5 Unsigned Bands, that in my personal opinion, are worth your damn time

by “That Blogging Guy from Tanya Markova”

 

I’ve been frequenting blog posts and articles lately, granted that my day job is very much related to checking out the internet and stuff (Musicians nowadays need a job, y’know). Since my job requires a lot of learning and skillset, despite the fact that it’s quite exciting, its normal to feel some sort of stress. My therapy? to listen to music, lots of it. Most of the time, I listen to several kinds of music, depending on my mood. I’m a voracious listener. It sets my mood right, and gives me a fresh perspective everyday.

There are times where I listen to new bands, especially in the Pinoy scene. I’ve found a few of them that I really like. Nowadays, when I go to gigs, the scene is flooded with generic bands that sound alike, uber hipster bands who only keep their music to themselves and their friends (with English as their freakin’ first language, sounds irritating as hell), bands that would prefer noise over content, and bands that would rather rip off the sounds of great bands like Kamikazee, Urbandub, and Franco, and not caring much about their own identity. It sounds frustrating, but that’s what I’ve been observing nowadays. Yet, I don’t lose hope, because there are still several bands out there who’re just waiting to be noticed, if given the chance.

I just decided to mention at least 5 bands that I really like nowadays because my blog would be too long should I decide to list all the bands worth checking out for. These 5 bands I’ll mention has it all: showmanship, fluidity, and heart.  They also don’t sound like any other bands I know, and they’re very artistic. I am friends with some of these bands, so clearly I have some sort of bias (hee-hee) — but mind you, they’re really good.

Talata

This band is special. First of all, Reyg Munoz-Linao (we call her Mommy Reyg, because she’s caring and sweet) and his husband, one of the most talented guitarists around, Jomal Linao, are the nicest people you’ll ever meet. They currently own the restaurant Zili Nasi Goreng in Cainta (worth checking out for), and they hold events for bands most of the time. But anyways, despite their hectic schedule, they still manage to squeeze some time to perform and share their music as the band Talata. When they put their game face on the stage, it is so damn thrilling. Check out this Tower of Doom Sessions’ performance for their song Fed Up and you’ll know what I mean

Mommy Reyg’s voice is very powerful and compelling. There’s no waste of words when she sings, and I really love her vocal delivery. I would recommend that you listen to her in “Balintataw”, probabaly the grooviest song they’ve ever written. On the other hand, we all know Jomal’s amazing guitar work in Kamikazee, but his riffs in Talata should raise no doubt on your mind that he’s really one hell of a guitar player. Now, add James (guitar), Dacky (drums) and Anton (bass) onto the line-up and you’ve got a really solid band. This band can be heavy, melodic, and even sweet at the same time. Fans of metal, hardcore, and even alternative will definitely like Talata’s music.

Dhruva Tara

Judging from the name, you probably thought that this band is into Indian music, but then you’re wrong. Their name was probably based on Hindu Mythology, and i’m not shocked, cause their frontman Fredz Mantilla is very much into astronauts and space. My bandmate Kiddo Guevarra (aka Jen Sucaldito) also plays guitar for this undeniably talented band. Brian Lotho, their drummer, plays for Join the Club, Alex Vito Cruz (keyboards) and Julius Dumlao (guitars) are members of  Maryzark, and their bassist Gi Garcia also sessions for other bands. Despite their bands on the side, this band should not be regarded as a mere side project. They are among the most talented bands existing on our local scene right now, and they sound better live. Fredz’ voice pulls you in, and this synth rock/indie/alternative outfit sure knows how to put on a show. Check out this music video from their song Hologram, and you’ll catch their melodic sensibility.

Paranoid City

Their name suggests “sci-fi” and a futuristic parallel universe, but I may be overreaching. I’ve watched this band for some time now, and they never fail to amaze me. Their synth man, Japo Araneta, is a friend and a bandmate, and he’s really talented; but that’s not the only reason why I consider them as one of my favorite unsigned bands. I really love the hooks and the “sing-song-y” rhythm that this band could initiate, ’cause they’re catchy as hell. They’re also conceptual (with band names like Dax, Eric Strange, 8-Bit, and CD-ROM, what could possibly go wrong?), and their disco rock/synth pop musical format could attract several audiences — be it a trance music fan, a vinyl collector, an oblivious tourist, or a new waver. Maybe someday, I’ll be able to hear their frontman Dax sing in Tagalog, in a danceable tune. That would be awesome. Check out this song from this colorful band. 

Farewell Fair Weather

This band is quite young. They are still within the 18 to 21 demographic, I believe. Don’t be deceived by their age though, cause this band, musicality-wise, is one of the best in the local scene right now. Their ‘jazzy/soul’ feel makes them unique among their peers, ’cause despite their young age, they already know the sound they want to achieve, and with this in mind, they are able to pull it off live, blowing away the minds of those who watched them perform. Mic Manalo is a very good singer, and quite Armi-esque when it comes to her vocal delivery, but give her more time and she’ll be able to find her own voice. This band is a beast, I guarantee you. Check out this performance. 

Wilabaliw

Yeah, I love metal. It helps me cope with stress by uplifting my spirit. On the other hand, I also look for musicality and fresh concept. That’s why I like Wilabaliw. This band just doesn’t give a shit about catchy choruses, yet they make up for it by sheer talent and full-on groove assault. We all know Ian Tayao from Quezo, but when you think about Wilabaliw’s music, you think differently. As a Wilabaliw frontman, he’s become more melodic, more insightful, more soulful — and with bandmates like Nino Avenido, Jesso Montero,  and Louis Isok, you just unleashed a monster. In my humble opinion, Wilabaliw is hands down the best and grooviest metal band right now. It’s funny cause I keep thinking of Mars Volta when I listen to Wilabaliw. I know that they don’t sound alike, I just think that both these bands care more about “feeling”, especially when they perform live. Here’s a sample of Wilabaliw’s song, Illuminate 

That’s it for now.

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5 Comments

  1. “Nowadays, when I go to gigs, the scene is flooded with generic bands that sound alike”
    – a.k.a. you r band scene a.k.a. you have a bad taste haha

  2. “bands that would prefer noise over content, and bands that would rather rip off the sounds of great bands like Kamikazee, Urbandub, and Franco, and not caring much about their own identity”

    Figures…

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