We ranked albums released between November 2011 and October 2012. In a year without a new release from Sandwich, Parokya ni Edgar or Slapshock, here are among the best records of 2012.
1. Gloc-9, "Mga Kwento Ng Makata"
Pinoy rap’s fastest blabbermouth sports a serious pose such that no festive music shows up in his best album to date while his gut-level poetry remains populated by besieged characters best encapsulated in sound and lyrics by the heart-rending “Sirena”.
2. She's Only Sixteen, "She's Only Sixteen EP"
The mini-album resurrects electro-rock’s finest hour even as its driven guitars and hard-ass backbeat pay tribute to pop-rock’ greatest icons from the Beatles to the Arctic Monkeys to The Strokes.
3. Rico Blanco, "Galaktik Fiestamatik"
Blanco extracts a universe of beautiful music by slicing and dicing the yummy parts of ‘80s new wave with the celebratory stomp of Ati-Atihan.
4. Light of Luna, "Alarm of Acceptance"
There’s enough interplay of subtlety and propulsion in melodic power chords doing their constant danse macabre going over and under hardcore-punk backbeat.
5. Hatankaru, "Hatankaru EP"
The foursome from Karuhatan Valenzuela gives a Pinoy twirl to the funky artistry of Rage Against The Machine delivering a mini-album that shakes your ass and stirs your grey matter as well.
6. Wolfgang, "Ang Bagong Dugo Sa Lumang Ugat: Unang Kabanata"
The first installment of a trilogy on Philippine society finds Basti Artadi and company slicing through the brown body politic using colorful Filipino language and piercing hard rock.
7. Cathy Go, "Find My Way Home"
Fresh-sounding, all-original compositions declare OPM ain’t dead and its best tracks herald that the best days for this young vibrant talent are still ahead.
8. Noel Cabangon, "Tuloy ang Biyahe"
In tribute to memorable Filipino pop compositions, one of the last Pinoy folkies still standing keeps the faith in the acoustic muse applying grace, skill and passion to songs on love and life.
9. Karl Roy, "Have a Piece of This"
His last hurrah sees the late Karl Roy still exploring the possibilities of his brand of explosive funk-punk hybrid to deliver hyperkinetic rockers as well as kind-hearted ballads.
10. Robin Nievera, Overwait"
Martin Nievera’s eldest son, an ex-VJ, expounds on his winning mission to create fresh music by channeling the spirit of John Mayer’s blues trio into his own vision of guitar heaven.
So there. There’s enough new stuff in our Top Ten round-up to smother all OPM nay sayers. Hats off!