The Eraserheads

Carbon Stereoxide

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At one time, Philippine rock band the Eraserheads could be counted on for massive sales. 1995's Cutterpillow, for example, is one of the Philippines' biggest-selling albums ever. But things change. According to a source at the group's label, BMG Records Philippines, it is even getting hard for the band to get radio airplay. It's no wonder, as the band's albums have become increasingly strange, almost unlistenable. 1999's Natin 99, for example, contained excessive dissonance and superfluous sound effects, and the songs were confusing, overburdened with incoherent and often unfinished musical ideas. The band had first made its reputation on simpler melodic rock that appealed to a wide demographic, from little kids to adults, but the music has since become more experimental in nature, more alternative. Still, even good alternative music is listenable, while the Eraserheads' music mostly isn't. 2001's Carbon Stereoxide is another bewildering mess. The album starts on a positive note, as the metal-influenced "Ultrasound" and "Maskara" (Mask) are good alternative rock songs. Still, these songs won't appeal to a wide range of listeners, which, perhaps, is no longer a matter of concern for the Eraserheads. There isn't much else to recommend about this album. The hard-edged "Omnesia" (slang for "amnesia"), for example, is pointless and meandering, and "Paintstripper" is a dissonant mess, with ideas being introduced and then abandoned at a moment's whim. There are four acoustic-based songs, including "How Far Will U Go," which has potential but needs more structure, while the acoustic "Pula" (Red) and "Outside" are just plain boring. It's no wonder that the Eraserheads aren't as popular as before. The band needs to get back to basics and concentrate on better, more coherent songwriting and record-making.