Well, the album was all right. Perhaps that’s disappointing considering how Cheats seemed to be one of the bands of the scene, but perhaps that reflect more on how not immersed I am. Before the Babies, for the most part, is familiar and comfortable. You don’t really go in expecting them to rock the world, but then, as one song ends and another starts, what was familiar and comfortable becomes complacent and a bit generic. I’m curious why they held the album’s more noteworthy guns towards the end. The interestingly named “Melon” provides a fresh take on the themes they’ve worked on in the earlier part of the record, complete with a properly-deployed sing-along. It’s followed by the title track, which changes gears from the record’s heretofore hazy sound, reflecting on the future in – yep – a familiar and comfortable, and yet fresh, manner. Perhaps it’s the sequencing, again? Or perhaps there could have been more interesting results with a little more time? But then, the future is uncertain. [NB] | 3/5
Friday night’s Jack TV MAD Fest was, arguably, a festival built around the fact that they got Kimbra to perform. I mean, save for the four DJs that followed her – I didn’t watch them for obvious reasons, and also because Rainy and I were really tired – the acts were limited to three songs each. But it was a nice way to be reacquainted with the best Filipino music has to offer: a good mix of established acts and new ones bubbling under, making you wonder what the hell happened to “OPM is dead”? So, in the following paragraphs, my five highlights, plus a quick run through the rest.