Sunday, September 09, 2007

The Trip which led to a jump

Trip (1996)
BMG Pilipinas

First thing's first: guitarist Perfecto De Castro went bye-bye and keyboardist Rico Blanco, well, proved that he could also play guitar. If you didn't know this, however, in all likehood you may never have noticed there had been a change in the musical lineup.

Rivermaya at first appears to continue from where they left off. There are still strong alt-rock/grunge influences interspersed with pop ballads proving that the band is not one to be pidgeon-holed into one genre. So what's different? They manage to rock harder (as well as sound creepier) than they did on their debut with the track "Sunog" (Fire). Rivermaya also becomes whinier than they've ever been with "Out of Reach". Think of some of the most ear-grating pop-punk bands that have infested the radio over the last few years and you'll get an idea of how awful this song sounds. Fortunately, this doesn't become a trend for the band.

Trip also begins to introduce the band's British influences. This is most notable on "Lost" where the song begins with "Oooooo"s followed by Bamboo's high-pitched singing. Everytime I hear this song, I picture someone walking out of their house and onto the streets late at night to find that he/she is completely alone. That is what the lyrics suggest ("And if you'll crash into this party tonight/in this town where there is nothing but dim lights/You may bump into somebody who's lost/Maybe that's me") but like many Brit pop songs, "Lost" only bums you out if you aren't paying attention to the melody, which is nearly impossible given how light and catchy it is. Another track that stands out is the 41-second "Nerd Kills Goliath" which sounds like the sound effects to a video game - you can actually hear the part where Goliath becomes a goner despite the subtlety of the moment (and by "subtle", that means no shooting guns or swinging slingshots are to be expected). "Panahon na Naman" (It's Time Again) is a good finish. It's a straightforward pop-rock tune that ends up sounding like something The Beatles would compose with it's "Na na na na"s as well as an unexpected violin part tacked on at the end.

I have to admit I'm not a big fan of this album (although that means nothing considering how well it sold in the Philippines) but the tracks that stand out are ones I'd listen to over and over again. One that I haven't yet mentioned is "Hilo" (Dizzy) where Bamboo shows again why he's such a great vocalist (he also does the same thing when he continuously sings "Someday I..." near the end of "Flowers") and Blanco maintains his knack for great songwriting. This album also showed that Rivermaya was not a band to stumble when confronted with major changes (although that comes off as an overdramatic term given the truly major changes that would come later).

"Hilo" (Dizzy) - Rivermaya
"Sunog" (Fire) - Rivermaya
"Lost" - Rivermaya
"Nerd Kills Goliath" - Rivermaya

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

great review..