AUDIO JUNKIE: Of rock groups and ‘hugot’ bands

Published March 27, 2021, 10:12 AM

by Punch Liwanag

Bands are back in a big way! At least this particular weekend.

Rock, pop and alternative bands have taken the backseat to rap and hiphop prior.

Can’t blame them of course, rap, hiphop have been on a roll for quite some time now, and it’s probably hard for them to keep up.

Hopefully, this week’s new releases will change that with several bands putting their money where their proverbial mouths are. 

First off is Sponge Cola with “Labis-Labis,” a mid-tempo romp that veers from the wham-bam-thank-you-ma’am approach.

Their press describes it as a “relatable spin on the love song format.”

And they’re right. This one sees these vets taking it easy and, in the process, managing to score a good tune in the process.  

Then there’s the duo (that probably operates as a band) Suzara.

The duo is actually cousins Top and Bolichie Suzara. We all know that Top was formerly of Freestyle and had his own solo career. Meanwhile Bolichie is from the group First Circle. The cousins are banding together now and dishing 80’s-imbued originals and we like what we’re hearing.

Their mid-tempo MOR tinged new single titled “With You,” gives a late 80’s vibe that recall Icehouse’s “Electric Blue.”

Meanwhile, This Band, the darling of the hugot crowd, is back with a piano-driven version of “’Di Na Babalik.”

This is hugot at its most unsullied and This Band—singer Andrea Manzano, songwriter-guitarist Euwie Von Loria, bassist Miccael Galvan, drummer John Kenneth Macaranas, keyboardist Melvin Carson and lead guitarist Raymart Gubat, once again prove that when it comes to the genre, they are the reigning champs.

Then again, “melodic-poetic pop rockers” Pusakalye seem like perennial contenders for the crown.

Their new song, the piano-strewn ballad titled “Kamusta Ka Na?” channels Michael Jackson’s “She’s Out Of My Life.”