The Spinners

Ultraelectromagneticjam: The Music of the Eraserheads (Various Artists, 2005)

In Dodo Dayao, OPM, Tribute on January 5, 2010 at 7:52 am

Her second verse chuckle is what stole my heart. That unusual suspect Kitchie Nadal’s bit is one of the many unusual suspects’ bits that work—that the unusual suspects’ bits are the only bits that do work—is the curveball the Eraserheads tribute album Ultraelectromagneticjam throws. And it’s not just that “Ligaya” is a hard song to ruin. It’s her caterpillar riffage raunching it up, taking it to other places, which is the point of covers anyway, no matter how killer the catalog is. What does Jam in are the bits you can smell a mile away, from bands that are essentially Eraserhead tribute bands—6cyclemind, Orange and Lemons (not that bad), Sponge Cola, Cueshe (that bad and more but does that even come as a surprise?)—so they do little except mollycoddle the songs into so much reverent showband plakado. Paolo Santos tries to spike “Magasin” but ruins it. Overdrive” turns into a Jewel song, that is, a sleeping pill, in Barbie’s clutches. The Cat Power tease of Isha doing Torpedo” unfortunately lasts as long as that opening verse. And Francis M already did Superproxy” and pointless is the most heinous offense a cover song can commit. Predictable’s another. Cover songs are about unfamiliar modes of hearing the overfamiliar. Genius (or luck) happens, albeit rarely, when new forms are unearthed. Anything less is karaoke. Jam should’ve full-hogged the radical. Axed the Eraserhead Lites. Recruited left-fielders. Drip maybe. Mishka Adams. Jr. Kilat. Binky Lampano. Sun Valley Crew. Elizabeth Ramsey. Or even Pedicab. Ah, the buzz of that, just in principle. Oh, things do come alive. You know about Kitchie. South Border R & Bs “With A Smile” up. Radioactive Sago Project beat jazzes “Alkohol” up. Imago Imagos Spoliarium” up. But it’s Rico J. Puno, only the finest native male pipes of the last thirty years bar none, who takes the MVP pennant home. His “Ang Huling El Bimbo” justifies hip as adjective. Daddy Groovy in da haus. Prick up your ears and learn, kiddies.

– Dodo Dayao

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