Further Down the Bend

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In 1996, Philippine rock trio Triaxis released their debut album Further Down the Bend. The group is led by singer and renowned guitarist Perf De Castro, who also composes their material. Earlier, he had left the popular Philippine rock band RiverMaya after participating on that band's 1994 debut album.

De Castro's passionate and impressive guitar skills are featured prominently on "PMST," as well as throughout the album. The song begins on a blistering chord progression, and rollicks on a spirited backbeat. "Perf's Boogie" is an instrumental centered around his playing; the song can be compared to offerings by such talented American guitarists as Steve Vai and Joe Satriani. "Running Water Blues," "Burning Bridges," and "Glass Houses" have a blues feel to them. An outstanding song is the vivacious rocker "Dahan Dahan" (trans: Slowly), which contains a frolicsome chord progression and a strong melody with which De Castro, as the singer, has fun.

His songwriting, however, isn't as consistent as his guitar playing, as several songs fall short of their aims at an anthemic stance, including "Things Can Only Get Better" and "Lights Fell Down." Ballads such as "Solitude" also lack substance, hampered by their lack of strong melodic hooks or motifs. In addition, De Castro's voice isn't the strongest of vehicles, which is more noticeable on the slow songs where the guitar work isn't as prominent. Still, the album has much to offer.

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