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5 Local Releases to Watch Out For


For those who are looking for new album releases that come with an #ExtraStrong kick and pack a punch, here are local artists who are about to release new material this year:

1. Beast Jesus - Triangular Inversions in Nautical Twilight

With a band name like that, you've got to back it up with music that will make you stop and take notice. These noise punk's debut album, In Various States of Disassembly, introduced to us a multi-layered mix of tones and textures that come together to form one solid wall of sound. They have a long resume when it comes to fronting for foreign bands: Meaning (JP), Punishable Act (DE), My Disco (AU), DEAD (AU), We Ride (ESP), Hierophant (IT), Birds in Row (FR), Full of Hell (US), Wolf Down (DE), No Turning Back (NL), Nothing (US), Hexis (DK), Turnover (US).

The band's ability to go from chaotic to melodic in one song is a testament to the members' musical knowledge. Francis Maria Regalado is a prolific musician with multiple solo projects and played for bands in varying genres (Caitlyn Bailey, Game Theory, Love in Athens, Tall Ice Lung). Raphael Pulgar is a sound engineer and mastermind behind Into Entropy Recordings. Enzo Zulueta plays bass for indie favorites Ang Bandang Shirley and experimental band Joop. The eclectic combination of their music sensibilities come together to create a sound that is potent and hard to pin down.

2. Calix - The Lesser of Your Greater Friends

In the midst of the sudden rise of MCs, rap and hip-hop artists who are putting out independent efforts, Calix is a standout. Calix deserves to be spoken in the same breath as BLKD, another heavyweight in the hiphop scene. Both are unafraid. Both would rather rap about the ills of the government rather than bars, girls, and money. Both artists encourage listeners to be catalysts of change.

Preaching the gospel of struggle and common man, his rhymes are sharpened with political tirades and relatable because of how truthful it is. He is brash. He curses. He uses words your Mom would probably tell you not to say in public. He is not one to mince words. Calix's music is angry at the status quo and if you are not, you will be when you listen to his works.

3. Neverdie - Carry On

Formed in 2009, Neverdie is a pop-punk band based in Parañaque. Helmed by Tani Cariño (Small Hands, Lindenwood), a guy in the scene for his humor, the band gave fans a look into their new material through an April Fools prank. In their Facebook page, a link to their "full album stream" turned out to contain just one original song followed by a bunch of Rick Astley songs put together. While their fans fell for the clickbait, Cariño and co. made up for it by releasing the title track for their upcoming album. Cariño wrote: “Hey guys. We sort of feel bad for putting up a fake full album stream on April Fools (actually no we don’t lol. No regrets). To make up for it, we put up another new song. This one’s the title track which will be on our 2nd full length “Carry On” coming out hopefully this year.”

All jokes aside, the album is set to be out late 2017 and will be produced by Continent Records. If you are into Title Fight, Your Blew It!, and the likes, be ready for a full-length, prank-free record soon.

4. Assembly Generals

Probably the only supergroup bannering the electonic-hiphop genre in the local scene, Assembly Generals has a lot of expectations to meet after breaking ground two years ago. Paolo Toledo (The Mighty Miscellaneous), Raymund Marasigan (Eraserheads, Sandwich, Pedicab), Mon Punzalan (Team Manila), and Deng Garcia (whose main band Flying Ipis won the last NU107 In The Raw Award) come from different domains yet manage to meld together a hard to ignore identity.

Their fresh take on hip-hop is a mash of samples, flows and patterns that give their music a more electro edge. By switching it up, listeners are treated to a rich tapestry of music made possible only by years of experience working on their individual sound. The band has always been vocal about always upping the ante by doing something new every time they play. A new arrangement, a new beat here and there, impromptu rhymes -- watching them live is exciting. Expect them to inject elements of surprise while staying true to their roots in their new album set to be released this August.

5. Tarsius - Igado EP

The new material from two-man sound machine Tarsius has some serious backing. First, it will be released in Asia by independent label More Rice. Second, worldwide distribution will be handled by Lobster Theramin. Third, it will have special remix by Swiss DJ and producer Manuel Fischer. Diego Mapa (Pedicab, Monsterbot) and Jay Gapasin (Radioactive Sago Project) are about to pull out all the stops for their upcoming release.

The thing that makes this duo work is how they manage to create a cohesive sound despite coming from different ends of the musical spectrum: Mapa with his electronic, dancey leanings and Gapasin with grounded funk style. Drum loops courtesy of Mapa and feisty live drumming care of Gapasin. When they play together, they are able to create a rhythm that throbs and soars naturally.