AUDIOJUNKIE: The Itchyworms ‘orange’ album and John Roa’s ‘Maitim Na Mahika’, Frizzle Anne, Clien-ALLMO$T, J emm Dahon x King Lhenard new single releases

Published November 21, 2022, 6:51 AM

by Punch Liwanag

Composite photo clockwise: The Itchyworms, J emm Dahon x King Lhenard Zozo John Roa Blaster Yuridop DaivJstn Frizzle Anne x John Roa official e-card and album cover

Those with a hankering for vinyl should check out The Itchyworms’ old-but-new again album titled “After All This Time.”

The band—with Kelvin Yu, Jugs Jugueta and Jazz Nicolas–recently launched the vinyl version of the aforementioned title.

Sony Music Philippines tapped Backspacer Records, the more-than-a-retail store situated at Kapitolyo in Pasig, to produce the album that came with a cool-looking orange vinyl inside.

“After All This Time” was released originally in 2013. Long story short why it got the vinyl treatment, Kel Yu said, “logistically, it was easier for us to do so because we released this independently.” But we can see the appeal why this particular record got vinyl-ed. The album catches The Itchyworms at their most cohesive playing-wise and songwriting-wise.

The psychedelia-tinged alt-pop of “After All This Time” and the retro synth-pop catchiness of “Ayokong Tumanda” immediately jumps at us attention grabbers. Personally, I’ve always thought that guitarist Chino Singson (who recently migrated abroad) is one of the best of the early aughts bands, primarily for the great guitar tone that he coaxes out of, and stamps those ‘worms’ songs with. And his tone-for-days playing is right here to be enjoyed on the cover of Juan Dela Cruz’s “Panahon” (featuring Pepe Smith).

Album hot spots include the APO Hiking Society-esque “Huwag Na Sana ‘Kong Gumising Mag-Isa” and the playfully contrapuntal “My Jolly Old Buddy.”  And if you can dig the ‘worms’ humor (and past Rey Langit’s bit) “Lost In Space” is quite trippy. The album comes in gatefold packaging, with a bonus acoustic version of “Ayokong Tumanda.”  Best to listen with headphones.

John Roa’s latest “Maitim Na Mahika” sees a three-way collaboration between Roa, rap artist Yuridope and rocker-guitarist Blaster Silonga. The track raps and rocks in all the right places as expected and at the center of it is John Roa in ring-master mode.

Speaking of, John Roa also appears on Frizzle Anne’s new single titled “Akin Ka Lang.”  This musical partnership may seem unlikely but immediately makes sense when you hear the tracks irresistibly good strains.  This modern sounding, R&B flavored pop song is infectious and is just pure feel-good pop.

Clien of ALLMO$T keeps pouring on the tracks and gets the spotlight new single “BEAUTIFUL.” This lo-fi pop flavored track features rapper Lipip in his first collaboration with the ALLMO$T hook chorus singer and Clien is sounding fine as he sings about daydreaming of living his life with the girl of his dreams and imagining it to be beautiful and perfect.

And also on topic of los mujeres, “That’s My Girl” is the grooving new single from Hood 047’s  ‘J emm Dahon and King Lheanard. On this head bobbing new bop, J emm and KL goes old school Hip-Hop on this track as they fill it with snappy beats and thumping basses to go with their hook verse and choruses about being proud of mujer nosotros amor.

Zo zo is quick on the draw and releases music faster than you can figure out where his artist name came from (it’s actually Ralph Antonin Castor). For his latest, Zo zo goes for a trap-beat driven banger about how a certain girl captured his fancy.

DaivJstn (aka Justin Dave Pepito) lays down a simple but modern sounding new bop in “Sabi Na Nga.” The track is an equal mix of pop, R&B, rap and delightful rhythm guitars as one can’t help but bob their head along with DaivJstn’s groove.

 
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