Oct 212017

Ely Buendia (MNS photo)

The new single from Ely Buendia and the Itchyworms, “Lutang” and “Pariwara,” is a must-have not only for fans of the respective artists but also for fans of good music.

Both Buendia and Itchyworms have had a knack for melody to go with clever lines, insightful and personal lyrics that stick to one’s heart and mind.

When Buendia collaborated with the late Francis Magalona on “In Love and War,” the result was magic. Just like when Magalona infused a rock edge to his rap when he involved his band, Hardware Syndrome.

Now, the Itchyworms have been one of the most tuneful bands with a dash of Weezer to come out this new millennium. It was obvious when Itchyworms first came out, Buendia’s old outfit, the Eraserheads – and the Beatles—were a major influence. So when the stars align – like Pearl Jam and Neil Young’s “Mirror Ball” or David Bowie and Queen on “Under Pressure” to name a few of a good many—great stuff happens.

“Pariwara” was released in 2016 and I love the song with its Asin-like intro after which its infectious beat with its skiffle-like style that harks back to ‘60s music and harmony. And as simple as its chorus of “ngunit hindi tayo ‘di tayo titiklop” is, it’s beautiful and it’s going to be a classic as a mantra or anthem.

And who would have thought that lightning would strike twice with both collaborating once more on “Lutang” despite the more somber mood? It has that ‘60s feel that strikes a deep chord within me as a fan of that era’s music. And I’ll dare say that these two songs are some of the best stuff from Buendia who is one of the most gifted songwriters from any generations of Filipino recording artists.

Now both songs appear back-to-back on the limited edition 7-inch single released on white vinyl that was pressed in Japan. It comes in a handsome looking two-color jacket with its nifty cover of the performers. This was first offered during the first Record Store Day celebration in the Philippines as a pre-order – another cool move. Now hopefully, next time any new stuff by anyone should be made available on that day too in order to mark how special that day is for music fans.

“Lutang/Pariwara” is a must-have not only for the music lover and collector but also because of the daringness of Buendia’s OffShore Music—from Apartel to Ely Buendia and the Itchyworms and soon to come, the Late Isabel—that is challenging the pop sensibilities of the Filipino audience (in the way that Toti Dalmacion’s Terno Recordings has done for some time now).

Clearly, Buendia, Jugs Jugueta and company make good music. And that begs for a third collab and a proper album.

That’s the charm.  (MNS)

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