The quartet of Jugs Jugueta (guitar/vocals), Jazz Nicolas (drums/vocals), Kelvin Yu (bass/vocals) and Chino Singson (guitar) are certified journeymen. Their debut album, Little Monsters Under Your Bed, was released under Viva Records back in 2001. Despite the success of power pop singles "Antipara" and "Happy Birthday," the popularity of Pinoy rock music-commercially speaking-was already at its lowest point.
By that time, the Itchyworms and other bands signed under major labels suddenly found themselves homeless when their contracts were dropped. In 2005, the band re-emerged and released Noontime Show under Universal Records. A concept album, Noontime Show, witnessed the full potential of the Itchyworms as a solid power pop-rock unit. The album churned out the infectious "Akin Ka Na Lang," the ‘70s classic pop inspired "Beer" and the heart wrenching "Love Team."
Commercial success soon followed. Aside from the radio hits, the Itchyworms' ability to write catchy songs caught the fancy of multi-national companies thus enlisting the band's songs as promo vehicles as well as commissioning them to write jingles for ad campaigns.
MOVING ON. Commercial viability, as it turned out, was still not enough to please record executives. Soon, the band was also dropped by Universal Records, much to the surprise of fans and music industry insiders. A few months back, manager Kerwin Rosete announced to some media friends the good news: "They're now under Sony BMG [Music Entertainment]." He dropped another bomb: "They're now in the studio, recording."
Last July 23, the Itchyworms' third album Self-Titled was officially launched at Rallos Café in Quezon City. Everyone, needless to say, looked happy and looking forward to rock.
"Kami ang nag-produce ng album na ‘to," boasted Jugs to PEP (Philippine Entertainment Portal) in an interview before the official launching. That decision perhaps has something to do with the fact that the band has been around for so long that they could well afford to man the studio board without feeling intimidated.
"Nagkaroon kami ng projects na kami-kami lang din ang nag-produce like ‘yong mga APO [Hiking Society] compilations and masaya naman kami sa kinalabasan so sabi namin try lang natin, try natin na isang buong album tayo...so ayon," explained Kelvin.
It took the band six months of recording time, "lahat na ‘yon songwriting, arrangement, practice saka recording and post production," shared Jazz.
Chino gave us a peek on the band's usual creative routine saying, "Nagsisimula sa ganun may magdadala nung main idea ng song tapos i-expand na lang namin pagdating sa studio."
Listening to the record and actual performance, it is evident that the laid back quartet has not lost their mastery of weaving irresistible catchy tunes in the tradition of some of their idols like the Eraserheads, Matthew Sweet, Weezer, and The Beatles. "Nandun pa din ‘yon," beamed Jazz. "Except ‘yong iba," Jugs pitched in, "may mga art songs kami diyan na parang mantra, track 14 ‘yon, parang meditation music."
The 15-track album is composed of songs all written in Filipino, once again proving all four members proficiency in composing songs that would appeal to the majority. "Noong first album namin mga tatlong kanta lang yata o apat na kanta ‘yong Tagalog," recalled Jugs.
"Second album parang dumami so ngayon puro Tagalog na," Jazz pitched in.
"Next album puro French na," Kelvin butted in, laughing.
EPONYMOUS. It was Kelvin who thought of baptizing the album Self-Titled. Scratching his head, the chinito bassist reasoned, "Wala lang, para makulit lang. Kasi maraming may self-titled na album pero yong title nila ‘yong pangalan ng artists so ito ang title nito Self-Titled talaga. Para lang malito ang mga tao."
The album's first single "Penge Naman Ako Nyan" is a "massive" pop-rock sounding tune that is currently enjoying local radio success. The said single even entered NU 107's "Stairway To Seven" charts for weeks.
Other notable tracks in the album are "Bugbog Sarado," "Gusto Ko Lang Sa Buhay," "Awitin Para Sa Mga Nagmumuni-muni," "Sino Ka Nga Ba?" "Nahuli Mo Na Ba Ako," "Steady Lang Tayo" and "Freak-out Baby."
1. Penge Naman Ako N'yan
3. Gusto Ko Lamang Sa Buhay
4. Sino Ka Nga Ba?
5. Nahuli Mo Na Ba Ako?
6. Freak-Out, Baby
7. Suplado Ka Pala Sa Personal
8. Isang Al Frescong Takip-Silim Sa Cafe Francois
9. Pataasan Nng Weewee
10. Tuksyude! Tuksyude! Tuksyude!
11. Steady Lang Tayo
12. Awitin Para Sa Mga Nagmumuni-Muni
13. Sana Maniwala Sa'Yo
14. Yokonakitamakita (filler)
15. Misis Fely Nimfa Ang Pangalan
16. Para Sa Pinakamatangkad Na Tao Sa Buong Mundo