Thursday, August 9, 2007
The first thing that comes to mind as soon as the guitar-flanged opening salvo of 'Mga Pagbabago' bleeds off the speakers is quite simply, "thank god, finally some good shit!!". Yes, this is Kastigo...my favorite band at the moment. They've come a long way from when I stumbled upon them at the Purple Haze bar in T. Morato last January to their album launch this past August and "Our Daily Riot" is the badge of honor they can wear with pride. One would definitely mistake this band for older, seasoned musicians because of the well-developed songwriting and astute lyrics. In truth, the eldest member is unbelievably only 20 years old. The only explaination I can come up with is that these are a group of old souls that haven't left this world for the sole purpose of coming together and making great rock music.
And it is the music that gives this band it's power and depth. Eleven songs about love, heartache, escapism, confusion and political issues comprise this ruckus of a debut. Frontman Carlo Ordonez combines the vocal attributes of Basti Artadi and Jett Pangan. His tagalog lyrical prowess evokes the styles of Wolfgang's Mon Legaspi and Yano's Dong Abay while his english poetry harken back to a young James Hetfield and new wave-era Bono. Guitarist Joshua Montecillo's sound blends the shred techniques of early 80's metal axemen and the atmospheric qualities of Rush's Alex Lifeson, U2's The Edge and David Gilmour of Pink Floyd; guitarists who made their mark on rock music when Joshua wasn't even a thought in his parent's minds. And all these without the aid of a guitar pick. The rhythm section are no slackers either. Bassist Sans Fojas projects earthy bass tones that rumble the low frequencies as her huge sound and intensity masks her tiny frame. Mark Santiago pounds the drums with steady authority and drives the tempos at an almost-perfect speed while weaving in and out of different cadences that will surely make you downshift and press that gas pedal a little harder.
Kastigo divides the album into various rock styles; 'Aria', 'Himlaya' and 'A Bitter Passion' ooze with hard rock energy. 'Our Daily Riot', 'Divine' and 'Complicated Man' apply the spirit of 80's power metal and dip into progressive rock at times. Beauty and harmony are the foundations of ’Kapag Kapiling Ka’, 'Larawan' and 'Don't Bother' which have the word ‘HIT’ written all over them. As an added bonus, check out the surprise located a minute after the last track ends. The band successfully translates their music into a superbly produced album with the help of engineer and co-producer Hazel Pascua. The only other thing that can blow your mind after listening to Kastigo's debut is the thought of how compelling their music will sound as they mature with age.
You can purchase the album at Kastigo's shows. Check them out at www.bandangkastigo.multiply.com
at 2:30 AM