Artist: Tall Ice Lung
EP: Balang Araw Mamamatay Ka Rin
Label: Diagnostic Records
The title of the 3-track EP is Balang Araw Mamamatay Ka Rin, which is Filipino for “Some day, you too will die.” Coupled with the graduation photo on the cover, the combination soon makes sense with the lyrical content and the indie rock sensibilities on display throughout the EP. This is not just a collection of music, it’s a poignant valedictory speech to the band’s peers. It’s a hymn to the raucous joys of wasted youth.
The instrumentation is mostly ’90s indie rock (Yo La Tengo, Pavement, Wilco) with just a tiny sprinkle of Sonic Youth guitar noise. There is also a solid amount of 1980s-era British New Romantic jangly guitar licks (i.e. The Smiths, The Cure), topped off with Bernard Sumner-like vocals, all reverb’d and drowned in the mix like so much early New Order (circa “Thieves Like Us”), though containing repetitious guitar-fueled grooves like the more recent incarnation of the band.
Track by Track
“Sons and Daughters” opens up with a midtempo jangly guitar track that is pretty much Yo La Tengo circa “Sugarcube” with lyrics that bestow advice from parent to child when disappointment comes: “Don’t take it so hard / I still believe in you. / We all make our mistakes, /and you’ve seen mine too.”
The second tune “College Smokers (Dear Sam, I’m an Alcoholic)” continues in the same musical vein, and is an ode to how college equals party time, no matter where on the globe you go to school. My favorite lyric in this one goes: “Dead drunk on the Harley’s porch,/ wasn’t that your favorite course? / It was mine and it felt awful.”
The final instrumental track “Tandang Sora Aoi” (a witty pun on a famous street in Quezon City named after a national hero Tandang Sora, side by side with name of a Japanese ‘actress’ Sora Aoi) is almost a surf guitar tune, with some shimmer and shine added as decor.
Well worth a download. Currently at “name your price” on Bandcamp. I hope to hear much more from this group as time marches on.
Download the EP on Bandcamp (Name your price).
Visit Diagnostic Records on Facebook.