases, the hit-filled album now comes with an AVCD that contains videos of Hari ng Sablay, Tulog Na, Kwarto, Sinta and Prom plus additions like the new single Cuida, Burnout (Ulit) and Makita Kang Muli, theme from the TV series Panday. Needless to say, buyers also get the complete, original Dramachine. But don’t you wish they also included the band’s early hits in the package? They did Burnout, so why not Telepono or Mariposa, too.

The same thing goes for last year’s big discovery Hale. The special edition new release has the group’s complete debut album also titled Hale and a bonus AVCD with videos of Kung Wala Ka, Kahit Pa, The Day You Said Goodnight and the first hit Broken Sonnet. Then there is the new single Toll Gate and an acoustic rendition of The Day You Said Goodnight.

Of course, the arrival of releases like these Special Edition sets of CDs with AVCDs means having to buy another copy of an album that chances are you already have. The practice seems unfair on the part of the consumer but the pleasure of being a fan these days also comes with having to put up with a lot of expenses. So it’s useless to complain. Besides, if the album is a hit and can be listened to again and again, you might have already worn out your initial copies and are already need of another one.

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