The best from Pinoy bands

SOUNDS FAMILIAR - Baby A. Gil - The Philippine Star

First Movement by Gracenote. This is one lucky band. Gracenote is singer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Eunice Jorge; Chen Pangan on guitars; EJ Pichay, drums; and Jazz Jorge, bass. They formed the band while they were students at the St. Scholastica’s College of Music. They were later discovered in the annual Nescafé Soundskool band competition. That was also where they met the pop rocking guys of 6Cyclemind who have since then become their mentors.

That gives them two of the most important things a band should have in the music business. The first is a solid music background. While it is always nice to have new ideas, music is pretty much an exact science. There are strict rules governing the use of those seven notes and Gracenote’s knowing what to do with them to please listeners is a big plus. The other one is insider knowledge of how to work the business. Again, bands might impress by charting their own career path but it helps to know the inside tracks and 6Cyclemind should be able to teach Gracenote a lot of things.

First Movement provides a good sampling of what Gracenote can do. Eunice provides the band’s distinctive sound. She has a charming vocal style that is quite versatile. It works effectively well with both stadium rockers and ballads. She also plays the violin and having this in the current single release, Amnesia has given the song a lyrical quality. It can now be said that it is easy to recognize Gracenote music. They use the violin in their rock recordings.  

Also included are the perky rocker Knock Knock, the folksy Pwede Ako, the Corrs-inspired Far Away, the hook-filled first single Minsan Lang Naman, the soaring ballad Play It Again, the danceable Stop Stop and to close, a stripped down take on Amnesia.

This Is Not A Chicosci Record by Chicosci.  Chicosci was founded in 1996. That means that this band has been around for 17 years. I believe that the main reason for the band’s continued popuIarity is its ability to adapt to market trends. That is aside from the fact that members Miguel Chavez on vocals; Mong Alvarez, guitars, keyboards and vocals; Calde Calderon, bass and vocals; Macoy Estacio, drums; and Ariel Lumanlan, guitars, are lookers who rock.

I know that is not what musicians with minds of their own should be doing. But they are also in business, which means making money. And when you want to earn money, you better give consumers what they want. Chicosci started out as a metal screamer band, which turned into punk and new wave and which has now settled into a kind of melodic pop punk. And thanks probably to years of experience, they sound better than ever.

That is probably the reason why they named their new album This Is Not A Chicosci Record. It really is not, if we are to go back to what they played in Revenge Of The Giant Robot. It rocks but with a lighter, brighter feel. The best example is the single Raspberry: Girl. It has a happy new wave sound that everybody will enjoy and you can even dance to it.

The other cuts are This Is Not An Intro, Shquickx (Drive On!), Stealing Kisses, Old Love/ New Love, Fire Away, Start A Fire, Sleep Station, Where The Light Shines Brightest, Every Mourning, nOPM (Send Help), Crocodile Scars, Alexandra and Kapitan.

I listened to the Shock Pop 2CD Edition by Tanya Markova, that group with the zombie make-up and songs to match, and I was glad to rediscover the band’s hilarious body of work. Quite impressive really, given the fact that local bands seldom make it to a second or third hit song during these difficult times for the music industry. But here they are, the guys of the uniquely disordered Tanya Markova with enough songs to fill their very first compilation CD.

The two-disc set includes all tracks from their debut album like Picture Picture, Disney, Mag-exorcise Tayo, Linda Blair, Psst, Hoy! Bampira Ako (Takot Ka Na), Bye Bye Mosquito, Kundiman Growl-Sentimental Value, Monster Mommy, P.A. Roadie Fernandez, Jacuzzi, Curfew, Riot Sa LRT, plus later works like Under De Table, a cover of Radiohead’s Creep, plus acoustic versions of other songs.

Then as a gift for all those who will get copies of the CD, Tanya Markova has also included other goodies. The videos of their biggest sellers, Picture Picture, Disney, Linda Blair and P.A. Roadie Fernandez, are here and the new single kids are singing along with Da Facebook Song (Ang Ganda Ganda Mo). Ready now, chat churu chat chat churu…

Tanya Markova is composed of these uniquely named cast of creepy characters. Norma Love, Iwa Motors, Mowmow, Heart Abunda, Jennylyn Sucaldito, Skrovak Iskopanjo, Rufa Mae Milby and Rez Curtis.

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