The Spinners

Maharlika (Kenyo, 2009)

In Alternative Rock, OPM, RM Topacio-Aplaon, Summer Albums on April 12, 2010 at 7:32 am

Maharlika, the all-original follow-up to Kenyo’s first album Radiosurfing, opens with “Filipina”, a biased yet truthful ode to the women of this country.  It is followed by a fun reggae song, “Tadhana”, and the first single, “Hanggang sa Muli”, which also has an acoustic version closing the album. Tracks are almost perfectly arranged until “Simulan na Natin” with Hi-C comes in. Its lyrics are beautifully written, but also a bit misplaced. Maharlika also has anthemic tracks like “Strong Man”, the Oasis-sounding “Someone for You”, “Alay na Alaala (Theme from the Forgotten War)” and “Kalayaan”.

Kenyo still manages to sound like OnL, the closest of which are “Meantime Girl”—because of its distinct fades, breaks, and fill-ins—and “Wish On A Star”—which I think is a perfect track for their commercially successful Moonlane Gardens.

Upset or surprise, the Del Mundo brothers sing in “Learn to Swallow” and “Simulan na Natin”, for the latter’s RnB sound seems far from Fundales’ forte.

Although Castro and Fundales are now with their own different bands, the comparison would always be inevitable. They sing songs that somehow interpret their feelings toward each other in the past. Castro’s  “Lord of the Flies” and “Changing Horses Midstream” in Pocket Guide to the Other World and Fundales’ “Learn to Swallow” are likely to be called a trash talk fight when heard one after another.

Maharlika is a little different from what Orange and Lemons did in the past. Words are less-Brit, less Morrissey, and less-Websterey profound. It is more Filipino and unpretentious. Maybe it is the true Mcoy Fundales, a Filipino writer, and someone who is so fed up of singing like Simpson and Broudie. Or maybe, he is pretending again, for him to stay in the business. I don’t know. All I can say is that Maharlika is a good buy for your mainstream-pop loving friends. Good thing to hear Fundales’ distinct voice again. The album’s cool enough to ease your hot vacation malady.

– RM Topacio-Aplaon

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