In 1998, Philippine rock band Siakol released their second album, Rekta (slang for "Direct"). The band's debut album, 1996's Tayona Sa Paraiso ("Let's Go to Paradise"), was a charming, rambunctious affair, short on expert musicianship but filled to the brim with attitude, spunk, and catchy melodies.
Unfortunately, Rekta finds the band short on ideas this time out. Things start promisingly with the rollicking "No Problem (Kapag Ikaw Ang Kasama)" ("No Problem [If We Were Together]"), which features a spirited, catchy melody. However, this is the high point of the album. On the first record, the entire band was credited with composing the melodies (lyrics were penned by vocalist Noel Palomo), and the melodies were strong and memorable. However, the songwriting on Rekta, for which both melodies and lyrics are credited to Palomo, isn't as sharp this time; the melodies lack distinction. Many songs lack focus and meander far too much, such as the rock-inflected "Isla Puting Bato" ("White Rock Island") and "Halika Na" ("Come Now"), the heavy metal "Kasama" ("Companion") and the ballad "Ayos Lang" ("It's OK"), among others. "Balewala" (slang for "Taken for Granted") is a fine, boisterous song, however. Also, the vocals of Palomo aren't as impressive as before, though he manages some charm and grit. His singing on "Ingay" ("Noise"), however, is uncharacteristically off-key and sounds awful. All in all, the album is a disappointment.