Formed in 2003, the quintet of Jim Pangan (vocals), Cheiy Alanes (guitars), Roy Ordonio (guitars), Ode Talato (bass), and Jarwin Javier (drums)—collectively known as Check—struggled long and hard before finally landing a record deal.
Back then, the band was still known as Check Experiment until they decided to shorten their name to make it more catchy and simple. The change of name coincides with the band's growing desire to write original songs instead of settling for cover tunes to liven their set.
"You can only go a certain distance doing covers and we matured and developed as musicians so the next logical step for us is to make our own songs," reasoned Pangan (who is not related to Jett Pangan of The Dawn).
Rodel seconded their frontman's explanation by saying, "We started this band because gusto lang naming tumugtog but along the way we enjoyed it tremendously and there's that itch to write original songs. Because individually and as a unit we experience things and what else can you do as musicians, creatively speaking?"
The band members of Check cite Francis M, P.O.T., Coldplay, Sting, Maroon 5, Eraserheads, Rivermaya, John Mayer and Incubus, as some of their shared musical influences.
STRIKING A DEAL. Juggling their time between writing songs, performing and recording demos, the band was also simultaneously shopping for a record deal. It was December of last year when Sony BMG Music Entertainment expressed interest and signed the hard working unit for a record deal.
There's really no need for the band to adjust in a studio environment since they have been fastidiously cutting new materials inside the studio for years.
"Sobrang saya," said Jim animatedly, talking about working inside the studio with a proper studio album on mind.
"Pero ang number one na nakakakaba dun, e, ‘yong makita namin ‘yong mga idol namin like Bamboo na pumapasok dun sa studio. Talagang pangarap lang namin, idol lang namin tapos nakita namin sa studio, nakamayan namin tapos nakausap namin kahit papaano."
Meeting and sharing a studio room with their heroes, however, were the only distractions during actual recording. Check's hard work resulted to the band's self-titled debut album consisting of ten original tracks.
Check's ability to conjure catchy melodies with hooks was evident in all of the songs: "Ka-iisip," "Good Times," "Pwede Ba?" "Liwanag," "Pasensya Ka Na," "Karera ng Puso," "Hunyo," "Dwell," "Superstar," and "Tissue."
The band members' experiences on love and heartbreak became the fuel behind the songs. "Tungkol sa ka-torpehan," explained Jim to PEP (Philippine Entertainment Portal), "minsan nga nagyayaya na kami ng karera, karera ng puso."
Check's carrier single is "Ka-iisip"—a melodic and passionate ballad that talks about yearning brought by a lover's absence typical of those working in call centers.
"Tungkol ‘yon sa mga taong hindi nagkikita na sa umaga tulog ‘yong girlfriend niya o boyfriend niya tapos a gabu nagwu-work tapos ikaw naman ‘yong tulog, parang ganoon, hindi makakain, makatulog kaiisip," reasoned Jim.
The music video of "Ka-iisip" is now being played by local music channels.
1. Good Times
4. Pwede Ba?
9. Pasensya Ka Na
10. Karera Ng Puso