Pinoy Rocks
  • So why are multi-awarded singer-songwriters Kitchie Nadal and Barbie Almalbis, alternative rock band Rocksteddy and new all-star rock ensemble Save Me Hollywood releasing their new music under a smallish, indie label called12Stone Records?

    Kitchie has been with 12Stone since 2003.

    Barbie is set to follow-up her 2010 solo album with a new one for the label.

    Rocksteddy continues to gig under 12Stone even while individual members pursue other interests.

    READ: Tanduay tour newbies excited to tour 19 cities

    And the all-star Save Me Hollywood—with Carlos “Calde” Calderon of ChicoSci, Kenneth of April Morning Sky and Melvin of Typecast with former MYX VJ and Meg Magazine model winner Julz Savard—could’ve signed up with a bigger label but didn’t.

    Rounding up the 12Stone roster are kid punk group Absolute Play and up-and-coming singer-songwriter Ruth Legaspi.

    Punk’s not dead

    Maybe it’s about who heads up 12Stone.

    Head honcho Tommy Tanchanco, who once steered the 80s new wave band Introvoys to

    Read More »from Why biggish OPM stars are signed to this smallish indie label
  • It’s the fifth year of the Tanduay First Five national tour and once more, five top Pinoy rock acts will be performing before audiences in 19 key cities across the country between May and December 2013.

    On the line-up for this year’s tour are Parokya ni Edgar, Wolfgang, Kamikazee, Rico Blanco and Sponge Cola, with special participation by Gloc-9. The bands were selected on their ability to deliver their own distinct Pinoy rock sound.

    The tour kicks off tonight, May 24, in Kalibo, Aklan and winds up on December 7 in Davao.

    No myths, just storytelling

    This year, the First Five tour is toning down its usual focus on the bands as mythical figures. Instead, the bands are being billed as storytellers through their music.

    Wolfgang: 'The tour is circus on adrenaline' (Photo courtesy of Wolfgang)After a six-year hiatus from the local scene, Wolfgang has been part of the nationwide rock caravan since 2011. It’s always a surprise to them that crowds in places they’ve visited for the first time sing along during their performances.

    Guitarist Manuel Legarda likens playing

    Read More »from Tanduay tour newbies excited to please crowds in 19 PH cities
  • Amoranto Stadium in Quezon City now holds the distinction as the summer metal capital of the Philippines. For most of the past 13 years, the biggest and loudest concert, the Summer Slam, hosts its annual noisefest of local and international acts at the Amoranto open field.

    Coheed and Cambria, a progressive metal band from New York, arrived in Manila to perform at the 13th Summer Slam at the Amoranto Stadium. The band is composed of vocalist/ guitarist Claudio Sanchez, guitarist Travis Stever, bassist Michael Todd, and drummer Joshua Eppard.

    READ: Labeling metal is for magazine writers

    At a press briefing at the Cocoon Boutique Hotel in Quezon City, Claudio Sanchez said the band went through a long and winding journey across America and on to Asia just to play at this year’s Summer Slam in the company of such metal behemoths as Cannibal Corpse, As I Lay Dying, and Dragonforce and Pinoy headbangers Kamikazee and Chicosci, among others.

    Packed crowd for Coheed and Cambria

    Sanchez added

    Read More »from Coheed and Cambria recall ‘overwhelmingly positive’ response from Pinoy fans
  • Sandwich recently dropped their seventh and latest album, “Fat Salt & Flame,” and the sound of the new album reflects a band not beholden to any legacy of their 15-year career or to new trends coming down the pike.

    In the last few years, the five-person band has grown from strength to strength, starting with their gawky debut in 1998 to headlining the Tanduay First Five tour in the past two years with the likes of Parokya ni Edgar and Kamikazee.


    Killer Sandwich: Mong Alcaraz, Mike Dizon, Raimund Marasigan, Diego Castillo, Myrene Academia. (Photo courtesy of PolyEast Records Philippines)

    READ: Razorback goes nuts in Singapore

    A preview of the new album at ‘70s Bistro in Quezon City in early April showed the band flexing their hard rock quirkiness. With Myrene Academia missing in action, partner and band frontman Raimund Marasigan took on the bass with the two guitars of Diego Castillo and Mong Alcaraz doing the aural damage. After the show, drummer Mike Dizon explained the gig was just a five-song hors d'oeuvre and that the album itself would have well-rounded sound and production values.

    A pile of styles

    At the formal

    Read More »from Sandwich plays ‘live’ in new studio album
  • Saturday night, April 7, 8:00 p.m., Siem Reap, Cambodia: All-Filipino band Mr. Bones and the Boneyard Circus opens The JD Set live music showcase at the grassy open-air Le Meridien Hotel grounds the size of two football fields.

    Beginning with a blistering self-penned composition entitled “Horror Scene,” the title track off their debut indie release, they segued to an intense yet melodic “Grease, Gas and Glory” that quickly moved to the dark, angry swells of “Lady Grimm.”

    RELATED: Scrapmetal rockers win a holiday in Cambodia

    A metallic version of the Rolling Stones’ “Paint It Black” pumped up with Nine Inch Nails steroids led to a rockabilly punk romp of Korn’s “Not Meant for Me”.

    The avalanche of covers ended in a primal boogie rework of the White Stripes’ “Seven Nation Army.”

    It was an opening salvo as hot as the weather that reportedly hovered in the 40s that evening.

    A mélange of Cold Play and Lady Gaga

    Mr. Bones and the Boneyard Circus played in Cambodia as part of their winning

    Read More »from Pinoys bring the noise to Cambodia
  • "Panatang Makabanda," the new album from Rivermaya in four years, is a surprise package.

    The band first offered a self-produced album for distribution to Universal Records. Instead, the record company countered with a contract to produce and distribute the album.

    In recent years, the EP has been the main media to break new talents as well as to promote new music from veteran acts. Think the latest release from Pedicab, She’s Only 16 and Urbandub.

    Musical chairs

    So, Rivermaya is among the privileged few to be putting out a full album when the record industry is cutting back—feeling the pinch of piracy and multi-tiered options for the consumer’s buck.

    ALSO READ: If you haven’t heard of Cathy Go, you should

    After the most recent reshuffle since Rico Blanco and Bamboo Mañalac flew out of the roost, original member Mark Escueta and third generation recruit Mike Elgar are now joined by newbies Norby David and Ryan Peralta in the fifth incarnation of the band.

    'Panatang Makabanda' is Rivermaya's 11th album.On the new album, drummer

    Read More »from New Rivermaya flies free, but can the band rule again?
  • On any given night, Cathy Go wears one of four different hats.

    Three nights a week, she fronts an alternative pop covers band plying the chicken houses along Morato Ave. in Quezon City.

    On certain weekends, she rocks live with the studio band that helped her put together one of the finest OPM debuts of 2012.

    ALSO READ: Remember these classic jingles?

    On Sundays, she sings with the church choir, and on some evenings, she’s at home cramming to complete a project in her chosen course in Mass Communications.

    The break

    Making music has always been Cathy’s constant passion, and one humdrum evening, her muse gifted her with an unexpected break.

    Cathy and a guitar-playing friend formed an impromptu acoustic duo to open for Aiza Seguerra’s show in Marikina.

    While they were jamming backstage in preparation for the gig, good luck struck.

    YOU MIGHT LIKE: ‘Scrapmetal’ rockers win a holiday in Cambodia

    She recalls, “This guy came over to our corner and asked us why we were fooling around with

    Read More »from If you haven’t heard of Cathy Go, you should
  • Call it what you will—Goth rock, steampunk or, in the words of the band itself, “scrapmetal horror.”

    Whatever, the rock theater of Mr. Bones and the Boneyard Circus earned for the eight-piece ensemble the right to represent the Philippines at the JS Set Asia Pacific International event happening in Cambodia on April 5, 2013.

    READ: Festival review: Conflicted in Malasimbo

    The band’s multimedia extravaganza bested the crowd-drawing pop-rock of Paramita and the grunge-inspired hard rock of Kelevra.

    Surreal dream come true

    The three bands faced off on March 9 at the MetroTent, Metrowalk in Pasig City before a crowd of 1,000 loud music fans.

    Boneyard Circus's winning performance at the JD Set also featured contributions from guitarist Jun Lopito, band mentor, as well as guest vocals from The Late Isabel’s Wawi Navarozza.

    RELATED: Up close with guitar god Jun Lopito

    “The win is just amazing. It still feels like a surreal dream come true,” lead vocalist Bones Frankenstein told

    Read More »from ‘Scrapmetal’ rockers win a holiday in Cambodia
  • Ethnic songcraft is one of the loneliest art forms ever.

    Imagine creating beats and melodies that instantly connect with listeners on a gut level but don’t feel relevant to their day-to-day lives.

    So pity the artist who makes them and is appreciated only by high-brow critics and one or two fellow travelers.

    RELATED: 3 decades of Pinoy rock unite in The Oktaves

    It may seem strange then that Filipino roots music made Grace Nono-Bob Aves Group was the top attraction on opening night of this year’s Malasimbo Music and Arts Festival, held March 1-3 in Puerto Galera, Mindoro.

    The headliners on the next two nights were international reggae superstar Jimmy Cliff and blues babe Joss Stone.

    Who are Grace Nono and Bob Aves anyway?

    'We release something not because there’s a demand for it, but because there’s none and there ought to be,' says Grace of her music. (Photo by Isa Lorenzo)Grace Nono cut her teeth in a cover rock band. She became a celebrity in the ‘90s as much for her striking good looks as the music she made that blended ethnic influences and sentiments in three-minute pop songs.

    Bob Aves is Grace’s current musical partner. He first

    Read More »from The lonely musical path of Grace Nono and Bob Aves
  • The Oktaves
    MCA Music

    Three generations of musicians converge in The Oktaves, a Pinoy superband of sorts composed of ex-Eraserheads and Pupil headmaster Ely Buendia, former lead guitarist of The Jerks Nitoy Adriano and young rockabilly punks the Hilera trio.

    The collaboration represents every major juncture in the coming of age of Pinoy rock beyond the 70s.

    And the members weren’t just part of the herd; they made respective significant contributions to Pinoy music when they first burst into the scene.

    READ: Ely Buendia not joining ‘The Voice’

    Nitoy was the string bender for the first Pinoy punk band in the 80s.

    Ely’s Eraserheads were touchstones of the second coming of Pinoy rock in the 90s.

    And the youthful Hilera debuted with rockabilly-infused punk in early 00s.

    Live, The Oktaves are rip-roaring and rootsy, a real bar band tearing through crowd favorites. They cover Elvis, the Beatles, Eighties new wave, Eraserheads and whatever the moment calls for.

    "K.U.P.A.L.," the

    Read More »from Review: Do the The Oktaves live up to the hype?


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