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


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)


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.

wallowing _album

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)


Track Review: ‘Oh, Young Love!’ – KISSLING!

DELIGHTFUL is what falling in love is in our youth, especially in our 20s. It’s nothing like when we were 15 (albeit those times were just as fantastic). There’s just that giddy feeling; we become a child who got his first Marie cookie. We wake up the next day knowing that we are with the one we’re so crazy about—not to mention lucky enough to be with—and everything around us feels so light. It is magical, the sheer elation of being in a relationship. Or so how it goes at the start… and in this case, you’re in your mid-20s and she’s a looker at only 19. Nice.

Even so, any fully grown adult man could still feel like a little girl when he finds himself in the clutches of love. It happens to the best of us, and it ain’t that much of a creepy thing. With that being said is where KISSLING! comes into play—an off-key indie quartet, as they would playfully like to call themselves, with Jeremy Lopez at the helm. Formed in late 2015, KISSLING! started off as a solo-project by Lopez, following the disappearance of his former band, Motto Stella. Heavily influenced by British tunes, post-punk, indie pop, and Clem Castro, KISSLING! debuted on that same year with a full band set-up—comprised of Lopez on rhythm guitar, Charles Abian (formerly of Motto Stella, along with Lopez) on lead guitar and backing vocals, Andrew Harder (formerly of Kontra Tiempo) on bass and backing vocals, Sean De Leon (of Maryzark and CHNDTR) on keyboards/guitar, and Markuss Javier (the youngest in the group) on drums—and with a bootleg/demo EP called The White Bootleg to top it all off.


Inspired by one Richard Kissling, the Swiss sculptor responsible for the Rizal Monument in Luneta, KISSLING! is born after Lopez’s subsequent departure from Motto Stella. Chief among the reasons why are “incompatible musical influences” and “creative differences” from the latter, according to Lopez. As it all seemingly went downhill, it didn’t stop Lopez from immediately going inside the studio to record everything he had been keeping for so long, even if that meant sitting down and playing all the instruments on his own, and only with the help of producer/label head Inigo Mortel of the Banana Rising Recording Studio.


With a track like Oh, Young Love!—the band’s latest release—KISSLING! attempts to bring out the kid in our hearts that’s falling in love like it’s the first time: everything is new and innocent and right with the world. Starting off with and sustaining peppy beats and a twangy rhythm, the record captures that playing-along-the-beach-under-a-fine-sunny-day kind of vibe.

“We’ll be together, I swear, and I don’t care. Who is laughing or who is there? We are old souls lost in time. Oh, young love!”, Lopez sings in what seems to be the chorus of the song, followed by screams out of sheer joy. The line in particular is suggestive of the euphoria we experience in loving another person with reckless abandon. It’s as if life becomes a thrill and is filled with a newfound sense of adventure.

On the one hand, compared to KISSLING!’s other tracks such as Downhill and Daydream, the track hasn’t the most expressive and tell-tale lyrics, though. It could’ve used a little more cohesion. And on the other hand, the wraithlike reverb of Lopez’s vocals which stems from his British post-punk roots, however off-key he sounds, makes it safe to say that Oh, Young Love! doesn’t try so hard to be a complex track. It’s also for good reason. That way, in its entirety, it makes it easy for people to catch on with the record—and the band—especially when played as an opening track live. Consequently, Oh, Young Love! proves that KISSLING! is a band that truly makes music regardless of how it will sound.

3 = Emotion (3 / 3)
1.5 = Storytelling/Lyrics (1.5 / 4)
3 = Music (3 / 3)

7.5 / 10

-Roy Salamat

THE AFTERMATH: There’s ERA! EP launch, plus Telenobela EP review


To be long-time friends is already a great thing in itself; the amount of experiences shared be it good or bad could range from playing music of similar interest during breaks along the school corridors to being rejected by the person you like, hence, the heartaches—and to have that friendship be the foundation of being in a band, even more so. With that established, the boundless loyalty and all, as in every endeavor, blood, sweat, and tears are necessary to keep the fire burning.


There’s ERA! – a band of brothers

The way we see it with There’s ERA!, they sure have come a long way in the 3 years they’ve spent as long-time friends and as a band, and there’s no sign of anything to keep them from growing. Last Saturday night (December 3, 2016) offered solid proof with the launch of their first EP entitled Telenobela at Mow’s which included performances by 88 City, The Oemons, Mayonnaise, KISSLING!, and Jensen & The Flips. On top of that, the volume of attendees made the launch even warmer as they nearly filled the whole venue.

Kicking it off with sheer excitement, it was indeed a December to remember for the band of brothers.

Going to Mow’s by commute may prove to be a pain in the neck as the venue’s in Diliman, which means having to deal with the dreaded Diliman, Q.C. traffic. But as the show got on the road, off-key indie band KISSLING! set the tone by opening with their track Oh, Young Love! followed by Daydream, both which gave an ambient start to warm up the incoming audience, most of whom were meeting up with one another and getting drinks. They gradually gained momentum with the following song, One Night Stand, off their unnamed and upcoming LP. Comically enough, the band noticed they had a bit more time left during their set, so they proceeded to play a couple more songs off their repertoire, before finally going loud and taking control with their post-punk track, In Control—in which a cymbal got detached from its stand by the end of their performance.

KISSLING! opening the show with an unexpected long set.

KISSLING! opening the show with an unexpected long set.

The second act, pop-rock/alternative 88 City—formerly known as Jejaview—made it a point to follow up and intensify the show with energized riffs and hammering drum beats that surely got the people jumping and banging their heads. With seminal tracks like SUMMER TWENTYELEVEN, You and Your Fantastic Friends, and Paperskin, 88 City easily managed to get the audience hyped and singing along. How they could pull off such a feat, it’s because the band themselves are pumped and engaging when playing live. Even during the time when they were Jejaview, they always had this camaraderie between them and the audience that never waned.

88 City delivering an electrifying performance.

88 City delivering an electrifying performance.

With that being said, the people were glued to where some of them stood and where some of them sat as crowd favorite Jensen & The Flips set their gear up, skipped the foreplay, and went straight to play their hit song, Lovechild. And as soon as the band started playing, the crowd was taken away by the soulful performance of Jensen & The Flips. Along with tracks like Slow and Dangerous, where things were toned down a bit, people couldn’t resist to dance until the end of The Flips’ set. These guys just know how to heat you up and feel the passion.

Crowd favorite Jensen & The Flips (Photo by LK Doble, no watermark)

Crowd favorite Jensen & The Flips (Photo by LK Doble, no watermark)

Following The Flips’ set was The Oemons—a ska-punk band hilariously dubbing themselves gone wrong as “if ska-punk had wild, passionate, and sweaty orgy sex with metal, world music, pop, and dick jokes,” they’d surely be the understandably conflicted and totally demented lovechild. Although The Oemons had been around for a while now, blaring trumpets and horns with each performance, they’re still definitely worth listening to for a solid good time singing songs about sex, kebab, and shawarma. Lol.

Rock and roll means sex, kebab, and shawarma for The Oemons (Photo by LK Doble, no watermark)

Rock and roll means sex, kebab, and shawarma for The Oemons (Photo by LK Doble, no watermark)

Now, as we know while we’re on it, shawarma is often served with a mix of dressings such as some hot chili sauce and garlic mayonnaise. The band Mayonnaise, on the other hand, has been among the most notable artists in the music scene today; with tracks like Jopay, Bakit Part 2, and Sinungaling—all of which they have performed last Saturday night, following The Oemons—they aren’t hard to miss because even from outside the bar, the crowd can be heard singing their hearts out while the band performs. One other thing worth noting, Mayonnaise frontman Monty Macalino helped mastering some of the tracks in There’s ERA!’s debut EP.

An instant trip back to the mid-2000s by Mayonnaise

An instant trip back to the mid-2000s by Mayonnaise

And then it was time…

To cap off the EP launch came the boys of the hour, There’s ERA!. Championing the Colegio de San Juan de Letran, we’ve known the band since the second installment of Intramuros Rising—mainly because they were the homegrown act that finally had the Big 4 universities in Intramuros come in full circle on that fateful day. You might find yourself asking, “Who are these guys?” as the very first question that pops into mind, what with their melodramatic lyrics about heartbreak and missing someone, it all sounds so ordinary. And yet, it’s safe to say that even if you don’t know them or if you’re seeing and hearing them for the first time live, their music would get under your skin. Truth be told, it’s because as simplistic as their songs may be, their rhythm and harmony is genuinely catchy.

The boys of the hour – There's ERA!

The boys of the hour – There’s ERA!



  1. Intro

This near-2-minute instrumental introduces the EP. Similar to sound checks most bands do at the beginning of their set, the intro sets the tone of the record—giving listeners an idea of what they can expect throughout the band’s recorded material.

  1. Telenobela

“Mabubuhay na lang ban a parang telenobela? Hindi ba ako ang bida? Lagi kong pinapanalangin kong ako’y tignan mo rin. Isipin mo na rin kung ba’t ka pa tumingin sa iba, kung ang nagmamahal ng tunay ay malapit lang sa ‘yo.”

According to There’s ERA!’s bassist, Eric Evardone, Telenobela—aside from being the EP’s titular track—is supposedly the first song written by frontman Allen Guarnes. It’s dedicated to Guarnes’ first love in which he had long hoped to be with, and they did end up being together against all odds.

  1. Asa

“Hindi makapaniwala, gugunaw na ba ng aking mundo? Kinausap mo ako’t akala ko eto na, ngunit bigla kang lumiko oh oh…”

Direct to the point, the song rings of typical teenage days, Evardone says. It’s like someone who’s head over heels for a girl, but doesn’t have that much of a chance of actually being with the person he/she likes. Put it simply, the song would resonate well with people who are torpe.

  1. Di Makatulog

“Di makatulog sa kaiisip. Ano ang gagawin para mawala sa ‘king tingin? Kahit pa nakapikit, ikaw ang nakikita ko. Ano ang gagawin para mawala ka sa ‘king damdamin?”

With a running time of 48 seconds, Di Makatulog simply tells of sleepless nights people would have just thinking about the person they have feelings for, but don’t want to have anymore.

  1. Ako Kanta Ikaw

“’Pag di ka kasama, nag-iiba. Ang oras mabagal, tulog ay wala. Nalulumbay, hinahanap ang ‘yong kamay.”

It all started as a lighthearted jest among the guys of There’s ERA! as they didn’t really know how to put the words “missing you” in Filipino. So, they just rolled with it. (As in Ako = Me Kanta = Sing Ikaw = You.) According to Evardone, this was the song they struggled with the most as it had gone through several rearrangements in the past, but finally settled with the one in the EP. Ako Kanta Ikaw is straight up a song for people we miss—be it a friend or a loved one.

  1. Kung Kailan Kailangan Ka

“Darating ka rin. Sinabi mo sa akin na sa isang tawag ko lang, mundo’y iyong tatawirin. Puso’t isipan ko’y handa sa anumang ibabato nila sa akin. Bakit kung kailan kailangan ka, ngayon mo pa naisipang mawala?”

Kung Kailan Kailangan Ka started off as a form of an alliteration that’s entertaining to pronounce, until such time it ended up having a story. Straightforward as the other songs in the EP, the track is about friends who seem to disappear in our time of distress.

Telenobela EP cover by Ardie Aquino

Telenobela EP cover by Ardie Aquino



Overall, There’s ERA! reached a milestone with the release of their EP, Telenobela. The songs are reminiscent and reflective of scenes found commonly in movies or teleseryes that captivate Filipinos’ love for dramatic soap operas. With this record, the band stood out with their straightforward and honest lyrics, pumping drum beats, and pulsating riffs which makes it great to listen to. The cover art colorfully illustrates the band in the backstage of a warehouse set, shooting a movie with a pink-haired girl and a couple of aliens. It’s plausible to think that the girl is the main character who’s also an adventurer who crash landed on some distant planet, and the EP follows her story in search of someone dear to her with the company of her alien friends. How There’s ERA! could top this with an LP in the future, only they could figure out and do themselves.

8/10 (Hint: An inclusion of liner notes a.k.a. a lyric book next time, maybe?)

– Roy Salamat


EX VIVO: From Beginning to End

Get ready to experience Intramuros in a whole new level!

Brace yourselves as we bring you to EX VIVO: From Beginning To End, a fusion of music and poetry, happening on April 16, 2016 at the Maestranza Plaza, Intramuros.

Artwork by Markuss Javier; lettering by Joseph Molina

Artwork by Markuss Javier; lettering by Joseph Molina

After the successful 2-day music and arts festival (Intramuros Rising 4: The Homecoming March), we are not stopping! Continuing our goal in revitalizing the beautiful Walled City of Intramuros, we are here to give you an event that will showcase spoken word poetry, music, and visual arts in one stage.

From the 1st Intramuros Rising up to the 4th one, we remain consistent in showcasing spoken word poetry in the community. This time, giving more highlight to the art of spoken word poetry, and as our presentation for the Design Week Philippines, we give you an event that tells about the phases of life through spoken word poetry story-telling, backed-up by music from our homegrown bands.

See the beauty of life unfold through the words of one of the finest poetry groups right now, White Wall Poetry, and the newly-formed all-female poetry group, Lakambini. Accompanied by the music of our homegrown artists, math-rock band Shutter LIFE, synthpop act Caffeine and Taurine, island-reggae band Mellow Submarine, hardcore band Saving The Dying Hope, and math-rock soloist, Endless Noise, and visual support from Emmanuel Awa from Asia Pacific College.

The show will also have its pre-event and post-event shows featuring an open-mic spoken word poetry (for attendees only), performances from all-Intramuros-based band, KISSLING!, alternative rock group Oswald Sleeps Tonight, and more.

Now that you’ve given Intramuros a chance, it’s time that we sustain it. Come to Intramuros. Experience Intramuros! #EXVIVO

EX VIVO: From Beginning To End, a fusion of music and poetry, is set to happen on April 16, 2016 at the Maestranza Plaza, Intramuros. Gates open at 4PM and main show begins at 6PM. Tickets are for P250. Tickets are now available for reservation until APRIL 15, 2016 only. Reserve yours here: bit.ly/EXVIVOtickets

EX VIVO: From Beginning to End is an ILVSTRADOS presentation for Design Week Philippines, powered by the Intramuros Administration.

  • Ankrizel Santos