MANILA -- Retro New Wavers Taken By Cars have just re-released their surprise and smash debut album "Endings of A New Kind" on vinyl.
With its re-release, that completes the band’s entire discography on vinyl.
"Endings of A New Kind" first came out in 2008 and on compact disc. "Dualist," their sophomore outing, was likewise released on compact disc in 2011 and re-released on vinyl on its 10th anniversary in 2021. "Plagues," their third album, went straight to vinyl in 2017.
"It feels great to have our entire catalogue on vinyl,” said guitarist and vinyl producer Derek Chua. “That started with our third album 'Plagues' and we noticed that compact disc sales were going down so we opted to release the music digitally then press physical copies on wax since that was the trend.”
Very few local bands were pressing their music on vinyl in 2017 with an average of 10 records out in a year. By the time of the lockdown due to the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, the medium exploded with more people at home and more time to listen to music. In 2022 alone, there were 50 releases on vinyl by local acts -- the most since 1991.
Added vocalist Sarah Marco: “Having all our albums on vinyl gives us a sense of pride as I don’t think everyone is able to do this.”
The only other local acts in this new millennium to have all their albums out on vinyl are Apartel, the Insektlife Cycle, Red-I, Tarsius, and Victor MK III.
“There’s a certain way we want our music to sound on vinyl so we made adjustments so it isn’t just a cut and paste quality of the same recording,” shared Marco of the work that went into the vinyl reissue.
When Taken By Cars’ first singles were played on NU107 back then, fans gravitated to the New Wavish-sound and its danceable electronic beat.
“'Endings of A New Kind' is a time capsule of the indie rock scene during that period,” reflected Chua. “You have Franz Ferdinand, Interpol, Bloc Party, Arcade Fire, LCD Soundsystem, and the like that combined post-punk with dance and electronic beats. So naturally, this trickled into Manila and influenced many bands, ourselves included.”
The band’s other guitarist Bryce Zialcita concurred and said that it brings back a different period in their lives.
“Personally, I listen to it as any musician would – look for the things we could have done better. But I guess, it is those imperfections that make them unique. The other side of it that amazes me is we actually recorded something 16 years ago that people still enjoy.”
Of those early recordings, Marco described the band as an inexperienced band yet so full of energy. “We recorded ‘Uh Oh’ in one take and were totally content with it at that time. Looking back, I would have waited for my voice to warm up after two or three takes.”
“The album represents raw youth and exuberance that resonated with a lot of listeners,” explained drummer Bryan Kong. “More so with the melancholic lyrics backed by pulsating and driving beats. And the music really pushed us to go beyond our borders.”
Yet, despite its imperfections and inexperience, "Endings of A New Kind," was nominated for a slew of NU Rock Awards. Although they didn’t win, Taken By Cars received a massive consolation and boost when the album won Album of the Year in the Junksounds 2008 Regional Music Awards.
The credits and plaudits massively helped, and as the band gained more experience, it reflected in their next albums "Dualist" and "Plagues."
The two albums have since been sold out on all physical formats. Now, "Endings of A New Kind" is out and is generating a lot of buzz and heat. The album was remastered for vinyl by Shinji Tanaka with an inner sleeve of pictures and liner notes from Pedicab guitarist Jason Caballa.
“Because of this, I am thinking of buying my own turntable,” admitted Zialcita with a laugh.
While Taken By Cars’ members and their fans can go back in time while listening to the band’s music on wax, there is something for all to look forward to as well.
“Now that we have put out our back catalogue on wax, now we look to making new music,” pronounced Chua.