The Spinners

Beautiful Machines (Pupil, 2005)

In Alternative Rock, Dodo Dayao, Indie Rock, OPM on December 7, 2010 at 5:04 am

Ely Buendia—alt-pop harbinger, bring it on. The impossible burden of proof. Left in the lurch by the splinter, half the Eraserheads fanbase that counts as his demographic demands new adventures in hi-fi. Half craves perpetual nostalgia. Not that the Mongols were piffle, mind you. The nits—and they were merely that, nits—among those of us keen on bigger, braver, more were the ghosts, the trace elements, the match-dissolves of the ex-band. Half-adventurism, half-nostalgia in perpetuity. Granted, the pleasant vibe of flux bore gifts—coasting but songful is never a trade-off you would call bad. Still Pupil are one up on the beta mode—good. Riffs with more muscle density. Melodies that take their time but graft when they stick. And dismantled songforms that carve out arenas so the ongoing combat between noise and tune finish up in glorious stalemates—like when “She Talks To Trees” doubles back to its somnolent opening midway through and reboots, foregoing verse-chorus-verse in the ensuing run-through for gorgeous unsung turmoil. And if the Kevin Shields or Thom Yorke feel they aim for gets overthrown time and again by the Tool they can’t get out of their system—“Hypersober,WTF?—the newfound songwriting democracies sprout unexpected wings so the ghosts and match-dissolves and trace elements at least and at last—save for the ectoplasmic “Gamu-Gamo”—dissipate. Flux does resurface. Not as band demeanor, but as song demeanor. Weary nonchalance in the house—Kalimutan mo na, kalimutan mo na, kalimutan mo na—so the incessant exhortation of “False Alarm goes. But Suddenly my curses, flashes and fears fall behind owes it all to a girl, or a virgin, named “Mary” over a druggy, damaged lope. And the hit single threatening Mahahanap din kita before the cathartic swell that emboldens the promise. Emotionally, this record’s depleted, disillusioned. But hope’s in the bloodwork, as always. And sonically, this record’s energized, exhilarated. Bigger, braver, more. The sound of nothing left to prove, of stakes being raised. Ely Buendia—alt-pop harbinger, bringing it on.  Cranking it up.

Dodo Dayao

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