CD reviews: Wolfgang’s fresh blood, UK's fad lads

Posted at 09/02/12 3:42 PM

"Unang Kabanata"

Q: Can a coño band really walk and talk Pinoy rock?

A: Shut up and listen to the recently released first installment of Wolfgang’s forthcoming opus, “Ang Bagong Dugo sa Lumang Ugat”! It’s the initial installment of a trilogy on Philippine society which, on the basis of its four tracks, carries as much pride in being Pinoy as Gloc-9’s finest in sound and content.

Not wasting on fancy footwork or shadow boxing, Basti Artadi and company slice through the brown body politic using colorful language and piercing hard rock. In the opening track "Kandila," Artadi sings: “Ang sumigaw ay patihimikin/ Ang umalsa ay patagong dakpin.”

"Sandata" follows in which Wolfgang’s vocalist rages: “Walang mapuntahan, walang mataguan /Isang himagsikan lang ang kailangan.” The sentiment plugs “Anak ng Gabi” to “Banal na Aso”.

Just as surprising, guitarist Manuel Legarda issues electric runs fit for revolutionary fervor ranging from Wolfgang’s patented hard rock to progressive riffs. The rhythm section delivers the right propulsion, adding extra boost to Artadi’s creative rants (Filipino lyrics courtesy of bassist Mon Legaspi). The second chapter of Wolfgang’s sonic telenovela should be out soon.

The Wanted
"The Wanted"

UK’s latest pop sensation, The Wanted, is a boy band which channels the dance pop of the Pet Shop Boys for today’s teen market. That makes perfect sense because their overall appeal would naturally cross over to the generation who grew up in the chart-busting years of the Pet Shop Boys and the likes of Take That! and the Backstreet Boys.

Hand it to The Wanted’s production team that they pull a few surprises to trick up sure-fire formulas. The band’s first No. 1 hit in UK, “All Time Low,” has the sweep and flourish of a majestic Coldplay tune. This eponymously titled compilation opens with “Glad You Came,” The Wanted’s second UK chart-topper, which re-contextualizes old-school Pet Shop Boys with the current electro-disco boom.

“Chasing The Sun” hops in bed with forward-thinking dub-step, even as “Lightning” goes for the disco glitter ball of a bygone era with one of the boys taking on (the late) Donna Summer-like vocals.

You may want to catch the fever when the five-man The Wanted make their live debut in Manila on September 14 at the NBC Tent in Fort Bonifacio, Taguig City. You be the better judge if they’re for keeps or just another bunch of fad lads.


Cryptic album title aside, the UK band Keane aren’t interested in doing extraordinary things on their fourth and latest release. They are not even departing from the usual course which has produced such sturdy melodic ballads as “Is It Any Wonder,” “Somewhere Only We Know” and Spiraling.”

Sure, they’re music to cure the heart of ageing curmudgeons but their attraction is their virtue considering that they come from a three-piece piano-led band. That Keane still appeal to a section of a pop-rocking audience can only mean they are on to something cool.
Or, on the basis of Strangeland, they used to do cooler stuffs built around piano riffs.

This time, out of the 16 tracks, the existential balladry comes out on only three songs: the bracing “Silenced By The Night”, the aching “Sea Fog,” and the title track, each one framed by Tim Rice-Waterhouse-Oxley’s inimitable voice. There’s the attempt at U2-lite in “Day Will Come” and “In Your Own Time,” which may be a good veer off the familiar course, except that the resurgent Snow Patrol and come-backing Muse are also out there staking their own niche in the wake of U2’s magnificent shadow.

For now, Keane could be stranded in a musical half-house. They can milk the past to its bland bitter conclusion or move on to the adventure of an uncertain future.


It’s official: The Eraserheads will reunite once more for a North American four-city tour to start in San Francisco, California on October 12, Los Angeles on October 13, Toronto, Canada on October 19 and end in New York on October 20.