Various Artists

Filipino Alternative Collection

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In 1995, Philippine label Vicor Music Corporation released Filipino Alternative Collection, a compilation of ten alternative rock songs performed by ten unsigned Philippine bands. The album was released at a time when rock music, which is not very well-known in the Philippines, was becoming popular. The Philippine music scene is usually dominated by good-looking solo artists who sing easy listening music, but the music here is far from easy listening. The album contains some interesting music, hard-edged and gritty, but, unfortunately, most of the songs do not seem fully realized. Instead, most songs seem primitive and consist of variations of one-note melodies placed on top of cacophonous musicianship. Still, some ideas are interesting, if not altogether cohesive. "Bogsa" (no translation), for example, which is performed by Dead Nails, features a melodic bassline that is played repeatedly while a singer spews forth a one-note melody line. "Skeptic," performed by Brimstone in Fire, starts on interesting guitar work, the notes seemingly gushing in all directions at once. The singing is harsh and growl-throated and is reminiscent of American metal band Pantera. One of the album's better songs is "Bahala Ka Na" (It's All Up to You), performed by Sphinx, which features some real melody and has strong guitar work. Most other songs, however, such as "Wala Sa Isip" (Not in the Mind), "Lakbay Diwa" (Enchanting), "Skeptic," and "Sigarilyo Ni Pepe" (Cigarettes of Pepe), do not have much melody at all, and the songs barely hold together.

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