Friday, July 10, 2009

Album Review - NUT HOUSE by HILERA ****

Band competitions have become dime a dozen in the Philippine rock scene for the past 25 years. From low-level barangay contests to nationwide corporate-sponsored events like today’s Red Horse Beer Muziklaban and Nescafe Sound Skool. Prizes at these events range from simple cash rewards to recording deals and promises of fame and fortune.

Hundreds of bands with their rock n’ roll dreams have participated in these “battle of the bands” but literally, only a handful have emerged with actual talent in making music and integrity to stick to their style without selling out. One of these bands is Hilera. Winning the 2005 Nescafe Sound Skool when they were still teenagers, this power trio has lived up to expectations with their debut album and hit single, “Define”. Since then they have become one of Pinoy rock’s rising stars with more than just the record company hype behind their name.

Their second album, Nut House sees the band destroying any sophomore jinx and propels them to a much more advanced musical level than most of their more popular contemporaries, who sound like local clones of foreign bands that are the flavor of the moment. Songs like “Not This Time”, “Stop The Fight” and “Ded Ded Ded” show off their rockabilly/psychobilly influences. “No Lizard King”, “It’s A Crime” “So Be It” and the first single, “Radical” display their prowess in the radio-friendly world of power pop (and that is certainly NOT a bad thing). While “Protest”, “Doo Wop Pop” and the Beatle-esque ditties, “I’ll Get By” and “It All Ends” confirm the improving songwriting skills of the band.

Hilera’s advantage from the rest of the pack is that the musical template that they follow is much more extensive and much more deeper which are ingredients to making music with substance and longevity. Hilera has not reached their peak just yet but they have certainly hit their stride.

The new album NUT HOUSE is now available in stores.