Various Artists

In the Raw

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Released in the Philippines in 1999, compilation album Songs From NU107's in the Raw consists of songs originally submitted in demo form to Manila modern rock radio station NU107 for its weekly show "In the Raw." The show spotlights demos from unsigned bands. Starting things off is the handsome power-pop tune "Happy House," performed by the Itchyworms. The song is powered by the jingle-jangle of tuneful rhythm guitars; also pleasant is the somewhat new wave-styled pop melody, sung with an air of innocence by the band's drummer/vocalist. Monsterbot's "Waterdog" is a grunge-inspired tune, marked by a rambunctious -- though surprisingly clean -- guitar riff and shouted singing, reminding one of grunge band Nirvana and Kurt Cobain's singing on 1993's In Utero, among other Nirvana albums. There is also the feel of America's Mudhoney here. Ska band the Brownbeat Allstars come up with "Lampungan" (trans: Loving). Fronted by talented female vocalist Myra Rauro (formerly of top ska group Put3ska), the band features a percussionist and a horn section of two saxophones, a trombone, and trumpet, in addition to guitar, bass, and drums. Unfortunately, their song doesn't have much to offer. Mr. Crayon's "Isolation" is worthwhile blues-tinged rock. There are also three songs with a harsh, rap/rock ambience, reminiscent of Limp Bizkit and Philippine bands Greyhoundz and Cheese: Badburn's "Who Can You Trust," female group Cherry Bomb's "Too Late," and Loads of Motherhood's "Crossing the Wire."