Mariya's Mistress

Unang Pag-agos

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In 1995, Philippine rock band Mariya's Mistress released its debut album, Unang Pag-agos (trans: First Flow of the Water). The band consists of five members, including a female vocalist, guitarist, bass player, drummer and keyboard player. Though a bit uneven, the album is charming in many spots and strongly hints at much potential for the future. The singing of vocalist Carla Abaya isn't particularly overwhelming, but is gutsy and tuneful, and comes off a winner. Though the music is based on Western rock sources, the album has a distinct Filipino flavor. Some songs, such as "In Your Eyes" and "Panaginip" (trans: Dream), are rooted in the passionate, easy-listening style so popular in the Philippines, but presented here within a rock context. The arrangements of the songs are imaginative, and "Hanggang Sa Dulo Ng Mundo" (trans: Up to the End of the World), for example, contains evocative keyboard lines as well as a churning bassline and eerie feedback. The song also contains a highly dramatic chorus handled with verve by vocalist Abaya. On "Hanggang Sa Dulo Ng Mundo" and throughout the album, the searing, zesty lead guitar of Ronald Yumul provides exciting moments. "Ako Si Mariya" (trans: I Am Mariya) also has an imaginative arrangement, containing skittering keyboards which seem to approximate an Asian ambience. "Abutin Mo" (trans: Reach It) aims at grand drama, beginning plaintively on voice and keyboards, slowly leading to forceful guitar, leading to a stimulating group instrumental. The album meanders a bit to be considered cohesive, but is a worthwhile effort, nonetheless.