It’s been almost three (3) decades since Youth Of Today hits the streets of New York to spread the word of hardcore, youth crew style! We all know Ray Cappo the musician slash guru slash spiritualist slash vegan slash – this guy is just talented! He is also known as front man of several bands like Better Than A Thousand, Reflex From Pain and my personal favorite Shelter. Youth Of Today’s Sound is way different from Shelter – is a Krishnacore band a mash up of Krishna consciousness and melodic hardcore and also promotes straightedge and vegan lifestyle. Seeing YOT at the first time is like being a kid again, Ray Cappo is like a spiritual messenger. I see in his eyes the love he gives to the crowd and the fans. He is a big fan of the fans. Everyone just loves the guy. He even did a hand stand requested by the audience showing how game he was. Speaking of audience, the crowd is just awesome! They (including me) love all the tunes YOT played, sing-song with them and mosh with them – good times! Coincidentally the same day is Singapore Youth Day – Youth Of Today on Youth Day! Hmm catchy. This is the 10th edition of the Bound By Honour created by Reconstrux Booking (Singapore). This show is like a mini Southeast Asian Hardcore Fest. Bands from Thailand’s Monument X and Philippines’ Piledriver came to celebrate this event also the Lion City favorites straight edge hardcore – Straight Forward and growing legend Overthrown shared the stage with YOT. Ten awesome hardcore events and we expect more!!!
I really don’t know how to start this article but all I can say is that Overthrown is one of the best hardcore bands of this era not just in Southeast Asia but globally. I’m always a big fan of New York Hardcore (NYHC) and always looking for the traditional sound of it. Look no further ’cause OT is very true to the sound, the message and idealism behind what HC is all about. They truly are “hardcore” figuratively speaking. If you grew up listening to Agnostic Front, Madball, Strife, Earth Crisis, Terror, Hatebreed and SickOf It All you would definitely like OT they’re kinda mix of those influences. Continue reading
Memphis May Fire is the fisrt concert I shot for the year 2013 and I say it’s a great start. Summer is almost here in Southeast Asia and we need rain and it came but in a form of …fire? That is Memphis May Fire but it’s only March? Yeah I know I’m bad at jokes but seriously this band made it rain fire!
It’s been almost 10 years since I saw their last show. I think it was at Soup Kitchen or something (way, way back). I’m not ashame to admit that I still have their albums in cassette tapes – Wolfgang (self-titled album), Semenelin and Wurm, unfortunately I don’t have last few albums but will definitely get the latest album – “Villains”. The venue is full of raging fans thirsty of pure Woflgang high-octane heavy metal fuel. The new drummer Francis Aquino proved himself worthy of replacing Wolf Gemora former drummer of the band by showing audience what a true beat master is all about. At first the the sound is a bit sketchy but they picked-up the pace after a couple of songs. All-in all I have no complains, it’s what we expect from a Wolfgang performance – heavy and raw . It’s the 2nd time I’ve seen Manuel Legarda shredding his guitar in Singapore but not with Wolfgang, last time is with another hard rocking band “Razorback”. He was introduces as the new lead/rhythm guitar for the band. Every Pinoy (almost) including me knows every words on every Wolfgang song, hearing everyone singing in chorus will give you goosebumps – It takes me back to my late high-school days and early college days. As expected there are lotsa girls everywhere! I guess more than half of the female crowd there has a dog or a kid named “Basti”. O man! (sigh) And every dude want’s to be like good ol’ Basti. His roaring heavy metal voice – a combination of Eddie Veder & James Hetfeild gives life to the hard guitar riffs of Manuel Legarda, mixed it with pumped-up funky baseline of Mon Legaspi and thunder rolls of Francis Aquino surely Wolfgang is ready to eat you alive like a hungry pack of wolves in a thick forest of doom. Another awesome performance from the Pinoy Gods of Heavy Metal hopefully they will return for a full concert next year.
I’ve been waiting for almost 6 years for this post-hardcore band to come in Southeast Asia that’s the span of time I got My first Silverstein album – When Broken Is Easily Fixed and guess what, they did on July 12, 2011 in Singapore… duh I won’t be righting this if they haven’t. I’m a big fan I admit, I have all the albums and I know most of the songs by heart. I love the raw aggression and sometimes full of emotion songs they make. Basically all of their songs are love songs for the broken-heart(ed) that’s why sometimes they are labeled as “screamo”. I’d prefer calling them post-hardcore or in some cases – metalcore. Their sound is inline with big names in the same genre (which also my favorites) like Funeral For A Friend, Haste The Day, Hawthorne Heights, Under Oath, Story Of The Year and too may bands to mention. Technically the transition of tempos and riffs and the casual growl/scream are the highlights of most of the songs – heavy, fast and aggressive.
Hardcore punk with crossover trash is is the thing of my favorite bands like Cro-Mags, Dirty Rotten Imbeciles (DRI) and Suicidal Tendencies (okay I know you guys will think I’m freakin’ oldschool) but Cruel Hand is top on my favorite list. Songs like “Dead Weight” makes you wanna stomp your feet until the ground breaks and the song “Under The Ice” every body screams “Get up!!!” – youth crew style. Few songs from the new album “Lock & Key” unleashed new inspiration to all hardcore fans who mosh, tumble and slammed until *Scape Lab is just a pile of rubble – kidding just a figure of speech. Both front-man Chris of Cruel Hand and Kurt of Straight Forward have something in common – both have Filipino mums – what are the chances of that? Did the promoters knew? Nah it’s just probably coincidence. I’m always proud to see Pinoys making a difference specially on the hardcore scene.
A lot of people think that hardcore is dead sadly the ones who started the scene thought so (You know who you are) but they’re all wrong. Sprouting from Belgium the northernmost part of Gaul (somewhere in Europe) a band named “A Strength Within” possesses raw hardcore sound the same sound of the hardcore bands we’ve love from Agnostic Front, Strife, Madball, Earth Crisis, Ratos de Parao, Cro-Mags and more (a lot to mention). A lot of bands now a days change their sound to get into the band wagon. From Hardcore to Post-hardcore to even Metalcore. Why the sudden change of musical style? It’s all about demographics baby! It’s where the money’s at. There is nothing wrong with that (there’s always room for progress) it’s just a brave move to all aspiring hardcore bands out there to join the hardcore movement were money is out of the question ‘coz their ain’t no money in hardcore.
This is pure D-I-Y no bull brotherhood. You wanna make it to the top you have to work from scratch no major label backing you up. You’ll be your own manager, you’ll do the merch, the sound checks, the bookings and you have to do your own advertising. It does’nt matter how many kids come to the show as long as they give their ALL – that’s the true essence of hardcore. Continue reading
It’s bee a while since I last saw Razorback performed in Philippines. Seeing them in Singapore with their new line-up is surely exciting to watch. An amalgamation of Razorback and Wolfgang members. Manuel Legarda is not new to most of the hard-rocking Pinoys. He is well recognized as the lead guitarist of rock / metal band Wolfgang and he’s a very welcome addition to the new line-up of Razorback. They still rock hard, everything you’d expect from the band and more! I regularly go to Mosaic Music Festival every year especially when a favorite band is on their schedule. Usually I just go and listen but this time I really want to capture the rawness of the band so I took photos of them in action. You will definitely bang your head and move you feet to the classic songs like “Payaso” and “Giyang” – songs from the LA-105 FM era. Razorback just never fails to ROCK!!!
Razorback Live & Raw
The lighting is not that bad considering it’s a free concert. I had the chance to get near the stage to shoot them with my trusted Nikon D700 equipped with a Nikon 70-200mm f2.8G VRII lens – a great combo for concert photography. It’s important to know when to use a tele-zoom or a wide-angle lens (e.i. Nikon 16-35mm f4G VR or Nikon 24-70mm f2.8G) on a concert. Continue reading
When I first saw the concert poster I almost peed myself (yuck). My junior high heroes are performing in Singapore LIVE!!! I’ve been a fan since yeah high school (Jr. high) although my first Deftones album is “Around The Fur” I bought the “Adrenaline” album few months after. I have no means of buying the first album my allowance won’t allow me. When I went to college I have enough allowance to buy CD’s. I found a copy of Adrenaline at CD Warehouse a record shop at Greenhills Manila and the price was ripped-off. I have no choice ’cause there’s only one copy so I hid it behind the sucky albums. A week later went back “yup still there” so I bought it. I have all of their albums except the rarities album I still find it expensive (please don’t call me cheapskate) that is how geeky I am. Been playing few of their riffs on my guitar but never manage to perform it on a live audience. On post college days I’m with a band that plays similar tunes but not exactly Deftones. I will not name the songs we’ve played that will reveal how corny we’ve been before. Moreno, Cunningham and Carpenter were skateboarders before they formed Deftones which is a good thing ’cause I myself is into extreme sports but not skateboards. Me and our vocalist are into BMX so I can relate a bit on their history. It may not make sense to some but It make sense t o me. Before I post the photos here’s a brief backgound of Deftones.
Taken with Nikon D700 and Nikon 50mm F1.4G. No Flash
Shutter speed: 1/20, Aperture: f5.6, ISO Speed: 3200
Eposure Bias: 0EV
From Skaters to Deftones
When Carpenter was 15 years old he was hit by a car while skateboarding. This left him confined to a wheelchair for several months. It was at this point that he began teaching himself guitar by playing along to bands such as Anthrax, Stormtroopers of Death and Metallica. It has been reported that the driver paid Carpenter a cash settlement that allowed the band to purchase equipment, but drummer Abe Cunningham commented in an interview that this was “a myth about how our band was started.” Continue reading