The quartet of Jugs Jugueta (guitar/vocals), Jazz Nicolas(drums/vocals), Kelvin Yu (bass/vocals) and Chino Singson (guitar) arecertified journeymen. Their debut album, LittleMonsters Under Your Bed, was released under Viva Records back in 2001.Despite the success of power pop singles "Antipara" and "Happy Birthday," thepopularity of Pinoy rock music-commercially speaking-was already at its lowestpoint.
By that time, the Itchyworms and other bands signed undermajor labels suddenly found themselves homeless when their contracts weredropped. In 2005, the band re-emerged and released Noontime Show under Universal Records. A concept album, Noontime Show, witnessed the fullpotential of the Itchyworms as a solid power pop-rock unit. The album churnedout the infectious "Akin Ka Na Lang," the ‘70s classic pop inspired "Beer" andthe heart wrenching "Love Team."
Commercial success soon followed. Aside from the radiohits, the Itchyworms' ability to write catchy songs caught the fancy ofmulti-national companies thus enlisting the band's songs as promo vehicles aswell as commissioning them to write jingles for ad campaigns.
MOVING ON. Commercialviability, 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 offans and music industry insiders. A few months back, manager Kerwin Roseteannounced 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-Titledwas officially launched at Rallos Café in Quezon City. Everyone, needless tosay, looked happy and looking forward to rock.
"Kami ang nag-produce ng album na ‘to," boasted Jugs toPEP (Philippine Entertainment Portal) in an interview before the officiallaunching. That decision perhaps has something to do with the fact that theband has been around for so long that they could well afford to man the studioboard without feeling intimidated.
"Nagkaroon kami ng projects na kami-kami lang din angnag-produce like ‘yong mga APO [Hiking Society] compilations and masaya namankami sa kinalabasan so sabi namin try lang natin, try natin na isang buongalbum 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 routinesaying, "Nagsisimula sa ganun may magdadala nung main idea ng song taposi-expand na lang namin pagdating sa studio."
Listening to the record and actual performance, it isevident that the laid back quartet has not lost their mastery of weavingirresistible catchy tunes in the tradition of some of their idols like theEraserheads, Matthew Sweet, Weezer, and The Beatles. "Nandun pa din ‘yon,"beamed Jazz. "Except ‘yong iba," Jugs pitched in, "may mga art songs kami diyanna parang mantra, track 14 ‘yon, parang meditation music."
The 15-track album is composed of songs all written inFilipino, once again proving all four members proficiency in composing songsthat would appeal to the majority. "Noong first album namin mga tatlong kantalang 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. Itwas Kelvin who thought of baptizing the album Self-Titled. Scratchinghis head, the chinito bassist reasoned, "Wala lang, para makulit lang. Kasimaraming may self-titled na album pero yong title nila ‘yong pangalan ngartists so ito ang title nito Self-Titled talaga. Para lang malito angmga tao."
The album's first single "Penge Naman Ako Nyan" is a"massive" pop-rock sounding tune that is currently enjoying local radiosuccess. The said single even entered NU 107's "Stairway To Seven" charts forweeks.
Other notable tracks in the album are "Bugbog Sarado,""Gusto Ko Lang Sa Buhay," "Awitin Para Sa Mga Nagmumuni-muni," "Sino Ka NgaBa?" "Nahuli Mo Na Ba Ako," "Steady Lang Tayo" and "Freak-out Baby."
1. Penge NamanAko N'yan
3. Gusto Ko LamangSa Buhay
4. Sino Ka NgaBa?
5. Nahuli Mo NaBa Ako?
7. Suplado Ka PalaSa Personal
8. Isang AlFrescong Takip-Silim Sa Cafe Francois
9. Pataasan NngWeewee
10. Tuksyude!Tuksyude! Tuksyude!
11. Steady LangTayo
12. Awitin Para Sa Mga Nagmumuni-Muni
13. Sana ManiwalaSa'Yo
14. Yokonakitamakita (filler)
15. Misis FelyNimfa Ang Pangalan
16. Para SaPinakamatangkad Na Tao Sa Buong Mundo