The Spinners

Luha (Kapatid, 2006)

In Alternative Rock, Dodo Dayao, OPM on December 7, 2010 at 5:13 am

“Banil” does work because it’s the Karl Roy of the old, loosening up: cheeky, slinky, snaky. And sly, as in like a fox and the Family Stone both. The number crackles with the hedonistic glee that made hot shit out of his funk retro shtick, back in the day. The crunchmetal that dampened it, though, is back on offer everywhere else on the record, and with no funk retro for miles—so, uh oh. Revisiting one’s musical past, that’s valid. Belaboring the parts that didn’t fly, not quite. But that’s my side of the story and easy to chalk up to different strokes if Slapshock hadn’t been here done that moved on and grown this thing up. Hell, so has P.O.T., before they self-destructed into one-hit cultdom.

Deploy crunchmetal proper and there’s nothing the matter with it, in principle, in fairness. And Kapatid are not a crew that wants for chops. Rocklike, funklike, jazzlike chops—their arsenal’s thick. These cats can play, dig? Thing is, they wear their virtuosity out by making them go on unimaginative tangents—expertise pursuing technical prowess at the expense of heartfelt passion, melodies that wander off and lose their way never to come back, riffs that smack of tasteful but never really get tasty. The music dominates by sheer virtue of mass and volume but it never asserts itself as an emotive conduit.

Until the repertoire detours. Towards fuzak evoking milder, better Bamboo (“Telegrama”), towards reggaeish that busts a move to groove (“Grace” and especially “Psycho Love”) and towards demented club dub (“Pagbabalik Ng Kwago”). Things happen, in diminished measures. “Banil,” though, is the sole, solid peek into the band’s ultimate could’ve been would’ve been. The two and a half limes pay tribute to it. The other two and a half denied are for all my great expectations dashed.

– Dodo Dayao

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