In 1994, Philippine rock band Mutiny released their debut album Ang Salamangkero at iba pang mga Kuwento (trans: The Magician and Other Stories). The music is hard-edged and gritty, and bears traces of Seattle grunge, a movement which was in vogue when this album was released. "Hard Luck" begins on a rough-hewned guitar riff, which is soon adorned with searing guitar lines. The vocals are gritty and passionate, and much feeling is invested in this song. A tempo change leads to a chorus that contains a catchy, melodic, emotively sung motif. "Salamangkero" (trans: Magician) also starts on a penetrating guitar riff reminiscent of Led Zeppelin and '90s grunge band Soundgarden. The piece includes an interesting tempo and style change which segues, remarkably enough, into a reggae backbeat.
Several songs contain downbeat, pessimistic lyrics, recalling the "downer" rock movement purveyed in the early and mid-'90s by such grunge acts as Nirvana and Soundgarden. "Take a Trip," for example, includes the lyrics "You know I've been down/And I've always been/Grief was no stranger/He was my only friend." While the singing by vocalist Paul Viloria is always passionate and sincere, it is sometimes off-key as well. This is particularly noticeable on side two of the cassette, where he stretches for notes clearly out of his range, as heard on "Broken" and "Kapa Sa Dilim" (trans: Groping in the Dark). Nonetheless, he is never less than sincere, and the band as a whole expresses interesting ideas, which makes for a promising combination.