The Eraserheads

Natin 99

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The Eraserheads have shown a commendable propensity for experimenting in the studio and exploring various types of music. However, the results have been mixed. Although the band first became famous by recording melody-based rock that appealed to many, as exemplified by 1995's Cutterpillow, albums since then have included much dissonance and near-pointless experimentation that has alienated a significant part of the group's following. 1999's Natin 99 (Our 99) is another bewildering effort. While a number of songs have potential, many are marred by pointless sound effects and half-finished ideas. The lengthy "Peace It Together," for example, starts on a nice melody that could be expounded upon to form a complete song, but instead the group veers off course and sings a strange, dissonant melodic interlude. By the time the group gets back to the original melody, a listener will probably have forgotten it. There is another, more dreamy interlude that the groups sings, and another interlude on which the group chants "Let's peace it together." After this, another melody altogether is introduced. Along the way, there are a number of electronica adornments, guitar dissonance, and sound effects, such as the crashing of waves. It's all too much. The better songs on the album are simpler, such as the attractive "Sino Sa Atin" (Who Among Us), which works off a central melody that has a start and an end. The guitar work here, some of which is a bit complex, doesn't obscure the song and in fact adds to its enjoyment. Perhaps the Eraserheads should concentrate more on the songs themselves, and not worry so much about the adornments. Aside from the group's native Philippines, the album was also released in Hong Kong, and it's no wonder that it didn't sell well.

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