SYDman's Top 50 OPM Bands of the 90's (Part 1)

Ano po ang walkman? 


I love listening to music. I can’t stand 80’s foreign ballad and new wave but I can be flexible with regards to other genres.

I love listening to OPM the most though.

My addiction to Original Pilipino Music started with the Apo Hiking Society, VST & Company, and Gary Valenciano. As I kid, I had a Yoyoy Villame Greatest Hits tape that I listen in my tape recorder every time there is brownout (during Cory Aquino’s administration). And then in the 90’s, I started listening to bands. The Eraserheads, Rivermaya, The Dawn, The Youth, Introvoys, Alamid, Yano, After Image, Color It Red, and all those others made me realize that listening to boy bands is not doing shit for my existence.

And then just when I thought the Pinoy alternative scene masked my essence, I suddenly tuned in to ABC 5’s Music Bureau, IBC-13’s Club Dredd Sessions, Channel V, and MTV Asia and I get to see Wolfgang, Razorback, and all those other indie bands that rarely get any spotlight.

90S OPM BANDS = AWESOME 

The 1990’s is perhaps the music generation I loved the most. I was still checking out all sorts of music but this is the music I love the most. The OPM Band scene didn’t have any partition then. When you a have vocalist, a guitarist, and a drummer – whether you’re a rocker, a showband, or a pogi rocker – you’re automatically a band.


CRITERIA:

It’s important to have a gauge on who’s in and who’s not on the list. Aside from the fact that I have evidence to shield myself from stupid and baseless queries, it can make my article extremely credible!

YEAR: This part is very important. Very, very important! The particular band in the list must have released an album from 1990 to 1999. I don’t care if this was their debut or their swan song. I don’t care if this is an EP, a full-pledged album, or a live album (although I will give a shit on compilations and collaborations). While I could care on whether or not they released this particular album for a major label, it is important that they at least became recording artists during this span! 

MAINSTREAM: When you say their names and the person you’re talking to would say “Who are they” or “I almost forgot about them” then chances are, they won’t make the list. Bands need to sell themselves. I don’t believe in the whole “I am an artist and I won’t stoop to mainstream” act because if they were the ones that succeeded, they wouldn’t think like this. If the band can ride a jeepney without attracting any buzz, this means they have yet to be enjoyed or they are nobodies.

MAN AND CHICK FRIENDLY: Men would definitely pick on the bands who love to growl. Women won’t. Chicks would pick on the sappy seducers. Men won’t. If there is a way that man and chick could like the same kind of music, chances are they’ll rank up top.

INFLUENCE: Are they relevant? Did they do something awesome in OPMlandia? Kulay brought funky, hiphop stuffs on their gigs while Put3ska brought ska. Tropical Depression brought reggae while Francis Magalona introduced rap-rock. Because of the Eraserheads, the tunog lata movement exploded but they have to thank acts like Juan dela Cruz and The Jerks for opening the rock world for their generation.

GETTING SYDRIFIED: Of course, my inputs matter. Sure I had help from a lot of internet researches, interviews conducted in Facebook, MP3 download sites where I would listen to a particular band’s song. Fact is, I am a huge fan of the alternative rock genre. I wasn’t really a fan of the underground stuff then and although I am a fan now, I still find some acts amateurish.

I hate:

Shouting expletives for the sake of being cool.
Stupid lyrics.
Emo.
Songs with zero harmony.
Annoying vocalists.
Repetitive melodies inside one album.

With that said...

This is my list.

If you want to do yours, then do so.

That’s my disclaimer.


RESERVE LIST

Just in case my picks have grounds for disqualification, here are my sidebars.

It’s hard to enumerate though. In terms of showbands, left out were Passage, Mulatto, and First Circle. The all-chick band Prettier than Pink also was left out as is the Brownbeat All-Stars. The rockers got the most hits with Tungaw, Tribal Fish, Philippine Violators, Ang Grupong Pendong, The Breed, Balahibum Pooza, Deadnails, Death by Stereo, Leowai, Edge of Illusion, Annointed Cherubs, The Aga Muhlach Experience, Bag’iw, Drone... 

And of course, the list can only accommodate one jolog band and Father and Son, Bodjie’s Law of Gravity, The Boss Band, Rockstar 2, and the April Boys failed to make the list.


IF ONLY I HAD A 51... IAXE
YEARS ACTIVE: 1994 – PRESENT
90’S GROUP ROSTER (KNOWN MEMBERS): JEK MANUEL
90’S HITS: AKO’Y SAYO IKA’Y AKIN LAMANG
There were times when you’re in romantic hell and their song pops up unrequested... and then you listen to Mellow Touch and you find this on their playlist. They scored an extremely popular song that unfortunately never had a decent follow up. That disrupted the band’s momentum to move on to greater heights. Ako’y Sayo I must admit was a good pogi rock song. I can’t really say anything else because the only thing I remember about this band is this song. At least Orient Pearl had that 80’s rockstar look. Hopefully in their second wind they’ll remember the importance of their imaging. I almost rubbed them out of the list in favor of Passage but IAxe’s song bit more (even if it’s a one-hit wonder).  


45 to 50


50 SKYCHURCH
YEARS ACTIVE: I DON’T KNOW
GROUP ROSTER (KNOWN MEMBERS): RUSSELL DELA CRUZ, JOEY DIZON 
90’S HITS: BANE, DELUBYO
Little is written about the band in the internet. All I know is that during the influx of OPM Bandemonium, they were staples in the heavy metal / underground side of things. Their passionate gusto to go insane with their instruments creates loud and often, wonderful noise. While they dropped the electric word in their name, they just linked it on their performances. According to an online account, Russell dela Cruz and Joey Dizon are now part of a band called Intolerant.


49 SHAMPOO NI LOLA
YEARS ACTIVE: 1993 – 1997; 2005 – PRESENT
90’S GROUP ROSTER: JHUN MORA, WOWIE MENDOZA, JEFF SANTOS, GILBERT ROBISO, ANDY INTALAN, ALEX RAMIREZ 
90’S HITS: SARANGGOLA NI PEPE, CUTE, ASAL HUDAS, PRANING NA SI ROGER, TABLADO KA
Just like any other rock band, Shampoo ni Lola was formed at a random garage in 1993. Their usual gigs are done with SNL cloning pop songs and revving it up with a vocal growls and loud instruments. While their sound might sound a bit amateurish (latang-lata talaga yung drums nila especially with Tablado Ka), and sometimes they just shout and just bang and strum their instruments loud and hard, they found fame with their live gigs. Praning na si Roger is a cool tune.


48 ELEKTRIKOOLAID
YEARS ACTIVE: THEIR DEBUT ALBUM WAS RELEASED IN 1996 – BEFORE 2000
GROUP ROSTER (KNOWN MEMBERS): ANABEL BOSCH, KRISHNA RAMOS, DIEGO GARRIDO 
90’S HITS: BAHALA KA SA BUHAY MO, RATDOG FISH, LIHIM NG GABI 
Probably this band was the predecessor of chick-led bands (that have some sort of niche) like Up Dharma Down, Pinikpikan, and Paramita. Elektrikoolaid has funk, rock, and acid jazz in their arsenal. Looking at it, they were a refreshing change from OPM’s Tunog Lata period but in some ways, they existed when the clamor for bandmania was waning down. If they existed in the 2000’s, their music could have gotten huge mainstream following. Anabel Bosch is now rocking in heaven after getting stricken by brain aneurysm in 2009.


47 AEGIS
YEARS ACTIVE: 1995 – PRESENT
GROUP ROSTER: JULIET SUNOT, MERCY SUNOT, STELLA GALINDO, REY ABENOJA, ROWENA PINPIN, VILMA GOLOVIOGO
90’S HITS: HALIK, LUHA, BASANG-BASA SA ULAN 
Aegis is the 90’s version of Sampaguita, Coritha, and Lokal Brown. Unfortunately, they are packaged for the “jologs”. While we applaud showbands in concerts, we kind of diss the Aegis because their songs are played in beer gardens, low-budgeted videoke bars, and beerhouses and for a college student, going to their concerts is a big no-no. However, this didn’t stop them from succeeding. Aside from a captive audience, they make Pinoys happy with their all-out performances around the globe. Look, hate this pick all you want but ask the videoke bars on what songs are usually sang and you’ll probably see their songs up top. HOW CAN YOU HATE “SPLIT” MUSIC!?!

Ang halik mo... (BLAG! SPLIT!) nami-miss ko... (SABAY TINGIN SAYO NG MALUPET HABANG UMIINOM KA NG ISANG MALAMEG NA GOLD EAGLE BEER!)


46 CHEESE / QUESO
YEARS ACTIVE: 1994 – 2010
90’S GROUP ROSTER: IAN TAYAO, PAOLO “8” TOLERAN, ENZO RUIDERA, POW ROSAL, TUTS CALINAWAN, CJ OLAGUERA, RT DE ANO
90’S HITS: FINE, 10XKARMA, THE WAY
Just like any other rock band, the group started as dreamers with the same interests and dedication to using. Then known as Cheese, they were ready to take the next step after winning battle of the bands competitions after battle of the bands competitions. Their demo was picked up by NU107 and garnered massive airplay. Their first full album gained a lot of acclaim and they even represent the country in some rock event in Korea. Remember that this was before they changed their names and made their career-defining Pilipinas album. 


45 WEEDD
YEARS ACTIVE:
GROUP ROSTER: JUNJI LERMS, PHILIPPE ARRIOLA
90’S HITS: LONG HAIR, BOBO JOE, AURATUS, ISTORYANG WALANG ENDING
Long Hair was such an iconic tune. It signified every boy’s angst whenever a teacher or guidance counsellor wields his/her scissor to damage their perfectly good locks. They were not just singing it – they were also living it since they are just high school students from Claret. That wasn’t their only song though. While it was their most known piece, they had two albums before they disbanded. The minute they graduated from high school, some of them studied music and eventually making a profession out of this craft. 


NOTES:
I think I need to put Skychurch. On Shampoo ni Lola – I wanted them there. That’s also the case with Elektrikoolaid. Back in the 90’s, Queso was just starting which is why they are ranked so lowly. I would have ranked Aegis higher but there are a lot of bands in the list with better performance and mileage. Weedd is here because you can’t have the 90’s without Long Hair.


Part 2 will be uploaded sooner than you think.

By the way, I’m going to thank my friends Jorge Cosgayon, Moj Reynes, and Chrisangelo Jacinto. Without you guys, I wouldn’t have forgotten Joey Ayala at Ang Bagong Lumad, Half-Life Half-Death, and The Jerks.

For comments and suggestions (before I finish this list), contact me now!

Game over.

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