Thank God for independent CDs like Orange and Lemons or else this country is on a direct collision course to the graveyard of bubblegum pop of Otso-otso. Ever since the demise of primo uber-kool band, the Eraserheads, the rock-pop arena stagnated into a cesspool of inane pop and OPM ballads lorded by South Bore...um... Border, Christian Baho...este... Bautista, or Sex Bum... i mean Bombs. Must be Tourette Syndrome kicking in. Some managed to become classics like Barbie's Cradle, but on a whole the music scene was on a plateau.
The music of this uber-kool indie band is likened to those of the British pop of the 60's and the Pinoy pop of the 80's with lots of electric guitars and percussions. Think of it as the Beatles crossed with the Eraserheads with a soupcon of Hotdogs. And amazingly, a lot of young people like it. Why? It's because their tunes are fresh and non-formulaic, and it does not grate in their ears. Pure pleasure. And as of this writing, the band has been making the rounds among Manila record shops and major malls, and a couple of their tracks have been making the airwaves for weeks already. And I hope more people get to hear them for the big reason that they're really a fantastic band.
Their 2nd CD entitled "Strike Whilst the Iron is Hot" speaks a lot about the album. Most if not all of their songs are eclectic, hankering to the tunes of the yesteryears yet the retaining their hip flavors and lyrics. All of the tracks are a keeper- with just one or two digestible audio fillers in between. The theme whirls around on opportunities lost and that pepetual problem of love, infatuation, courtship and break ups. My favorite tracks are Pabango ng 'Yong Mata because of the Eraserheads flavor of the music, Heaven Knows (This Angel has Flown) because of the emotional content of the song which perhaps the best in the lot, and The Nerve because it reminds me of something personal. Nonetheless, they're all good.
Chris Ramos of Yehey Entertainment site gives us a review of some of their tracks:
Their first single “Hanggang Kailan” sounds more like a great composition evoking the likes of Rey Valera and Hotdog than a pretty decent Wild Swans or Housemartins impression. There are only a few things that areThe price? P250 is not bad. In fact, it discourages piracy since it's quite affordable for most people who appreciate this non-syrupy British wannabe band. I believe if they will continue their spate of good tracks, they will become classics too- the way Eraserheads and Hotdogs have become.
more distinctly Pinoy pop than the line “umuwi ka na beybeh.” Another impressive song is the epic 6-minute “Lihim,” which – you guess it – is about an illicit love affair and is flavored with impressive orchestral flourishes (just like
“Hanggang Kailan”). Give or take that there’s a New Wave purist or two who
thinks that Strike… is inferior compared to its predecessor and may have the
impression that Strike… is OnL’s “sell-out album.” Which is an idea with a lousy
pedigree because OnL are artistic songwriters who have every right to grow. And
grow as songwriters is exactly what they do here. For the most part, their songwriting craft and technical musicianship is unsullied and transcendent.
Two other standouts here include “Pabango Ng ‘Yong Mata”
(“luha, kusa na lang dumadaloy/sa mga pagkakataon/nagpapaalalang tayo’y tao
lamang”) and “Heaven Knows (This Angel Has Flown)” which
both deal with loss.