The Undertone Reviews: Tom’s Story & Dearest,

by Van Guno

TOM’S STORY ALBUM LAUNCH (JANUARY 30, 2016)

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Last January 30, Tom’s Story and A Spur of the Moment collaborated on the eponymous album launch party of the former at Route 196, along Katipunan Ext. I was actually invited by Sam Gonzales (an Ecosoc and Echoes alumnus for all you little young things out there) along with Sel Yao, Nikuo Tai, and Dani Gonzales to go with them to the event. Luckily, I just finished my game of Dota when they texted me that they were on the way and so, I scurried off away from Mineski to find a cab.

Ten minutes later, after a sufficiently awkward conversation with the taxi driver, I arrived at Route 196. Believe me when I tell you that the place was jam-packed with enthusiasts inside and outside the venue. Suffering from my abysmal social skills, I took a spot by a street lamp and lit a cigarette. From the eyes of a mere observer, one could see the positive vibe and the earnest reception the band was receiving.

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In case you’re wondering, Tom’s Story is a local three-piece instrumental rock band who started playing roughly five years ago. Isn’t it such a thrill when musicians bare their all to music without hiding behind the shadows of words and verses? One would say that this is a weakness, that verbal communication is far more superior than sounds that evoke no known word or phrase, but, in this medium, this is where Tom’s Story shines.

Inside the venue, where fans are wrapped around by the very same people around them, you can hear them chanting, yearning, and celebrating the music. There were so many people that we resorted to watching the bands perform on the phones of other people who were trying to record the performances on Snapchat. From our booth in the inner sanctum of the venue, we were able to see inebriated couples in embrace, young fans eagerly standing on stools to catch a glimpse of the bands performing, and even casual customers who just happened to stroll by. Their songs seem to evoke a certain type of flair that reminds you of other contemporary postmodern rock acts such as Encounters With A Yeti and arguably, Love Never Dies.

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Overall, the gig was highly enjoyable, evident in the faces of those who came. For P200, it was well worth the price. Also, it doesn’t hurt that their line-up for the night featured AutotelicMusical O and tide/edit, some mainstay names in the local indie scene. Keep an eye out for one of their future releases and try their new album. You’ll thank us later on. Anyway, after the heat-and-sweat-heavy event, the gang and I went to the ever omnipresent McDonald’s. Pretty ironic, if you think about it.

DEAREST,’S LISTENING PARTY (FEBRUARY 4, 2016)

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On February 4, The Polaris Project (a group which I am coincidentally a part of as well) were invited to Dearest,‘s album listening party at Mow’s Bar in Matalino St. (I know what you’re thinking but the group’s name really has a comma on it.) Being an invite-only event, you’d expect there to be a fewer amount of people but it seems that everyone they invited came. There was a time when Sam Gonzales, Sel Yao, Flora Palabrica, Chloe Francisco, and I couldn’t find any seats, forcing Sel to eat her fish fillet on the bar table (but that’s another story).

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Anyway, Dearest, is a local alternative/indie band who started back in the March of 2013, hailing from the Ateneo Musician’s Pool. This event was set to be a precursor to their upcoming album launch (which our group, The Polaris Project is co-presenting along with Docdef Productions on February 20 at Route 196) so if you’re free, you should really check them out. Moving on, they interlaced the listening party with performances from some of their friends, including Reese Lansangan, Rizza Cabrera, Avery Wong, and Slow Sink.

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Not to give too much of a spoiler, their upcoming songs are not only catchy but they’re witty and well-written. Personally, I fell in love with their song Chameleon because it hits so hard, I can’t even explain it. Plus, I was thrilled when they were selling these postcards (shown above) as a sort of fundraiser for the band. Finally, some new material to put on my wall, but also, they were hints to some of the song titles in their new album. It was a bit unfortunate that I had to leave early because no one would accompany Flora (love you, Flora!) home but nonetheless, it was great sampler of what’s to come for Dearest,. Finally, to make sure I still get into the habit of making the last sentence of every review article completely about food, Sel and I ate fish fillet from the Kowloon House above Mow’s and we were both disappointed that they didn’t fry them.

They freaking steamed it.

They. Freaking. Steamed. It.

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