One of the Philippines premier rock bands, Urbandub, has just recently released their new album. I got wind of it when a friend of mine pointed out that they sound "alienating" this time. I didn't know what he meant by that since I haven't heard a single song from the new album yet. I didn't mind getting the new album until the bf asked whether I already have it. He said they sound upgraded and that other musicians would have a hard time covering the songs.
Now that I have it and have been sound trippin' on them for days now, indeed they sound juicier. If they were hamburger, they'd definitely be one messy burger to eat with all that juice and tender beef falling off. (I think I am hungry.) To start off, no good listener can mistake Gabi Alipe's vocals for someone else. He has that distinct voice - full and whole but tiny at the same time. Hahaha. Througout the album, Lalai Lim, their bassist has more audible back up vocals than before. They definitely still have that Urbandub vibe going on. When one listens, one can immediately say "ah, that's Urbandub". This time though, more dynamics have been injected into the patty (pardon me for the burger thing). New sounds play from almost all the songs.
Opening the album is Meneurs De Loup, a loop. Reading the title reminds me of A Perfect Circle. Eh? The Apparition, I think, is the one that made my friend say Udub's sound is alienating. This song is quiet and had that airy feel like you're being taken to a different plane. This song then melts into Face in the Woods and you know you've just entered Urbandub's door. The bassist did a good job filling in back up vox. The tale continues with Gravity which has a heavy sound and here, I heard that particular Urbandub guitar riffs.
When Shadows Have Eyes is a short cut that reminded me of White Zombie and Marilyn Manson. A bit far-out but somehow fits the whole exposition. Wierd.
What This Night Brings, this song I kinda' heard from somewhere. I mean it sounded familiar and I just can't figure out where I heard it. Maybe it sounded similar to another local band's song. This has a nice form of vocal play from Gabi and Lai. A Call To Arms, for me is an emotional song-emo in a good way. It's probably the lyrics.
Arrows is an instrumental cut that again, reminds you this is a different Urbandub plane. This is followed by Tongues Like Knives and Bright City Kids which are probably my least favorite from the album. Next song is Stars and the Sun which is my favorite. It had a bit of Deftones feel to it but it's completely their own. It's heavy, it's playful, it's melodic and has a patriotic call to it. (Hello, Stars and the Sun..). It opens with an ethnic dub, funky sound and molds into a complete story on its own devoid of influence from other songs in the album. I would like to take this as the climax of this album's tale despite being a story on its own. Denouement then becomes the Over the Hill & Back cut which sounds as if they were chillin' on a green garden with butterflies and angels lying on the ground. Much like a victory song after a war.
Then they realized that after a war comes many dead bodies, broken buildings, and torn lives so comes We Kept It Hidden. It's a complete surrender and more like an ode to return to something you know is pure..."let all the pieces fall...how fortunate in endings".
Good Morning Bones sounds a bit 311-ish. I feel that this is a continuation of We Kept It Hidden or at least what they were trying to evoke in terms of musicality and feel. Mountains Tell Stories caps off the album - reminding you again that you are in outer space. ;)
Truth be told, I can't say yet that this new Urbandub album is better than its predecessors. However, as with their previous albums, I didn't quite fall in love with the first few times listening. They kinda' grew on me through time...
Shine on and be happy!!!