SYDman's Top 50 OPM Bands of the 90's (Part 3)



THE TUNOG LATA MOVEMENT

Ever since the 80’s happened, Pinoy rock bands have little to work with. Underground bands became such for a reason and that is because recording outfits favour mainstream artists. Major studios support Gary Valenciano, Martin Nievera, Sharon Cuneta, Apo Hiking Society, Pops Fernandez, Joey Albert, Randy Santiago, Joey Albert, Jamie Rivera, Gino Padilla, Louie Heredia, Richard Reynoso, Lilet, Dingdong Avanzado, Raymond Lauchengco, Keno, Janno Gibbs, Ogie Alcasid, Manilyn Reynes, Sheryl Cruz, Vernie Varga, Basil Valdez, Timmy Cruz, Ariel Rivera, Jam Morales, Regine Velasquez, Rachel Alejandro, Marco Sison, Rannie Raymundo, Smokey Mountain, and the rest of the divas and the balladeers because they have good voices and they are pleasing to look at.

It was so messed up that Pinoy rockers had to settle recording their album in some makeshift recording studio with less than stellar equipment... in mono stereo.

Kids, if your Dad has yet to trash his entertainment system circa two decades back, I suggest you dust it and examine the buttons.

This is why most of the debut albums of the successful rockers in the 90’s sound amateurish.

Thus the advent of what I dubbed the Tunog Lata Movement.

Most of the showbands then escaped this “phenomenon”. The premiere bands to star in this era were the Eraserheads, The Youth, and Yano. If you check out The Heads’ Ultramagneticpop album, you’ll find that the drums sound like a pair of wrenches hitting a roof (or a can) and the strums of the guitar are slightly drowning the vocals. The quality of the Heads’ albums began to improve with Cutterpillow (Circus still had that sound) and that was when the Heads are already lording the industry.

Because of the Heads, as well as the explosion for other bands, that clanking can sound was displaced and recording companies have treated the bands with utmost devotion.

Anyway...

Previously on this blog...



Again let’s preview the rules!


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.


29 to 36


36 TRIAXIS
YEARS ACTIVE: 1995 – POSSIBLY LATE 90’S
GROUP ROSTER: PERF DE CASTRO, WENDELL GARCIA, CLAIRE SOBEJANA, KING BALDOZ* (*King replaced Claire at bass) 
90’S HITS: PMST, SAY WHAT YOU MEAN, I FOUND YOU, ASA KA PA, MUKHA  
Remember when the first Rivermaya album. They have five members then. One had to quit the band because of artistic differences. Perf de Castro was that guy in 1995. Quickly he formed a group that will carry the awesomeness of the sound that he yearns. Sure, Triaxis wouldn’t have the popularity bestowed upon Rivermaya... but don’t be sad for him. The guy can play a ten-string guitar! Besides, as part of the band he got a lot of recognition from music enthusiasts while he collaborated with a bunch of great names. How can you feel sad for a guy who got to do stuffs with Francis M, Wolfgang, Backdraft, and Nonoy Zuniga? Wait... Nonoy Zuniga? Hearing him growl could be fun...   


35 MOJOFLY
YEARS ACTIVE: 1999 – 2008
90’S GROUP ROSTER: KITCHIE NADAL, RICCI GURANGO, JUNJUN REGALADO
90’S HITS: MINAMALAS, ANOTHER DAY, HALF-WISHING, RUNAWAY ANGEL
The band was “somewhat” or “in a way” created out of spite. I have to quote accounts from Wikipedia and various blogs to prove this point. The dissention in the Hungry Young Poets camp caused Ricci to move out. I have no idea if this was due to artistic differences or romantic alignments or whatever but it was enough for Ricci to part ways with Barbie Almalbis and also taking the HYP name with him. Aside from taking the name, he also made a band – a la his former band. It was a trio with a girl singer and virtually the same type of songs. Their debut album entitled Birthday placed the group on the map. Luckily for Ricci, Kitchie Nadal has an awesome voice that stands out. She eventually became a glorified star. Kitchie went on to go solo with the band taking in Lougee Basabas as their new vocalist. After Gurango left the band in 2008, the new members change their name to Delara.


34 SLAPSHOCK
YEARS ACTIVE: 1996 – PRESENT
GROUP ROSTER: JAMIR GARCIA, LEE NADELA, JERRY BASCO, LEAN ANSING, CHI EVORA
90’S HITS: AGENT ORANGE, EVIL CROWN, MADAPAKA, PSYCHO LOVE, SICK CURTAIN
Dubbed as the Rap Metal Kings of the Philippines, the band released 4th Degree Burn – a year before the 21st Century turned. The songs in this album are awesome and they could be like Korn but they are never like Limp Bizkit. In some ways, their sound is like the other Pinoy underground metal bands but unlike these bands, their sound is rich and the quality is masterfully done. Anyway, they dish out insane energy whenever they perform onstage. Fans troop to their gigs to have body-slamming moments. Whenever they hit campus expect chaos and mosh pits near or somewhere near the stage. Plus, ever tried writing with Jamir shouting in your earphones? It is mind-numbing...


33 PUT3SKA
YEARS ACTIVE: 1995 – NO IDEA
GROUP ROSTER (KNOWN MEMBERS): MYRA “SKARLET” DAVID-RUARO, BING AUSTRIA, WESLU GUIANG
90’S HITS: MANILA GIRL, MY BOY LOLLIPOP, SIRANG ROMANTIKO, BIRTHDAY HOLIDAY
Remember when Joey de Leon would shout “Graciaaa” during the Rambulaga portion of Eat Bulaga and a dancer named Gracia (now known as Samantha Lopez) would come out holding a number? This was the peak of the band’s career. During the Tunog Lata period, they stood out because aside from their big band setup, they played ska. Plus, whoever thought their name... they automatically gave the band PR. I remember seeing them play in some noontime show and I’m bent on the fact that no one can sing their songs like Myra. Can you even imagine Medwin Marfil covering My Boy Lollipop? HELL NO (Although I would like Basti Artadi to cover Manila Girl because if you combine his voice and make the song a bit devilish... that part of the song where it says “I dare you follow me” would be superb)! Weslu Guiang passed a few years back. He was the dark guy that was the other prominent person in the band. He was also the guy that jumpstarted Juan Pablo Dream and before that was also part of Tropical Depression. Myra became Skarlet and was part of Brownbeat All-Stars.


32 DA PULIS
YEARS ACTIVE: THEIR TWO ALBUMS WERE RELEASED 1996 & 1999 RESPECTIVELY
GROUP ROSTER (KNOWN MEMBER/S): GABE MERCADO
90’S HITS: POGI, MUKHANG PAA, SUNGIT QUEEN, TAE SONG, BASTED, REMEMBER M
If only they took their music seriously... they wouldn’t have become famous. Yes, this comedy rock band became famous for their narcissisms, raunchiness, and immense hatred for athlete’s foot. Led by TV, film, and stage personality Gabe Mercado, most of their songs reflect on the matters of the heart. Giving comedy over tragedy is something that you can expect from a band whose name was taken to spoof The Police. Their song Mukhang Paa brings a lot of memories. In college, I was about to go home with my friends when we saw my former classmate and her boyfriend. Her BF stared at us awkwardly and that ended when we rode a FX. We were seated at the back and they were seated at the middle. When this song played we were singing the chorus part and we saw my former classmate giggling. Perhaps she thought we were singing that song directed to his BF?  


31 COLOR IT RED
YEARS ACTIVE: 1989 – PRESENT
90’S GROUP ROSTER: COOKIE CHUA, BARBI CRISIT, MARICAR FLORENDO, BOPIP PARAGUYA, GP EVARISTO, MINCO FABREAGAS
90’S HITS: PAGLISAN, NA NAMAN, A HAND-PAINTED SKY, SA DIYOS LAMANG, PERSLAB 
I remember when I was in elementary and I was a keen listener of Campus Radio WLSFM. There were two songs competing prominently in their Top 20 for almost two months now. One was On Bended Knee and the other was Paglisan. The band started out as an all-girl rock band and their name came up while doing a crossword puzzle. Cookie Chua was one of the more recognizable girl singers of that generation. She can mix it up with the Sampaguita/Coritha/Lokal Brown generation as well as the Barbie/Kitchie/Acel Bisa generation. Color It Red wouldn’t be as popular as it is today if not for her. There was a time where she bolted out of the band and released a solo album. Pretend I Don’t Love You is an awesome track.


30 SUGAR HICCUP
YEARS ACTIVE: 1994 – I DON’T KNOW
GROUP ROSTER: MELODY DEL MUNDO, CZANDRO POLLACK, RUSSELL DACASIN, MERVIN PANGANIBAN
90’S HITS: FIVE YEARS, WOMB, MODEN DE 
Basically they are like Enya. Imagine a drunken angel when hearing this. Yes, she sings well... but you can’t understand anything she says. Take Five Years for instance. Melody... just... hums here! But if you think Five Years is an easy song to sing, then you are in for a treat. The blare of the instruments, combining it with Melody’s awesome humming (eventually she’ll stop humming, speak a few lines and melodically shriek) made this song a delightfully amusing sonic blast. Even if Moden De’s lyrics for the uneducated mind could be gibberish, the arrangement here is top notch. And Womb? I heard a live version of this song and it was great. Actually, Womb is my favourite song in their repertoire but of course, it is easy to memorize the lyrics of Five Years. The band is back in giglandia with Russell being the only remaining original member of the band.


29 RIZAL UNDERGROUND
YEARS ACTIVE: 1993 – PRESENT
NOTABLE MEMBERS: STEPHEN LU, MIKE VILLEGAS
90’S HITS: SABADO NIGHTS, YAN NAMAN, BILANGGO, POWDER OR LOTION, ROLLERS ON HER HAIR, SATISFACTION GUARANTEED    
They were one of those bands that got their fame from having their tune in some commercial. However, that TVC isn’t just a commercial... it was THE commercial of the decade. This is not like the Mirahel band doing a song for PCSO but rather a smoking hot band doing a song for food giant San Miguel Corporation. That Sabado Nights commercial jumpstarted Ina Raymundo’s shot to fame and that’s cool! The song became a commercial and eventually a film that starred Ina Raymundo alongside Pia Pilapil and the bewitching Michelle Parton. Whatever happened to her? Anyway, Rizal Underground is not a one-hit wonder band because their other singles are just as impressive. Bilanggo is a cool song and like Kamikazee’s Narda, the produced acoustic version of the song brings a different dimension. Powder or Lotion has a bluesy/ 50’s rock and roll feel and unlike what the title suggests, the song seems too sophisticated to be mistaken as a prosti song. And who can ever forget Yan Naman... yan naman... yan namahahan...


NOTES:
Rizal Underground was ranked lower at the beginning but after downloading their first album and finding out they are more than jingle singers, they charged up on the list. That’s also the case with Sugar Hiccup. Color It Red’s Paglisan is such a good tune but sometimes I think their music is too inspirational for me. Mojofly happened in 1999 but like Slapshock did awesomely to qualify into the ranks. Put3Ska needs to be in here because of their contributions to OPM and Da Pulis is a favourite of mine. Triaxis is another band that needs to be inside the list.

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

Game over.

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