The Eraserheads

Aloha Milkyway

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The Eraserheads are one of the Philippines' most popular rock bands. In a country where syrupy easy listening love songs have long dominated the local music scene, the Eraserheads are credited with spearheading a mid-'90s rock renaissance, paving the way for other local rock bands. 1997's Aloha Milkyway was the Eraserheads' attempt to break into the Asian market and consists of songs culled from earlier releases and re-recorded in English. There are also five new songs. Unfortunately, the album had dismal sales in the several Asian countries where it was released. Outside the Philippines, the music may come across as a bit strange and lightweight. The Eraserheads are often compared in the Philippines to the Beatles in terms of style and flair, and this can be seen in the band's willingness to experiment in the studio and explore various styles of music. The band also attempts to write tuneful melodies, of which the Beatles were masters. "Julie Tearjerky," which characterizes much of the Eraserheads' sound, is pleasant and moves on a nice melodic groove, but it's also lightweight and unfulfilling. The experimental "Small Room" features languid, dreamy singing floating above an eerie repeated piano figure, interrupted at times by dissonant turntable scratching and other musical snippets. "Ambi Dextrose" contains penetrating, hard-edged guitar work, but the chorus is somewhat fluffy. One of the Eraserheads' most famous songs, "Ang Huling el Bimbo" (The Last el Bimbo Dance), is presented here in its original Tagalog, the Philippines' national language.