Tayona Sa Paraiso

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In 1996, Philippine rock band Siakol released their debut album, Tayona Sa Paraiso ("Let's Go to Paradise"). Despite the somewhat crude instrumentation, Siakol's music exhibits charm and raw attractiveness. Vocalist Noel Palomo accounts for much of the appeal, as his singing is emotive and strong, and has more depth than many rock vocalists in the Philippines. It also helps that Palomo sings on-key. The band uses the basic rock lineup of guitar, drums, and bass. As noted earlier, the musicianship is a bit rudimentary, but charmingly so, reminiscent of such 1960s American garage bands as the 13th Floor Elevators and the Kingsmen. There is also a touch of the punk band the Sex Pistols in the Siakol's sound. The band displays a commendable degree of creativeness and diversity. The melodies are credited to Siakol, while vocalist Palomo writes all lyrics. The melodies are distinctive and memorable, and are a prime reason for the album's charm. The lyrics address topics pertinent to the Philippines, including courtship and various societal conditions, such as traffic and government corruption. Most of the songs are rock-based, including "Peksman" (slang for "I Swear") and "Salot" ("Pest"); two songs, "Biyaheng Impiyerno" ("Trip to Hell") and "Sistemang Bulok" ("System That Stinks"), have a fast, frenetic punk sound. Several songs feature only voice and acoustic guitar, including the plaintive "Lagim" ("Terror") and "Bakit Ba?" ("Why Is It?"). The album is cohesive and not just a slip-shod collection of songs, as what often occurs in the Philippines.