The Spinners

Anthology Two (Eraserheads, 2006)

In Alternative Rock, Compilation, Dodo Dayao, OPM on December 7, 2010 at 4:32 am

The first one did make sense as completist fanaticism—preying not entirely on sealed-over scars and the nostalgic reflex of disheartened fans, sucking in even above-it die-hard Eheads otaku with that bonus track carrot dangling from its tail. It helped that the bonus track “Sa Tollgate” was no castoff. Still, some kid just out from under his rock and without the age nor the cash flow to imbibe the discography in toto would have more of a use for what was essentially a pair of pricey mixtapes. As capitalistic fetishizing of entry-level Eheads, it was utilitarian, exhaustive, generous. And if said kid’s first pop rush comes from the awful school of colloquialism-is-authenticity Eheads Lite like, say, Rocksteddy and the truly awful 6CycleMind, the first Anthology constituted a public service. Assuming said kid’s still strapped for change but keen on moving up the oeuvre makes milking this monkey the second time more than sensible, almost an act of evangelical largesse, albeit unwittingly. Flogging dead horses is still the business model of record companies. Above-it die-hard Eheads otaku may wonder, though, about any carrots dangling from Anthology Two’s tail—like another bonus previously unreleased please.  Sadly, there’s nothing here. Not a live track, not even outtakes, not even some hackneyed remix, not even more “Punk Zappa.” You do get non-album flotsam curated in one place—1896’s “Casa Fantastica” and Burger Machine’s jingle “Tikman,” both of which have respectively grown more skittish/playful and more resonant—but nothing new.  Doesn’t sound remastered to my unschooled ears either—and, getting real here, the murk of Natin99 demands taking digital soap and water to it. Fancy new Arnold Arre sleeve art, then? That’s all you really get in lieu of real bang for your buck. Plus 28 tracks over 2 discs.  Newbies rejoice, then. Time hasn’t been as kind to the ratty spunk of “Tindahan Ni Aling Nena” and “Shirley” even as “Shake Yer Head” proves wise beyond its years, so the lazy chronological sequencing actually has a sense of upward progression, kicking in proper by the time you get to the second disc, to the desperate prettiness of “Balikbayan Box,” the moody smolder of “Spoliarium,” the brittle fluff of “Playground.” This is, of course, second layer, not second-tier, Eheads. Which is to say it goes deeper, not lower. Which is to say its repertoire may be less embedded in brainpans—“Futuristic” is the catchiest song here, “Kailan Lounge” the most ubiquitous by default—but sonically more adventurous, compositionally more nuanced, emotionally more cathartic. Which is to say the songs are bang for your buck enough.  Kid’s gonna be in for a blast.

– Dodo Dayao

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