Kubra Commander’s new song ‘Doldrum’ sounds fresh in these COVID times

Rick Olivares

Posted at Mar 05 2022 06:54 PM

Vocalist-guitarist Bobbi Olvido and Cebu-based Kubra Commander make no bones about their Brit Rock influences. Handout
Vocalist-guitarist Bobbi Olvido and Cebu-based Kubra Commander make no bones about their Brit Rock influences. Handout

In the music video for British rock band Oasis’ classic “Wonderwall,” you’ll see a minor record player spinning a 7-inch record with the band’s name on it. 

Even back in 1995, the song was like a throwback. The vinyl more prominent during a time when compact discs were kings. And the band’s music, a thoroughbred version of the Beatles. 

Imagine that when you hear Cebu-based rock band Kubra Commander and their new single, “Doldrum.”

Kubra Commander makes no bones about their Brit Rock influences. 

“I knew from the get-go that is the sound that I wanted to achieve,” acknowledges vocalist-guitarist Bobbi Olvido. “Even when I play other genres, I always circle back to Brit Rock. So when I started Kubra Commander, our sound, our music is just the way I wanted to sound, and the way I wanted to perform it.”

Their music is so against the grain in terms of the local indie scene packed with shoegaze punk and alternative rock music.

In fact, the last time a band gave off that Brit Rock vibe was Rivermaya when from 2000 to 03 they cut 3 albums that dripped influences of Radiohead, the Verve, and Coldplay — “Free,” “Tuloy ang Ligaya,” and “Beneath the Stars and Waves.”

Kubra Commander goes for the heart of Brit Rock with an Oasis-like sound with “Doldrum.”

The song starts out with a fuzz of an acoustic guitar in reverse (see Linkin Park’s “Somewhere I Belong”), then gives way to a rumbling bassline and jangly guitars. As the song kicks into high gear, the song explodes into dizzying psychedelia. 

“Holy ‘Champagne Supernova’, Batman!” Kubra Commander has bottled the lightning of a bygone era. 

And that suits Kubra Commander’s Fil-British drummer Tim Williams just fine. 

“Coming from England myself, I really connected to the music of Kubra Commander,” shares Williams. “I was into Keane, the Libertines, Hard-fi, and many others. 

“When I heard Kubra Commander, it was a special feeling because not many bands sound like that now. Coming from that background, I felt I could bring something to the band.”

More than the sound, Olvido hopes the song connects as well with Filipino music fans. 

In “Doldrum,” Olvido sings: “Are you contemplating? You should be concentrating. Don’t ever lose your ground.”

“The song is about staying steady and not throwing it all away. It’s holding on to something,” he explained. 

“It could also be a response to the pandemic. We’ve all been through such a difficult time. It only seems natural to write songs to connect it to the pandemic. The song made perfect sense to me and I hope the band — Lynel Sucalit on keyboards, Joko Nozawa on guitars, Jah Acab on bass, and Williams — as well.”

And hopefully, to fans as well, as this is going to be the one that saves you.

“Doldrum” is available on all music streaming platforms and will precede a new album to be released under Lilystars Records.

Listen to “Doldrum” here.