The Spinners

Noontime Show (Itchyworms, 2005)

In Alternative Rock, Dodo Dayao, OPM on December 7, 2010 at 4:49 am

Misidentify this and it’s that deep-bench power-pop record your gut knew was up the Itchyworms’ sleeves, loosed at last, with skits working like hip-hop tropes, appropriated. Prince Paul—but funnier. Hear it proper and the title unmasks—into motive, into theme, into milieu. An honest Alan Parsons concept album, imagine that. Showbiz culture, poked fun at, and the perks are many, mostly sonic. Hodgepodge being the coin of this realm—or in the kinder, gentler vernacular of its constituents: variety—the indulgence in opponent modes of low-risk pop justifies itself. Hotdog’s genre parodies of old and Parokya’s one-ply sitcom tomfoolery and particularly that horrendous novelty boom have worn the endeavor down. The Worms counter-strategize. Expert grasp of form they already have, it’s the wink they downplay, the glee they crank up. There’s a difference, and the repertoire thrives for it. Parts of a whole, feeding the agenda, but the parts are removable, so the radio gold comes into their own. “Akin Ka Na Lang”—hook-happy head bob, retro influenza. “Buwan”—moonlight serenade, bath of melody. “Soap O Pera”—slob angst, APO single in disguise. “Love Team”—teen epic, inescapable chorus. “Beer”—as in a valentine to, VST tendencies succumbed to. “Wala Nang Puwedeng Magmahal Sa ‘Yo”—fan letter unhinged, creepy-crawly noir. “Mr. Love”—dork-pop bittersweetened, emotional timbre spot-on. “Falling Star”—obsolescence lamented, mushy made pretty. The satire’s sharp—perceptive-sharp and cutting-sharp and let’s not forget funny-sharp—and the permutations expand into the currencies of fame and loneliness from both sides of the star/fan schism. The send-up’s harsh but never gets ruthless. It underbubbles, instead, with kindred sympathy. The pleasures we/they derive from the almost nostalgic reflex the track sequence provokes/evokes unmask and implicate us, too.  The happy drug of the noontime show’s a placebo but aren’t we all bastard children of it? All junkies in denial, pursuing slippery happiness into the three hour overkill of the entertainment circus. Or the three minutes of a pop song we can’t get out of our heads.

Dodo Dayao

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