SYDman's Top 50 OPM Bands of the 90's (Part 5)



20 bands remain.

20 of the most influential, most popular, most phenomenal bands emerged from a decade of monumental awesomeness.


TUNOG KALYE


I can explain the term tunog kalye via a group of phrases.

And it goes a little something like this:


College students in need of money
College students in need of honey
Surviving heartbreak
Surviving sembreak

And then you graduate

Tadah

No money for your bisyo
And that’s always the issue
Your job sucks
Your life sucks

And then you die

Tadah


Face it, OPM is kind of predictable. Band composers would lock their selves up in some remote location to pen a bunch of words that will eventually collect thought. Their creative juices will eventually get through to poverty, nationalism, love, life, and college.

There are two types of inspiration – one you get by dreaming... and one you get from your memories.

Just because all the great ideas are done and accounted for, that doesn’t mean bandmania sucks. While there are bands that strive to claim millions of pesos, there are a bunch of bands that use this as a tool to be awesome.

The bands listed here etched their mark in Philippine music. For some reason, they still had those topics and they gained fan-demonion. Of course it was difficult but they wanted to succeed so badly that their sacrifices paid off.

Those crappy lines out there will never get me anywhere.

By the way, get the rest of the ranks by clicking...




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.


11 to 20


20 JOEY AYALA AT ANG BAGONG LUMAD
YEARS ACTIVE: 1980’s – PRESENT
GROUP ROSTER (KNOWN MEMBERS): JOEY AYALA
90’S HITS: KARANIWANG TAO, NAKITA KITA, HARING IBON, HITHIT BUGA, PADAYON, MAGKABILAAN, MINDANAO, LUMAD SA SYUDAD, MAGKAUGNAY (?)
His music doesn’t talk about college crushes and hell... long hairs. Joey Ayala’s music has substance. His songs dispel violence and poverty. He wants peace... even if that wouldn’t happen... in anyone’s lifetime (but seriously, it wouldn’t hurt if it could). His songs also advocate the conservation of our natural resources. I assume he doesn’t talk to trees... that often. Using a bunch of ultra, ultra old school musical instruments, dating back when after the Aetas, the Indones and the Malays checked out our archipelago, Joey Ayala is one of the well-known folk singers of that decade. The only thing that is working against him is that his music has basically no FM outlet (the internet solved this for him though). I could be a fan of this whole ethnic style if heard it more back then but not even NU would play it because it is a niche genre. He worked on an advocacy campaign for then-Department of Health secretary Juan Flavier (LET’S DOH IT) where he was singing a song while demeaning the feelings of Yosi Kadiri. It looked great. By the way, I’m going to thank Jorge Cosgayon for supplying me details.


19 TROPICAL DEPRESSION
YEARS ACTIVE: 1984 – PRESENT
GROUP ROSTER (KNOWN MEMBERS): PAPA DOM, BONG EUDELA, ANABEL BOSCH   
90’S HITS: BILOG NA NAMAN ANG BUWAN, KAPAYAPAAN, BAGYO-BAGYO
Who can ever forget the big guy wearing that colourful hat and shirt? Fact is, Papa Dom is the poster child of Pinoy reggae in the Philippines. Tropical Depression’s unique brand of music made them sought after artists for every summer spectacle held by TV stations and event supervisors during that decade. Yes, people use Kapayapaan for summer specials then and when the event is at night, well... enter Bilog na Naman ang Buwan. However, they also used their popularity for good use as they promote natural resources conservation and in advocating peace in the country. Papa Dom is the ultimate beach buddy. If you want to go to a hap’nin place where people are prolicking in the sand enjoying the nice things in life... Google Earth him!   


18 AFTER IMAGE
YEARS ACTIVE: 1990 – 2001; 2008 – PRESENT
GROUP ROSTER: WENCY CORNEJO, BOBIT USON, NINO MESINA, CHUCK ISIDRO, ROGIE CALLEJO, ARNOLD CABALZA
90’S HITS: NEXT IN LINE, MANGARAP KA, BAI, HABANG MAY BUHAY, TAG-ULAN
Wency Cornejo is an awesome vocalist. Not only does his voice belt awesomeness, his band was responsible for creating the anthem for a generation. Next in Line was one of the biggest tunes that the era produced. That song actually molded the band’s perception. I was a kid back then and I remembered a bunch of months seeing them and singing the same old song on TV in a pretty consistent manner. They had a lot of other songs that were in some point became popular tunes (some of them became movie soundtracks). A lot of their works were re-worked for balladeers and divas and that’s nice because they only pick well-written and properly-arranged songs. They disbanded in 2001 with Wency embarking on a solo career. They did reunite in 2008.


17 GRIN DEPARTMENT
YEARS ACTIVE: 1995 – PRESENT
GROUP ROSTER: ANDREW B, BOH PASCASIO, PEDRO PLAZON
90’S HITS: MISS U, BUY ONE TAKE TWO (SPECIAL OFFER), TABLAHAN, SYOTA NG BAYAN, MAY SAYAD, TABO
If you’re looking for good, clean fun, maybe you should look for something else. This band made a living from double-meaning songs and seriously kinky verses. This was basically the music you enjoyed that your parents don’t know because they will KILL you. Their 2-part debut album, Hahehihohu, indeed made double platinum because everyone wanted to know about their songs. I mean how can you not forget about that epic phrase “May libre kang may libre kan... toothbrush”? I once heard Miss U on Sharon Cuneta’s show so this means that not all of their songs are banned for public showing. Their songs can be described as the new age version of Haring Solomon. I remember when I bought the album’s cassette that was worth 60 pesos then (or was it 90Php). It had that sticker “explicit lyrics” on it. If you put a sticker prohibiting it to minors, of course high school students will line up and buy it! 


16 THE TEETH
YEARS ACTIVE: 1992 – PRESENT
90’S GROUP ROSTER: GLENN JACINTO, PEDZ NARVAJA, JEROME VELASCO, MIKE DIZON, DOK SERGIO (Dok replaced Pedz when the latter moved to the US)
90’S HITS: LAKLAK, PRINSESA, STOKWA, GALIT SA MUNDO, SHOOTING STAR
Ever remember that Bubble Gang segment called Music English Version (MEV)? Bitoy and his crew spoofed Prinsesa and the chorus was like “Come in and take me into your castle... let us walk into the garden of your castle... I may not have sex organs, I promise I will forever be at your service... Oh my prin-hin-cehehehess!” That was cool! Their debut album had two awesome songs that became anthems to the dreamers and the drunkards. Laklak and Prinsesa catapulted the band to the point that it seems that it would rival the popularity of the Heads. Laklak to be singled out ruled the LA105 hit charts for 12 weeks. Their next album was also acclaimed by rock enthusiasts. There is no question though that they are key player in Bandmania even after Glenn Jacinto suffered and recovered from a lung ailment. Mike Dizon co-founded Sandwich and Pedicab while Dok Sergio is currently a part-time frontman for the Ely Buendia-led Pupil. Jacinto appears sporadically during the band’s live events. 


15 SIAKOL
YEARS ACTIVE: 1994 – PRESENT
GROUP ROSTER: NOEL PALOMO, WOWIE FLORES, MINIONG CERVANTES, JAMES RODRIGUEZ
90’S HITS: LAKAS TAMA, PEKSMAN, BAKIT BA, BIYAHENG IMPYERNO, BALEWALA, AYOS LANG, KANTO, ASO
They are one of the more prominent members of the Tunog Lata Movement. They have produced eight albums since their arrival on the band scene and it seems they are out to do more. Among these albums, they are identified best with their debut, Tayo Na Sa Paraiso. This album contains the emotional Bakit Ba, the pleading Peksman, and perhaps the best song they have ever produced, Lakas Tama. The song in some ways resembles Laklak... although the words are deeper and more poetic. Lakas Tama starts off with an awesome intro and it gradually peaks into the stanzas and all of a sudden they whoop it up in the chorus! They are currently experiencing rebirth. Unlike other 90’s bands trying to score a second chance, Siakol is backed up by a major recording company.


14 INTROVOYS
YEARS ACTIVE: 1986 – PRESENT
90’S GROUP ROSTER: JONATHAN BUENCAMINO, PACO ARESPACOCHAGA, JJ BUENCAMINO, PAKU HERRERA
90’S HITS: LINE TO HEAVEN, WILL I EVER SURVIVE, DI NA AKO AASA PA, KAILANMAN, HOWEVER WHICH WAY 
Before pogi rock became Cueshe, 6cyclemind, Hale, and Sponge Cola... it was the Introvoys. Why is this good? I have no idea. Anyway, with their totoy looks and their good boy barkada music, they gradually made their way to popularity. Jonathan Buencamino was the voice behind the music while Paco Arespacochaga gave them off stage PR with his publicized romance with Geneva Cruz. When the then-couple had a kid, they named it after their most popular hit, Line to Heaven (they just named their kid Heaven for those keeping tabs). Line to Heaven was their most successful single at their peak. They had a lot of pogi songs talking about heartbreak but at least they are tolerable. Fact is... Jonathan Buencamino can pass as that guy who’s always romantically screwed. Anyway, the Introvoys are alive and kicking in the United States where they mix it up with known bands like Lokomotiv and the now bluesy Prettier than Pink.


13 NEOCOLOURS
YEARS ACTIVE: 1988 – 1999  
90’S GROUP ROSTER: ITO RAPADAS, JIMMY ANTIPORDA, JOSEL JIMENEZ, MARVIN QUERIDO, JACK RUFO, NINO REGALADO
90’S HITS: TULOY PA RIN, KASALANAN KO BA, HOLD ON, SAY YOU’LL NEVER GO
Neocolours is a highly-respected band who could have had a Side A-like following had they continued. Ito Rapadas rivals solo artists then in terms of belting out melodies. They gatecrashed the current Pinoy pop scene dominated by Gary Valenciano, Martin Nievera and to some extent Jaime Garchitorena, Gino Padilla, and Richard Reynoso. Actually they actually helped the Pinoy band scene because they proved bands can play meaningful sets. While Making It was a 1989 album, this album scored a lot of listeners and it helped usher in the band explosion of the 90’s. While their band was short-lived, they did score acclaim in the late 90’s by re-recording their old hits. Neocolours re-worked their hits and made Emerge: The Best of Neocolours in 1999. Aside from re-mastering their songs, they made new material as well. Their songs are so good that they have been covered repeatedly by various artists through the years.


12 ALAMID
YEARS ACTIVE: 1987 – PRESENT
90’S GROUP ROSTER: GARY IGNACIO, DEXTER FACELO, THALLIE FACELO, GAIL IGNACIO, PAKU HERRERA, ROEL MANGYAO
90’S HITS: YOUR LOVE, CHINA EYES, SAMA-SAMA, HESUS, BATIBOT, ATING BAYANI
They got their name from some critter seen in the mountains. They were almost named Salamin ni Bruce Lee. I would have liked that. But maybe people wouldn’t take them seriously. Instead, Alamid is often regarded as one of the best and also one of the classiest acts of the 90’s rock era. They were also responsible for churning great songs with impressive lyrics. Sama-Sama is a great song among others but Your Love is their claim to fame. There was an online article where a recording exec thought that Your Love was a song from a foreign band. Actually, Your Love was the first NU Rock Awards Song of the Year winner. Their cover of Batibot was used as theme by the actual show before their hiatus. The intro of China Eyes was used by the ultra-popular 90’s sitcom Palibhasa Lalake as transition music. According to their Wiki page, guitarist Dexter Facelo is the only remaining original member of Alamid.


11 THE YOUTH
YEARS ACTIVE: 1989 – 1997; 2004 – PRESENT 
GROUP ROSTER: DODONG CRUZ, ERAP CARRASCO, ROBERT JAVIER
90’S HITS: MULTONG BAKLA, TAKBO, KAPAG NAGUNAW ANG MUNDO, SUPERNOVA SCUM, BASURA, TAO PO, BA-BA-BA-BAYANI, ATING BAYANI   
With his long black locks and big, round eyes, Dodong Cruz looks like a demented hippie. However, he had also a distinct voice that made people sway to their beat. The Youth was a popular band back then. From their minds spawned a bunch of easy-to-sing tunes that can be understood by everyone – especially the masses. The band developed a cult following because of their high-energy performances. Their songs combined punk, rock, and humor with distinct musicality. The band disbanded in the late 90’s with Dodong Cruz embarking on a solo career and with Robert Javier producing some of the Parokya ni Edgar albums. They reformed in 2004 but this has yet to gain commercial success. One memorable account I had with this band was when I was young and alone in my house and listening to the radio. My sister and her friend played a prank on me where they’ll throw rocks on my house’s windows from the front side and back. I was calling out for the perpetrator and of course they were not talking and all of a sudden Dodong Cruz screamed the chorus of TAKBO and I went to my room hiding underneath the blankets. I was a wuzz back then.


NOTES:
Each and everyone in this list deserve their spots. Sure, I had a hard time taking out The Youth and Neocolours from the Top 10 but fact is, there are a lot of great acts in the 90’s.

And hopefully you’ll stick for the finale.


For comments and suggestions (TOO LATE), contact me now!

Game over.

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