Various Artists

Best of Pinoy Rock

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Best of Pinoy Rock compiles some of the best Philippine rock songs made in the 1970s by some of the country's best bands and solo artists. While the musical taste of the Philippines often gravitates to sugary, easy listening love songs, the music on Best of Pinoy Rock is some of the best rock to be found anywhere. Starting things off is Wally Gonzales' penetrating, blues-based guitar instrumental "Wally's Blues," a slow, emotive outing that starts on reverb-drenched electric guitar and then shifts to a cleaner sound. Maria Cafra's "Kumusta Mga Kaibigan" (How Are You Friend) is a rollicking, rock-inflected ditty, easily contagious to a listener. Joey Smith, a founding member of the legendary Juan Dela Cruz Band, comes up with an incisive rock ballad, "Summer Wind." His singing evokes memories of the Animals' Eric Burdon in that group's late-'60s psychedelic period. The biting guitar work here is excellent, too. The Juan Dela Cruz Band is represented by two excellent songs, the jump blues-influenced "No Touch" and the tender, acoustic "Himig Natin" (Our Voice). Sampaguita's "Tao" (People) is a well-known, pretty rock ballad. This collection should see an international release.