On the eve of Philippine ska band Neighbors’ 29th anniversary, the band is finding a selection of tracks across their history, a selection of the band’s tracks – their well-known ones as you will – getting the vinyl treatment in a mini-album titled, Dance to Ska.
Dance to Ska features classic tracks such as “Angono Ska Explosion” from the debut album of the same name (released in 2000). “Problems” and “Come On” appear on their second album From Parquet to Concrete (2003). While “Hardin” is off their third album, Welcome to the Punjabi Show (2007). And “The Clockworks” and “Sana’y Alam Mo Na” are from the fourth album, Studio Juan (2020).
Former Club Dredd owner, Patrick Reidenbach, whose storied venue also saw Neighbors grace its stage, opined that the Dance to Ska min-album on vinyl gives prominence to the music scene from Angono, Rizal.
“Proud kami sa Angono roots namin,” said vocalist Jon Capistrano. “Reflected yan sa identity ng band at kahit sa kanta.”
The municipality was immortalized in the classic “Angono Ska Explosion”; a rousing brass-led song with Capistrano occasionally wailing the title as if to whip the audience into a frenzy.
That song was their answer to Madness’ “One Step Beyond”, Put3ska’s “Bang Tumba Ka”, and Tokyo Ska Paradise Orchestra’s “Pedorazu.”
Neighbors was formed in 1994 after several friends – Allan Alcantara, Bong Termulo, and Jon Capistrano who were actually neighbors — caught a show by Put3ska and were inspired to form their own band.
Through the years, the band released four albums and appeared in compilation releases such as Silver Shiny Jeepney and Shame and Skandal Vol.4.
Of that original line-up, only Capistrano, Termulo (vocals), and Madz Velasco (bass) are left although the majority still come from Angono.
Fiel Villanueva (lead guitar), Eric Dimaano (rhythm guitar), Dong Manota (alto saxophone), Lester Capistrano (trumpet), Zareth Villavicencio (trombone), and Ernest de Vera (drums) round out the rest of the band.
According to Eikon Records, the impetus for the selection for Dance to Ska was akin to the Eraserheads’ Aloha Milkyway which featured tracks from previous albums. It is meant to introduce the band to a new generation of fans as well as to immortalize their most popular songs on vinyl.
“Malaking karangalan ito para sa Neighbors na meron kaming plaka,” added Termulo. “Sana maka-inspire din ito the mga ibang underground bands na mag-pursige.”
Dance to Ska is on a limited run of 100 records but according to Eikon Records, a second pressing will be made available depending on the demand.
The album goes on pre-sale beginning this Wednesday on the label’s Facebook page. The album will be out in the market by late July with a launch planned by the band along with their other ska contemporaries.