Madfish

Madfish

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Philippine rock band Madfish, which consists of a vocalist, two guitarists, a bassist, and a drummer, released their self-titled album in 1996. A guest keyboardist plays on "Mystic Place" and "Kaibigang Sandalan" (Reliable Friend), while a guest guitarist plays lead on "Malaya Ako" (I'm Free) and "Kaibigang Sandalan."

The band's music is hard-edged and raw. "Pangarap Ika'y Nasaan" (Destiny Where Are You) opens on a reverb-laden guitar line that drones, while the rhythm guitarist plays acoustic-type chords that sway back and forth. The lead singer's voice has depth, and he puts forth a passionate performance on a penetrating melody. Hard-edged guitar chords propel the rest of the song. The following song "Waiting" sets up a striking contrast, as the song opens on pretty, almost Spanish-like acoustic guitar, and the bass plays mellifluous lines underneath. The vocalist sings a tender, sincere melody, and the acoustic guitar solo is engaging. The album's best song is "Kaibigang Sandalan," which unfolds on the hypnotic jingle-jangle of high-pitched electric guitar notes. The vocalist enters and the song intensifies with the booming backbeat of the drums and the roar of the guitar. The song changes direction for several measures into a light, almost pop-sounding sequence. The chorus to "Kaibigang Sandalan" is highly memorable and gives the song an anthemic feel. The album's first four songs, which include "Kaibigang Sandalan," are excellent. However, the band struggles after this, and the songs seem directionless, including "Taong Bato" (Rock Person), "Red Tide," "Mystic Place," "Karunungang Itim" (Black Knowledge), and "Nilalason Ang Isip" (Poisoning the Mind).

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