Favorite Albums Part 7

Favorite Albums Part 7

Filipino Alternative Music

Typically, when music enthusiasts are asked to list their favorite albums, their tendency is to pick from non-Filipino artists. Perhaps because commercial radio usually focus on foreign music. Because of that—to highlight my equal adoration for music made by fellow Filipino artists, I am hereby listing some of my all-time favorite albums by Philippine-based Filipino artists.

Eraserheads – Cutterpillow (1995)

Inarguably the most popular band in the Philippine Alternative music, Eraserheads catapulted to popularity soon after they released their first full-length, 1993’s Ultraelectromagneticpop! After all, most of its well-loved songs came from this album: “Ligaya,” “Toyang,” “Tindahan ni Aling Nena,” “Maling Akala,” and “Pare Ko.” However, the third album, Cutterpillow, was what contained the legendary band’s most ubiquitous song that achieved a classic status—“Ang Huling El Bimbo.”

Half Life Half Death – Pymyth Prahn (1995)

A lesser-known band that made little waves in the Philippine Alternative music scene in the 1990s, via their compelling and pioneering version of the George Canseco / Sharon Cuneta song “High School (Life),” Half Life Half Death managed to release only one full-length work, 1995’s Pymyth Prahn, which contained progressively arranged quirky songs such as “Alimango,” “Kapit-Tukô,” Sarimanok,” and “Butterflies.”

Third World Chaos – New Move for Error

Regarded as the first proper Philippine Punk band to have released the first-ever Punk album, Third World Chaos and its one-and-only album (New Move for Error) is a holy grail in the archives of Philippine Alternative music. Its carrier single was “We Are the One.”

Deiphago – Filipino Antichrist

One of the reasons Deiphago is worth checking out is because the genre Death Metal did not really flourish in the Philippines. This makes the music of the band a rarity, worthy of adding to the collection of Metal music enthusiasts, especially those who prefer the extreme side of Metal. Notable songs include “Christ Eater” and “Satanic Metal.”

Yano – Yano

The duo Yano came next to Eraserheads in being hailed as the carrier of the country’s Alternative music scene in the 1990s. The band’s self-titled debut contained some of their most popular songs—“Tsinelas,” “Trapo,” “Kumusta Na,” “Esem,” “Senti,” and the controversial “Banal na Aso, Santong Kabayo.”

Sugar Hiccup – Womb (1998)

Hailed as the Philippine counterpart of the Scottish Dreampop band Cocteau Twins, Sugar Hiccup did not disappoint. The band’s music carried that ethereal Indie quality that typical Dreampop bands such as Cocteau Twins is best characterized with. Womb is Sugar Hiccup’s second album—more melodic than and as compelling as its predecessor. Check out “Bells and Shadow,” “Blush,” and “Who Tease.”

Rivermaya – Tuloy ang Ligaya (2001)

The band was well-known for having the charismatic Bamboo as the frontman, whose high-register, silky voice gave soul to the band’s early music. However, when Rico Blanco took the helms, finally, in the subsequent albums, equal charm emanated, albeit in the opposite side of the spectrum—the bluesy predisposition of the Bamboo and Perf de Castro combo was replaced by Blanco’s more New Wave and Alternative Rock direction—to great effects, in fairness. You’ll definitely fall in love with “Umaaraw, Umuulan.”

Final Note

The archives of Philippine Alternative music is so rich. These seven albums are just the tip of the mountain. There is actually so much to dig from the past and the present.