5 days ago
Tuesday, November 29, 2005
Shake Yer Heads
So the Ultraelectromagneticjam concert is tonight, and I'm going to miss it, because I'll be stuck at home, working on overdue freelance stuff and last-minute scriptwriting for the MTV Summit. Sigh. At least I got the E-heads tribute album itself, yesterday -- it's currently selling like hotcakes in record stores all over the city, apparently. (Sudden thought: wouldn't it be cool to be head of sales of some hotcake company? Whenever anyone asks you how business is, you can always shrug and say, "Well, you know... they're selling, like the hotcakes they are." Okay, maybe it wouldn't be cool).
Overall, the Ultraelectromagneticjam CD is worth getting, but have your Eraserheads albums nearby when you listen to it, because you're going to want to re-immerse yourself in the originals right after. The collection gets off to a weak start: 6cyclemind doing "Alapaap" is far from a disaster -- 6cyclefans will be happy that their idols are performing such strong material -- but since their basic sound doesn't appeal to me much and they don't take the song in any interesting new directions, their cover just kind of sits there, in a limbo between excellence and offensiveness. (Other examples here of bands failing to overcome their inherent limitations -- and by "inherent limitations," I really mean "my prejudices" -- are Orange and Lemons' version of "Huwag Kang Matakot," Cueshe's "Hard to Believe," and Sponge Cola's "Pare Ko").
And then oh my God there's track 2, "Magasin": honestly, I have nothing against Paolo Santos personally -- that interview/field trip to Quiapo we did with him for PULP way back was fun; he's a nice guy, and not untalented -- but he fucking murders this song, singing it in a style more suited for the throwaway novelty hit of your jeepney-riding nightmares. It may be the worst artist-song pairing on the whole album.
The first really good track is Imago's version of "Spoliarium" -- vocalist Aia de Leon is in fine form here, as are the rest of the band; it's a good example of how to make a song your own while not obscuring the source material. It's followed by a somewhat disappointing "Overdrive" by Barbie Almalbis, who sings like she's a three year-old girl. With big eyes. And pigtails. Purists may twitch upon hearing South Border's "With a Smile" and MYMP's "Huwag Mo Nang Itanong," but the fact is that both are quite well done: capitalizing on the strengths of each act, and showing us new aspects of two of the more beloved E-heads songs.
Other reasons to buy the album: Sugarfree's "Tikman," Isha's "Torpedo," Kitchie Nadal's "Ligaya" (gotta love that post-chorus chuckle, and the uncharacteristically dirty-fuzzy guitar sound), Rico J. Puno's "Ang Huling El Bimbo" (showing the whippersnappers how it's done), and Radioactive Sago Project's riotous version of "Alcohol," which I may actually prefer to the original.
PS. Excellent album cover design and illustration by Cynthia and Arnold, btw. :)