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Ang Pagbabalik ng Ligaya: What Comes with the E-Heads' New Music

by Culture Team
31 Jul 2017 | 2:10 PM

It was 2001 when the Eraserheads released Carbon Stereoxide-an 18-track album that was highly-criticized for being relatively pointless and less appealing compared to its commercially successful and award-winning predecessors. Most fans didn't know it foreshadowed the end of an era.

A year later, band songwriter, guitarist, and frontman Ely Buendia called it quits to pursue other projects. Lead guitarist Marcus Adoro followed soon, practically forcing the remaining two members-bassist Buddy Zabala at drummer Raimond Marasigan-to form a new band in Cambio.

The death of E-Heads paved the way for new bands to emerge and take their spot as the kings of alternative rock in the Philippines; none, however, matched the iconic group's ability to produce immortal hits for over a decade.


In fact, they've never really left the consciousness of the Filipinos, as Pare Ko, Magasin, Alapaap, and many of their remarkable songs still visit the airwaves and videoke houses up to this day.

On August 31, more than 13 years since their seventh and final studio album, news broke on the Internet. The OPM's Fab Four is the cover of a popular men's magazine's September issue with two new songs-not tracks that didn't make the cut a generation ago, but freshly penned and recorded tunes to the surprise and delight of fans and industry professionals alike.

Why Now
The new music of the "Heads",  Sabado and 1995, were born out of curiosity about how the band would sound today. The magazine's Editor-in-Chief Erwin Romulo, and the band's close friend, planted the idea during their London tour in April, and the rest is history.

The date was probably insignificant, but the timing was perfect. There was no better time to launch these long-overdue new songs, but now-a period when all four members are in perfect form to play good music together, literally and figuratively.

Throwback and Comeback
Listening to Sabado and 1995 will take you down memory lane, like meeting an old friend you deeply missed over a bottle of beer. They sounded exactly the Eraserheads you know, except you could sense a bit of maturity with the way each melody resonated flawlessly. The lyrics are enigmatic to a certain extent, but every word would reach a familiar place in your soul. Classic E-Heads songs: catchy, deep, and evergreen. It almost feels like the group couldn't come up with better back-from-disbandment music than these two.

CPR for the OPM
The fresh tunes from the Eraserheads may spark a resurgence of public interest to Filipino music. It's not that nobody is listening to OPM anymore-many musicians can still attract a considerable audience during gigs and concerts-but it's obvious that the industry is ailing, or at least under-performing, due to piracy and listeners' change of preference.

Certain digital platforms had caused more harm than good to artists, as most music uploaded online are easily downloadable for free, leaving musicians not even the slightest tip for their work. The growing popularity of Korean and Japanese pop among the younger audience has snatched the limelight from the local talents. Only a few solo artists and bands are getting the attention and recognition that they deserve.

If the very existence of these two songs is an indication of the second coming of the E-Heads, the OPM can finally move out of the limbo. Each member is certainly a musical genius, but their true charm lies when they play as one. Their combined wits create a kind of music that magnetize Filipinos from all walks of life.

The Eraserheads had entered the scene, graduated, and reunited. Nobody knows what the future holds for the legendary band; the same way nobody ever dared to think about Sabado and 1995 until they happened. These songs mark the dawn of a new day for the Fab Four, and so for the rest of the music industry.