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Nothin’ but OPM in the House

ZILD, Huminga

This is Zild’s second album in about a year, a follow-up to his immensely enjoyable debut which exuded best of 2020 bells and whistles all over it. Now, put aside expectations about sophomore jitters or jinx for “Huminga” (“Breathe”) because principally we’re in some abnormal situation where creative pursuits are being hemmed in by lockdowns and quarantine measures.

With that, it takes some playing time before Zild’s new album makes sense. His current music leans closer to soft rock with one or two tracks pursuing a more energetic inclination. While the sounds may be a bit predictable, a unifying strand runs through the lyrics of Zild’s latest recording.

The penultimate song “Wala Nang Kumakatok” is central to this — it evokes the anxieties of someone left alone, secluded in a room at night. In that perspective, the earlier eight songs hang together as musings of a quarantined person, probably going through depression. “Apat” is a sweet turned sour remembrance of younger days, “Kyusi” talks about a need for physical transformation while the title track conveys “Magpahinga ka na sinta/Wag matakot maramdaman ang sariling lungkot.” To breathe then is to calm the restlessness and disquiet of isolation.

DICTA LICENSE, Pagbigkas

Strong voices are rising today against the apathy and despair amidst a new cycle of Covid-19 pandemic. It’s timely that Dicta License unleash their second album 15 years after their acclaimed debut. A decade and a half separates the two recordings but the core dialectics and inner dynamics of the group remain the same.

The trio of Pochoy, Kelley Mangahas and Boogie Romero enunciate incisive commentaries on contemporary politics while displaying new dexterity in folk and rock. They even complement the musical tracks with audio voicings from nationalist Jose “Pepe” Diokno and Fr. Albert Alejo SJ. The mayhem of “Diktador,” the repression in “Posas” and the murder in “Inosenteng Bala,” sit well side by side with Fr. Alejo’s “Sanayan Lang ang Pagpatay” and Sen Diokno’s  “A Nation for Children” which connects human rights protection with the future of our country, or any democratic republic, for that matter.

The overall picture that emerges is not pretty, made even worse by the lingering pandemic. In “Pagbigkas,”  Dicta License again articulate the true state of the nation.

EX-SENADORS, Heartlessness and the Systematic Perpetuation Of Despair

That’s a nice title for a recording by a self-proclaimed anti-fascist band from Kyusi. Arguably, it captures how the common man feels about the personal impacts of the stay at home and distancing regulations currently being implemented to protect the larger community.

On record, the Ex-Senadors display a more politically correct outlook and a bolder temperament than their elected doppelgangers in the halls of Congress. The challenge though is to get past the band’s propensity towards nasty hardcore and vicious Oi! And yes, they do slip in a slow number every now and then to make the whole experience less intimidating and alarming.

That means, a date with the Ex-Senadors will surely kick out the boredom and ennui of what’s turning out to be another joyless summer.

The Ex-Senadors are: Thomas (vocals), Kit (bass), Elaine (guitars), Px (guitars) and Roman (drums).

SB 19, Get In The Zone

Let me share the wisdom of the late great Francis Magalona by way of Heber Bartolome’s  Banyuhay:

“Sabi ni hepe wag tayong manggaya
Wag kang manggagaya kung di mo rin kaya
Mangopya ka man siguraduhin mong
Mas mahusay sa kinopyahan at matinong matino

“Mayro’ng isang aso, daig pa ang ulol
Siya’y ngumingiyaw, hindi tumatahol…
Wag na, oy oy, ika’y Pinoy
Oy, oy, ika’y Pinoy..”  

Beam me up Scottie. I don’t wanna be anywhere near the SB zone.

TERRORGORE, Unholy Necroholocaust 666

Hailing from Bacoor, Cavite, Terrorgore is a Filipino one-man metal band who produces dissonant sounds to the coming zombie apocalypse. Mixed with dark lyrics delivered in death growls, he creates an immersive throbbing soundtrack that feels just as right in a continuing season of viral infections, afflictions and mounting death toll.

Terrorgore follows the tried and true template of electronic extreme music and he inserts some pretty cool thrash guitar maneuvers to set his compositions apart from the usual murky metal grind. And if you listen beyond the howls, snatches of what appears to be snippets of actual conversations filter through.

In the end, “Unholy Necroholocaust 666: is just a distraction from really intense events happening around us. Approach with extreme caution.

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