Author Archives: ilvstrados

Quid Pro Quo lands in Saguijo

Surprises make for great storytelling as Quid Pro Quo—shocked as they were, too, of what just happened—pulled off a surprise gig last Saturday (July 29) at SaGuijo; not to mention that it was also their first time putting together a gig at the distinguished bar in Makati. Quids Next Door, the group’s staple concept as it stands, represents their core value as a thriving community. For Quid Pro Quo, it showcases “new and have-yet-to-be-loved artists alongside the leading lights in the local independent scene.”

That being said, Quids Next Door stands for the collective’s ideal of exchanging art for art, and you better believe it. The Quids especially take it to heart.

Last Saturday’s gig was the third installment of Quids Next Door. It was originally planned to happen on the last Wednesday of every month at Pablo’s in the Bonifacio Global City in Taguig, but due to some sudden changes in the past week and bad weather, the third edition was temporarily put off and moved to the weekend… much to everyone at Quid Pro Quo’s surprise. Because biglaan.

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Moving on, the show started off about an hour later than the intended 8:30PM, but then again: it’s the weekend, and the weather’s just about clearing up after a couple of days of heavy downpours. So, there’s some moderate traffic that allowed most people to come just in time as the show began with Manila-based alternative rock outfit Alpha Caeli taking the helm, playing the kind of music that’s just refreshing to hear. They were followed by the funk ‘n roll titos of Lovecore from Southern Manila with a bluesy, funk/rock and roll jam of James Brown covers coupled with their originals. If you managed to catch their set, surely enough, you were dancing along the bassist’s groove.

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Lovecore

After much of Lovecore’s funk, Over October played next—not backing down from the bar set by the band prior to them, but also leaving some room for everyone to catch their breaths. Carousel Casualties came up next, played most of the tracks from their latest EP, Madison, and absolutely killed it.

Over October

Over October

Carousel Casualties

Carousel Casualties

[From the author: I’ll divulge more about Carousel Casualties and their Madison EP in a separate article, so sit tight and stay tuned. *winks*]

Following the Casualties’ set came singer-songwriter with a heart from Cainta, Earl Generao who played a soulful acoustic set back to back with E.R.A., eventually capping off the night.

Earl Generalao, with his band

Earl Generalao, with his band

E.R.A

E.R.A

Suffice to say, Quid Pro Quo nailed their first-ever SaGuijo gig! *pops confetti*

Biglaan as it may have been, the flow of the show went real smoothly, with little to no technical difficulties. On top of that, Quids Next Door concluded some 15 minutes earlier than the 2AM closing time. It’s one for the books. With that, we hope to see more of how they grow the next time around.

–RS

ICYMI: Quid Pro Quo’s Shut Up and Play is where you zip it, sway it, stomp it, and bang it

All photos are posted with approval and are property of JLE Music. Click here for the full album.

Quid Pro Quo, a budding community dedicated to the exchange of art for art, keeps growing as they’ve curated a gig to cater to the art of post-rock and math rock music. Shut Up and Play happened last Saturday (July 15) at Mow’s and it was astounding.

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With that in mind, you can say the ‘quids’ at Quid Pro Quo have taste.

Last Saturday’s gig was essentially a post-rock night that is comprised of performances by a total of 7 instrumental post-rock/math rock acts from within and outside Metro Manila. And among other things, Mow’s Bar in the tranquil Matalino Street makes for the perfect venue for a gig such as Shut Up and Play. Imagine walking down that street accompanied by the instrumental post-rock music of Hide Nothing and tide/edit, for instance. With that in mind, you can say the ‘quids’ at Quid Pro Quo have taste.

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The show got on the road some 15 minutes later than the intended 9PM, but it’s no big deal. It was the weekend. People were just coming in around that time, too. Moreover, Hide Nothing, the night’s buena mano hailing from Tanay, Rizal were just about to finish setting up in that prelude as well, and then proceeding to their set eventually. They were followed by shaw from Quezon City, and then by Tom’s Story, whom need no introduction.

tide/edit followed right after with an awesome set and some playful repartee. Comic, Quid Pro Quo’s homegrown act, played next as soon as tide/edit were finished with their set. Comic are comical performers; they’d sometimes throw in a joke or two, and your either sides or your jaws will hurt from laughing. Lol. For this particular gig, they just threw the concept of ”shut up and play” out the door because they have one track entitled Box Office that has a bit of vocals, but you will forgive them for it because it’s mad good.

Sound Architects, as their profile suggests, followed through with intense dynamic contrasts and heavily layered textures of sound rooted in their affinity for doom and drone metal, ambient music, and their studies of contemporary classical music. And it’s true. Ultimately, the night was capped off, blown way, and sent home satisfied by Terno Recordings’ AOUI.

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To wrap this up nicely with a ribbon on top, Quid Pro Quo successfully pulled off a full-on post-rock night with Shut Up and Play. You don’t come across these kinds of gigs too often, but with the cool quids at QPQ—and if you continue to support them and their artists—it might just become something more than a spin-off type of gig in the long run.

-RS

Ian Penn’s latest LP Water from the Creek is one you’ll keep in your pilgrim

 

THE STORY

July may be summertime in some parts of the western hemisphere, but here in ours, it’s the season of rain.

Now picture this: It’s a downpour outside—but not the kind that would put anyone in harm’s way, of course—and you’re at home, safe, and covered with a blanket, with a cup of tea or your favorite joe in hand. What better music to accompany yourself than the ambient acoustic kind that would make you feel even more at home and cozy? Or maybe you’re on the road, going on about making a living; although there’s still a bit of rain as you look outside the bus windows, the foot-thumping folk rock jam that you have on your playlist has your back.

Whichever it is, and wherever you are, Ian Penn’s Water from the Creek is one you’ll keep in your pilgrim.

The 10-track LP launched last July 1 offers us a look from Penn’s pensive perspective of life on the road, his hometown of Arayat, and of Intramuros, among other things.

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THE TRACK-BY-TRACK GUIDE

  1. Only One

I want to remember you just like this. You’re the only one. You will live in my heart. As much as I am filled deep in your tears, you’re the only one.

The album starts off with Only One. And it’s like waking up early in the morning just before the sun rises; just before the rest of the world prepares to deal with life. More importantly, waking up beside someone you cherish, and memorizing every detail of that person’s being as they lay asleep.

  1. Water from the Creek

Running back home where we used to dream. The sea rises, I’m on the edge of my seat. Nothing much to say, I am longing to be with you.

The titular track of the album is about Penn’s hometown of Arayat, Pampanga, as their house sits beside a creek. Water from the Creek could well be about a childhood friend you meet after such a long time of being away from home. You meet them again and the both of you are a changed person, so you make the effort to know and start over again.

  1. Ticketman

There’s a boat that’s hanging on my window. There’s an orchard lying by the sea. In the morning, I’ll begin to see you. Find me where the buses never sleep.

This song would’ve been the brainchild of a Beatles and Dylan collaboration if that ever happened. If anything, Ian Penn made and turned that into a reality with this track.

  1. Bluebirds

If I seize the time given on my days, would I seem to find peace?

When, in the wee hours just before dawn, you feel as if you’ve been running around in circles all this time, and you’re just exhausted, Bluebirds is your serenade.

  1. Road

Asked about what Water from the Creek could be, Penn wholly described it as being day and night—with the first four songs you could just listen all through the day, and with the rest you could listen to during the night. Road serves as the interlude.

  1. Midnight Talk

Our train of thoughts coincide like you are dreaming with me. And your midnight talk is all I have at the end of the day.

If you ever back up at the end of your day before you sleep, and you recap what you’ve done, seen, and said all in a span of a day, Midnight Talk is for you.

  1. Naked at Three

Troubles will find their way on your door. Your heart will remember you’ve been here before. Carry the stones or crucify me. No one remembers you’re naked at three.

Past midnight hours are real vulnerable hours with no one around to judge what you say or think about. For some, it’s the most peaceful time of day because they get to be alone without worry of anyone or anything bugging you to do something and—as what this song is about—naked.

  1. It’s Going to Rain

It’s going to rain all weekend, so let us stay indoors and let it rain. I’ll never get tired of the road home, it’s where I belong.

Penn debuted this song nearly a year ago (along with his band) in the Teatrino Promenade in Greenhills for the album’s fundraising gig, telling us that the song was inspired by the rains of Intramuros whenever Intramuros Rising happens on the weekend. We were braving the uncharted during that time last year as well. Now, it’s Saturday, and it’s raining outside as of this writing. There’s coffee on the table, and the chill wind makes for perfect company. The best thing anyone can do about rain is to let it rain. Stay safe.

  1. Two Weeks

Don’t carry all the weight. Lean on my shoulder and hear me, ‘cause I see a river mist rolling by. Old boats are leaving a new morning light.

For when you feel like leaving everything behind to yesterday, it’s okay do so. A new day rises for you to start over and do things that matter.

  1. Visiting a Zeppelin

Dying to see it slowly come my way. Only few people sitting there to stay. You look for me to take me home. Foolish lines, let’s fall in love.

Listening to it at first may seem like the track is pirate recorded, but there’s an interesting fact about Visiting a Zeppelin: it’s recorded live and on-the-spot at the Makati Museum using an old upright piano that’s possibly decades old. Penn said he would’ve recorded with a much better piano, but the feeling wouldn’t just be the same.

“The band really made it tasty. The band knew who I was, and it was them who made the songs come to life.”

THE VERDICT

Right from the get-go when Ian Penn debuted his band in Teatrino last year, we knew he would be a different monster. His dynamic with the band is just so organic in this record that it’s a step further—a wild abandon—from his Wild Abandon EP. “The band really made it tasty. The band knew who I was, and it was them who made the songs come to life,” he says. In addition, Penn expressed how, with the record being finished, he feels like he’s made an audio postcard of his travels, as it’s also thanks to the people he’s met and everything in between. We have no way of knowing, but one thing is certain, we’re waiting for what Ian Penn offers next with great anticipation.

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3 = Emotion (3/3)

3 = Storytelling/Lyrics (3/4)

3 = Music (3/3)

______________________________

9/10

Stream this beautiful LP now.

-RS

Wallowing — Soil & Green prepares to ‘let go’ with debut LP

AN OVERVIEW

NO, THE BAND’S NOT BREAKING UP. Although sometimes in our lives, there comes a moment where we just find ourselves in the dark. And we might not even try to get out of there because it’s such a drag to deal with things. But we got to let go of all the things that are swelling up inside. We must keep moving forward, even if it means crawling out or pulling ourselves out of our dark days.

We knew Soil & Green from way back in 2014 as we were gearing up for the first-ever Intramuros Rising. The band hails from the Mapua Institute of Technology—now Mapua University—and to best describe their sound per our boys is “a mix of heavy riff-oriented guitar licks, ambient guitar layering, ear-gasmic basslines, odd ‘singing’ drum patterns, and powerful vocals.” Surely enough, if you’ve managed to catch them in any of their gigs in the past, their description rings loud and true. In addition, they say dynamic arrangement is key to their individuality and chemistry; with those elements altogether forged their identity as a band. Nonetheless, over time, the sun rises and sets.

From left to right, Soil & Green during Intramuros Rising 1 last August 2, 2014: Marvin Montero (bass), Jacob Oliva (guitars & vocals), and Lehmann Flores (guitars)

From left to right, Soil & Green during Intramuros Rising 1 last August 2, 2014: Marvin Montero (bass), Jacob Oliva (guitars & vocals), and Lehmann Flores (guitars)

A LITTLE SOMETHING ABOUT THE ALBUM

To give an idea as to what the album’s all about, we’ve managed to catch up with Soil & Green frontman Jacob Oliva and guitarist Lehmann Flores.

Could you tell us something about the whole album? What can we expect?

Jacob: ‘Wallowing’ defines Soil & Green as it is right now. All the songs from the previous release back in 2010 are included in this album, which says a lot about the genre of its track list. Why ‘Wallowing?’ As the definition of that word suggests, the theme of the whole album—from lyrics to music and arrangement—points to this: sadness without solution. If the album is the biography of a person, that person seems to enjoy the sadness he’s in, thus, wallowing in depression.

Lehmann: Almost 2 years in the making, tapos mostly experiences ni Jacob sa pag-ibig in general, pero nilaro yung words to make it [seem] na ibang bagay yung tinutukoy.

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The band is set to release their debut album on JUNE 10 at the saGuijo Bar + Café in Makati City, together with Talata, Saydie, Maryzark, False Apart, Kodigo, and their Indio Cartel brodies, Wasted Wendy. 200PHP gets you in with 1 FREE drink; 450PHP gets you in with all the goodies. (1 copy of ‘Wallowing’ + stickers + 1 FREE drink)

-RS

DON’T LOOK BACK: Lola Amour to release debut EP at Mow’s

Up-and-coming independent OPM band LOLA AMOUR will be launching their debut EP, Don’t Look Back, this May 17, 2017 (Wednesday) at Mow’s, Matalino St., Quezon City.

The band’s music resonates with soul and funk elements, infused with some blues, rock, and a pinch of pop music. The band released a music video for their debut single, No Tomorrow, last September 2016. Subsequently, they released lyric videos for Maybe, Maybe and Fools last January and March 2017, respectively. Check out their music on their YouTube channel and SoundCloud account.

Lola Amour was founded, on the record, in January 2016. The band consists of Pio Dumayas on lead vocals, Martin Kim on back vocals and keys, Raymond King on back vocals and bass, Zoe Gonzales on guitar, Angelo Mesina and Joxx Perez on brass, and Renzo Santos on drums. Joining them on their EP launch are Tom’s Story, Over October, Ang Bagong Luto ni Enriquez, and Sofa Sky.

Gates open at 7PM. Entrance is free of charge. It’s Humpday Wednesday. You know where to go. 😉

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#ICYMI: Banna Harbera released MV for ‘Sorrys & Goodbyes’

THE RUNDOWN

It was an intimate night at saGuijo last April 29 when independent soul/funk band Banna Harbera released their first ever music video for Sorrys & Goodbyes, the second track off their sophomore EP, Persistence. By “intimate,” we mean the venue was already nearly packed and standing room as early as frickin’ 8pm! That was some following, man. It was tight. It was a good thing we managed to stand outside by saGuijo’s glass window so we could get to watch the performances.

If you missed the experience last Saturday, here’s a rundown of what occurred:

The show got on the road at around 9pm with Tom’s Story as the opening act, and you can never go wrong with these guys whether you have them opening shows or you line them up somewhere in the middle because they never fail to deliver. And what’s arguably the best way you’d know it’s Tom’s Story is when you hear them play their signature track, Anchors, along with another favorite such as Mugatu.

Tom’s Story is followed by Mayonnaise, playing hit anthems like Jopay and Tayo Na Lang Dalawa that surely brought people down to high school memory lane.

What’s more, in keeping the momentum steady for people to be able to breathe after two exhilarating acts came Rob & The Hitmen, a 4-piece pop band that injects R&B and funk rudiments in their music that gave people that chill funky vibe. And to amplify that chill, funky vibe with a dash of bluesy-LoveSupreme-intimacy is where MilesExperience came into play, raising the momentum up once more which paved the way for the climactic performance of Jensen & The Flips right after.

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#SORRYSMV

Then came the soulful heroes of the hour, Banna Harbera. Though before they started off with their set, they gave us the chance to watch music video for ‘Sorrys & Goodbyes’ first. It was every bit as emotional as its titular track. Keep in mind that the song is like a letter to someone who had been left behind; alternatively, someone who’s left another one behind.

So, in the music video, we saw a character—broken and alone—grieving the fallout of a relationship that did not seem to work out. Imagine all the things you could’ve said, would’ve said, or should’ve said, but you didn’t get the chance to do so. And you try to mend your pieces back together albeit self-destructive tendencies linger.

Elements like crumpled pieces of paper on the bed signified old love letters; an attempt of smoking about half a pack of cigarettes tells of self-destruction as a mean to an end; most notably among others is the scene where our character is soaked with water, drenched in her pain. They all fit in quite perfectly that they add such artistic depth to the music video which left us in breathtaking awe.

-RS

[We’ll be] Going back to Madison!

Indie-pop garage rock band CAROUSEL CASUALTIES will be launching their debut EP Madison this May 19, 2017 (Friday) at Saguijo, Makati.

TRIVIA: Their first gig was under ILVSTRADOS back when we held the reins at Sev’s Cafe, staging Students Night Out.

The band’s sound is reminiscent of British pop and garage rock music infused with post-rock, math rock, blues rock, soul and funk influences. The band released two singles namely “Safety” and “Flats,” both landing top spots on Jam 88.3’s Fresh Filter in 2016 and 2017. The former was voted #29 on the radio station’s 2016 Yearend Countdown and was featured in Japanese music blog Niche Music. The EP was produced by Nick Lazaro of Moonwlk (whose production credits include Oh, Flamingo!, Cheats, among many others) at La Balls Studio and features 6 original tracks.

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Carousel Casualties was formally founded on August of 2016. The band is comprised of Emmie Villegas and Pau Villanueva on both vocals and guitar, Jot Nicanor on bass and Xavier Lucente on drums. The band has consistently performed in several prominent venues such as SaGuijo Cafe, Route 196 Bar, 19 East, Mow’s and Aloha Bar. Carousel Casualties was also recently invited by DLSU Taft’s Green Giant FM for an afternoon of radio guesting and performance. They also performed at St. Scholastica’s Annual school fair last March.

The EP Launch will feature guest performers Banna Harbera, Moonwlk, Paranoid City, Rob & Hitmen, and She’s Only Sixteen. Gates open 8PM. Entrance is P200 (inclusive of one free drink). Show starts 9PM.

Context and Intent

After the success of Anthology Architecture and Design Festival 2016, a celebration of architecture and design held in what they referred to as “the walled city”- Intramuros, the WTA Architecture and Design Studio, for the second time, organized and launched successfully this year’s festival.

“The reason why we’re doing Anthology is we want to celebrate architecture. We feel that architecture must play a bigger role in the society. It must be a big part of a developing country like ours. It was contributed to nation-building.” – Ar. William Ti

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The “Context and Intent” theme of the festival, on its first day at Puerta del Parian, was officially opened by a press conference with Ms. Diane Naval and Ar. William Ti at the festival stage. Tents and other booths, as well, opened with their merchandise, exhibits, workshop and activities along with the lectures and forum on the stages. On the walls, displayed are the competition pieces (furniture and scaled models) created by designers and students.

In the festival pavilion, the Anthology Talks stage, were the several foreign and local architects such as H. Koon Wee and Eunice Seng, Budji Layug and Royal Pineda, Alex Furunes and Sudarshan Khadka, Eunice Seng, Jun Palafox, Luke Yeung, Stephen Pimbley, Michael Cu Fua, Patrich Bruce, Isabella Leone and Julien de Smedt, who imparted their ideas by their works inside and out of the country.

On the Interior Stage, some designers like Frenjick Quesada from Design H+Q, Jigs Adefuin, Jiyoon Park, Shanwei Weng, Norman Agleron shared their tips in designing an efficient interiors reflected by their various accomplishments in the field.

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While in the Shelter Pavilion, the Shelter Dialogues, the set up differs through its forum type discussion. It featured different topics- A Global Architecture; Architecture, culture and Society; The practice of Architecture; Designing Architects: Evaluating Architecture Education; Architecture as a Multidisciplinary Practice; Building the Nation: Architecture in the Philippines- discussed by panelist from different industries such as Daniel Terrence Yu, Joey Yupanco, Victoria Goseco, Tobias Guggenheimer, Manny Minana, Jorge Yulo, Matthieu Begoghina, Buck Richnold Sia, Jason Ang, Conrad Efre, Robert Mirafuente, Angelo Ray Serrano, Stephanie Tan-Branquinho, Sudarshan Khadka,Rebecca Plaza, Chona Ponce, Vincent Ng, Lam Lai Shun, Alexander Furunes, Gabriel Limgenco, Andrea Dorotan, Danny Tan Ko, Denise de Castro, Choie Funk, Bela Lanyi, Bejamine Mendoza, William Ti Jr., Hans Sy Jr., Joel Luna, Patrick Bruce, and Cathy Saldaña.

There are also workshops for graphic designing, and the competitions from the Alveo Innovisions, Petopia and Nature’s Protection, and WTA Architecture + Design Studio where different schools and professionals participated.

The context and Intent book was also launched together with the awarding for the cat house design competition. The event’s closing ceremony was serenaded by a jazz band on a fellowship dinner where announcement of winners for the student and Alveo’s was conducted.

Anthology Architecture and Design Festival is more than just about the information gathering in architecture. Aside from its interactive and informative appeal, Anthology is about the raising up of the current and soon planners in changing the image of a nation through architecture as if it isn’t just someone’s profession, but a responsibility as citizen.

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-JMMM

Banna Harbera gears up to release MV for ‘Sorrys & Goodbyes’

When it’s time to go, there’s no way of sugarcoating it, really, unless you’re about to tell your significant other a lie; thinking that it would ease the pain, but let’s be honest here—it won’t. Some people cut to the chase and leave without another word after. Some people take some time to say sorry, and goodbye.

HANNA – BARBERA? NO, IT’S BANNA HARBERA.

After various performances around the Metro, a stint in Intramuros Rising 3 back in July 2015, and having released 2 EPs, as well as landing a spot in Wanderland 2017 as one of the Top 5 finalists, local soul/funk band Banna Harbera are increasingly one of the sought after independent acts today. The band is comprised of Yzabel Torres on vocals, Jake Masigan on guitar, Josh Planas on bass, Theo Blanch on keys, and Patrick Felipe on drums. They all came from De La Salle – College of Saint Benilde, and interestingly, all five of them have a Bachelor’s degree in Music Production which explains their distinct groove and masterful command of sound. Although the band’s music comes off as laid-back and chill, there are moments when their songs will have you up your feet and get you to dance.

After all, the band does play their music in a way that their listeners can dance, relate, and connect to.

MV Teaser

WHAT’S THE STORY? #SORRYSMV

“It’s hard to say that I’m leaving you. The one thing on my mind is that you felt the same way, too.”

Now, in under a few days’ time, Banna Harbera are gearing up to release their first-ever music video for their ballad, Sorrys & Goodbyes, the second track off their second EP, Persistence. The song is essentially “a song that was kinda built around things unsaid to a certain someone, turning out to be too late to tell them,” per Banna Harbera guitarist, Jake Masigan. Asked if there were any experiences from anyone in the band that inspired the song, Masigan added that, “I wrote the song out of the blue—putting myself in the shoes of a person who’s just gotten their heart broken, or has just broken someone’s heart.” And it makes sense, because one could imagine the frustration of being left behind with all these things one could have said, would have said, and should have said.

Will we see this portrayed in the #SorrysMV? We’ll soon find out. Click here for the full event details.

MV Premiere Poster

Track Review: Caffeine and Taurine wants us to ‘Keep Dancing’

STORYTIME

Caffeine and Taurine is back after an indefinite hiatus! And from the looks of it, they are here to stay. Now, pay close attention to this caffeine-and-taurine-brought-to-you-by-Red-Bull-infused writing as we have much to look back on with the trio from the Mapúa Institute of Technology (MIT)—chief among them was the band’s erstwhile stint in Intramuros Rising 3: OPM Weekend back in 2015.

Back then, what we saw were budding electronic synth-pop youths composed of Brandon Garcia on bass and vocals, Daniel Ching on synth programming, guitar, and vocals, and Nathaniel Pelareja on drums whom were out playing live at a bar in Quezon City and with a triple-track EP to match. Because of their fresh and distinctive sound that could go with the likes of CHVRCHES and The 1975, and in keeping with the tradition of Intramuros Rising to stage and revel homegrown acts, we immediately decided to put them on the bill. While Caffeine and Taurine had much to improve on their live performances and camaraderie back then, we saw them grow rapidly on the road to Intramuros Rising 3.

A couple of years went by, and they now have two new members: Joshuel Bautista on the keyboard, and Anthony Abitona on bass. Garcia now focuses on synth programming and vocals, while Ching now focuses on guitar and vocals.

“It’s our way of saying that we’ll keep going; we had an indefinite hiatus and almost did not come back.”

Moving on to their new track, “Keep Dancing,” the beat goes on and so is the dance, per the band’s description of the song. Clearly, “Keep Dancing” is a far cry from their previous material prior to the hiatus. It’s almost ambitious to say that this Caffeine and Taurine is a different monster, and one to look out for.

“Another day to crawl out your bed. Is it worth to think that you should try again?” Garcia’s vocals in this track is, in a way, reminiscent of Daft Punk’s “Doin’ It Right,” topped with synth-pop elements from the band’s musical influences. Asked about what inspired the song, Garcia only had this to say, “It’s our way of saying that we’ll keep going; we had an indefinite hiatus and almost did not come back.”

Honest and straightforward; a winning combo.

3 = Emotion (3/3)

2.5 = Storytelling/Lyrics (2.5/4)

3 = Music (3/3)

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8.5 / 10