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The Band

On the surface, the Itchyworms have always been a bunch of jovial and funny guys. Their distinct sense of humor is quite known, if not legendary among their friends and peers who have known them from their college days in the Ateneo.

But as musicians, the foursome are deadly serious. The band came out at a time when furious and tuneless rap-metal was on the verge of breaking into local rock radio. In the midst of all the cacophonous aggression, the Itchyworms wrote and performed catchy music with actual melodies. But these weren’t mere pop songs; the band’s arrangements displayed a certain depth and complexity that would make the most fickle musician take notice. I remember when they first performed “Mellow Carousel” and “Chocophotoland” sometime in ’99; I thought, wow, these guys are good.

A debut album, Little Monsters Under Your Bed, soon appeared the following year, earning them the Best New Artist accolade at that year’s NU107 Rock Awards. But they probably deserved more than that. Little Monsters was a fine work that showcased the ‘Worms’ foremost strengths: smart songwriting, musical inventiveness, and apparent technical ability. But the album didn’t quite take off for reasons we will never comprehend, despite the strength of its singles “Happy Birthday,” “Antipara,” and “Bituin.”

Nevertheless, the band left their label and soldiered on, releasing the soon-to-be-a-classic “Buwan” as an independent single, along with an excellent video directed by Marie Jamora. As transcendent as “Buwan” was (and still is), it revealed an emerging depth and maturity in their songwriting, and foretold the brilliance of the subsequent new songs that the band would unleash during their gigs, including “One Ball,” “Contestant #1,” “Salapi,” and the consistent favorite “Beer.”

It’s 2005, and the Itchyworms have just finished recording their upcoming album, Noontime Show. None of us (except the band, their producers, their new label, Universal Records, and perhaps a few close friends) have heard it in its entirety, but from what we’ve seen and heard from them over the past year, we know it’s going to be an ambitious record, light years beyond Little Monsters. But the ‘Worms have not gone Pink Floyd on us; the music remains accessible, and in some cases, the poppiest they have ever done. Like the song for the video that the band are launching tonight.

“Akin Ka Na Lang” is the first single from Noontime Show, and is as infectious as the flu in July. The song’s melody and vocal harmonies are spot on, and its charming and witty lyrics, sung from the point of view of a jealous guy, are universally affecting without being crude. This is Perfect Pop as we know it, and as it should be.

The video was directed by Wincy Ong (former bassist of the band Narda), also a friend and a fan of the band, with Jamora as the director of photography. Besides the band, it also stars Ong’s bandmate Katwo Librando, the band’s engineer Shinji Tanaka (of Sound Creation Studios, where Noontime Show was recorded), and a cameo by a Soxy Topacio look-alike. Like the band members themselves, the video is hilarious, and like their music, very well-executed. And that’s precisely why we love the Itchyworms; they’re good and they know it, but they wholeheartedly make the effort to share their art with us, making sure that we “get it.”


Anonymous said...

hi. thanks for the mp3s.

just wanna report an issue though, the links for itchyworms downloads are not working. =(

Quran said...

Excellent songs.I have download this track.It's okk.

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