Various Artists

Filipino Alternative Collection, Vol. 2

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In 1995, Philippine independent record company Vicor Music Corporation released Filipino Alternative Collection, Vol. 2, a compilation of alternative rock songs recorded by unsigned bands. The set is a companion piece to Filipino Alternative Collection, released earlier in 1995.

As on the first set, the music is interesting, but it is also harsh and cacophonous, and devoid of much melody and seemingly much purpose. Nonetheless, alternative music by definition is supposed to be anti-mainstream, though it is arguable how anti-mainstream it should be before no one wants to listen to it.

Still, there is some interesting music on Filipino Alternative Collection, Vol. 2. Opening the set is "Mekaniko" (Mechanic), performed by Muskee Pops, which opens on a slow, languid vibe and then shifts to a faster, more gritty rhythm before returning to the spacy, mysterious vibe. "Ano," performed by Canis Lupus, starts on gritty, hard-edged guitar, full of purpose and power. The guitars begin to play at a very fast pace, and the singer spews jittery, punctuated lyrics. The song also contains fiery, rough-edged guitar work. Unfortunately, the song meanders too much, causing it to lose purpose. Also directionless are "Sistemang Bulok" (Spoiled System), "Bakas Ng Karimlan" (Shadow of Darkness), and "Anghel Ng Kadiliman" (Angel of Darkness), which contain much harsh, reverb-drenched guitar work that, unfortunately, goes nowhere, as though the bands are struggling to make sense of what they're playing. The singing is also very harsh and devoid of melody.

The album's best song is "Diskarteng Mando" (Mando Style), which contains a melody for the singer to sing and grooves on a spirited forward momentum. It also features interesting wah-wah guitar. While most music on Filipino Alternative Collection, Vol. 2 may seem pointless, the album provides a much needed venue for experimentation.

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