Good ol’ rock reemerges – Manila Standard


For us who were teenagers back in the ‘90s, it should sound amusing that the kind of rock we heard in our youth is now deemed classic. Empower that into a new recording and you have a creation that fuses the old and the new in aggressively delightful sound. 

That’s what the new rock song “Kumunoy,” by the band Asiano, offers. Logic comes into the fold considering that the majority of the personnel had stints with hit bands Orient Pearl and Alamid — two acts that belonged to the big wave of groups that defined the Philippine music scene of that final decade of the previous millennium. In fact, the group is taken into account by insiders as a sort-of Alamid-Orient Pearl project even if it doesn’t mean we’d hear the distinctive voices of Naldy Padilla and the late Gary Ignacio. 

Still, listeners may partly feel the souls of both bands breathing through the music and, pun-intended, rising from “Kumunoy,” which had been dropped in digital stores last Monday. 

Asiano came out with, or from Kumunoy, vowing to bring back the good ol’ rock with its personnel empowering  their past glory in ’90s bands Orient Pearl and Alamid.

Carl McFly, the Asiano vocalist who once replaced Ignacio in fronting Alamid, heard the song penned by one Jon Fabrigar when he joined a group in Indang, Cavite many years back. He shared, “I was immediately blown away by the arrangement and lyrics. Upon forming Asiano, I witnessed the same reaction from everyone when I let them hear it. We decided to record it.” 

McFly, a seasoned FM DJ before focusing on hosting and singing, delivered an inspired performance singing street poetry, like in the song’s second verse that says “Pangakong nasa loob ng posporo/ Tinatabunan pa ng mga palito.” When he sang, “Ayan tuloy hirap sa paghinga/ Para akong nalulunod sa arinola,” the tension in his voice sounded authentic. 

Being in Alamid for a decade surely did him well. 

Lead guitarist Leo Awatin brought Orient Pearl’s raw strength while songwriting bass player Ryan Gomez complemented it with his fine groove. 

The rest of Asiano had been exposed to classic rock too well to miss a beat. Second guitar man Dennis Canaria played with legends Pepe Smith and Papa Dom. Keyboardist Budz Tejada, who has traveled all over Southeast Asia playing music, used to be a protégé of Alamid’s former keyboardist Roel Hipolito. Then, drummer Manuel Caez III played for Arnel Pineda and Master Rapper Francis Magalona. 

Formed in 2018, and named as such upon the suggestion of former Malabon Mayor and DSWD Undersecretary Jayjay Yambao, Asiano is set to record more songs and release either an EP or an album as it works hand in hand with Creative Talent Management headed by Therese Ramos.

McFly sounded optimistic as his vocals always does, saying, “Amidst the pandemic, we have managed to stay afloat. Gigs are on hold for safety reasons but we will see you all in the new normal.”

Back in 2019, Asiano fronted for Parokya Ni Edgar. Other big gigs included sharing the stage with Dong Abay. 

Suddenly, it sounds like we’re back in the alternative rocking ‘90s. 

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