VA – Disarseter Records Presents Panic in the Peninsula Comp CD
Disarseter Records Presents Panic in the Peninsula Comp CD
Panic in the Peninsula features various “genres” of the local indie scene, leaning slightly on the more radio-friendly end of the spectrum. And so you have cod-reggae, cod-nu-metal to safe modern-rock and ponderous post-rock to some offbeat stuff which I like etc. In a nutshell, it’s pretty good picture of what’s going on in the larger “independent” scene, quite different from the usual fare featured on Ricecooker, but potentially a big hit with those who religiously posted on Malaise and JamTank forums.
Lemme go through the ones which I like. Lucy in the Loo’s Each Other’s Circle is pure Swedish guitar indie-pop of the mid-90s, which would be familiar to those who checked out Westside Fabrication’s releases imported here by PonyCanyon those days. Sparkly, fey and jangly, with it’s stated “amatuerish” feel which I always find endearing.
Tracks from Azmyl, Maharajah and 360¬? share a certain humour, dirt and recklessness which always float my boat. Azmyl featured his crowd favourite Makan Gaji, one of the few Bahasa tunes of his current live set. I think I heard it before on the Tenets EP, buried as an extra track on the CD-R, but it’s always fresh as his old American-dude-with-an-acoustic-guitar twang no longer sits comfortably with me. On Makan Gaji he sounds like one of those kampung kutus jamming with his friends at the local bus-stop; and that refrain “hidup sampai 100, makan gaji” really hits the spot!
Maharajah comes swinging with one of the few “cohesive” tracks on the debut CD Dialogue Amourex. Known to be totally an “unhinged” act with serious deficiency in keeping the tempo right, The Whole Year Inn is a bit out of character as it’s almost a “proper” tune, and I suspect it’s because Azmy Yunor had a bigger slice of the pie here. And so what we have here is a mixture of Pavement’s early unpredictability and The Replacements swaggering drunkenness. Pretty much Americana rock’n’roll gone to the dogs complete with harmonicas, slide guitars and sonorous delivery. Utterly amazing really.
The last of the four tracks which I’m very much into is 360¬? Head Rotation’s live favourite None. When we talk about being “original” in the context of the local scene, usually we have to slacken the criteria to include nuances which are not familiar to the territory. The evaluation goes like this: “okay, that sounds a bit like (drop a name of an overseas band here) BUT it has never been done around here in Malaysia isn’t it? So it’s “original” lah!”. But with the 360s, we don’t need to be that generous, the band sounds like no other, unless you are really being a nit-picker lah and start dropping names like The Ukranians (ex-Wedding Present’s Peter Solowka’s ethno-polka-punk project).
The best I can get in trying to tie in the 360s to a band I’ve heard before will be Adelaide’s Mikelangelo & the Black Sea Gentlemen, but that’s not even close as Mikelangelo is a post-Nick Cave/Dirty Three, Balkanesque gypsy-cabaret outfit with accordions and violins! Still the feel is there; dark humourous underbelly with madly sinister overtones marching with the staccato drum beat punctuated by Rafil’s roar! “No one will ever worship you, wooarrgghh!!” Ahh, yes, I can help but grin broadly with the song, fist thumping the computer table. Damn bloody good!
Okay, those are the tunes which make me wanna keep this comp, three offbeat ugly beasts and a beauty. The rest can be divided into two camps.
First, the “hey! not bad guys!” category; with tunes by Soft Touch (pretty nice cod-ska jaunt meets some Glaswegian indie-pop feel), Ben’s Bitches (another nudge-nudge horny indie-rock tune which has the tendency to quickly lose its charm after a few listens), Auburn (rather disarming Smashing Pumpkins-style modern rock thingy), Lied (latterday The Cure / Depeche Mode meets depressed Mister Mister! Remember “Broken Wings” anyone?), Jamie Woon (a rather polished, sparklingly produced Jack Johnson-style modern singer-songwriter pop-rock), Eu Seng (laidback, sleep-inducing pop with a slight trip-hoppy undergarment), Furniture (flighty, moody, post-rock, which is smashingly good but readily predictable if you’ve been listening a lot to that sort of stuff) and Az Samad (a rather spiffy super-laidback instrumental acoustic guitar work-out which reminded me that I should get his solo CD one of these days).
The other camp is populated by the “not at all my cuppa” tunes by Frequency Cannon (mid-90s modern pop-rock thingy), Broken Scar (again, mid-90s modern pop-rock thingy with that Vedderesque vocal bit) and Beat The System (almost nu-metal but more like a soundtrack to those horrible wrestling tv shows); all of which I would rather keep far, far away from my stereo.
All in, a good compilation which breaks a few silly local conventions that strive to keep things strictly “uniformed” and “samey”. Those who are still reading, do go buy this and support the effort. In doing so, you may see this comp continues on as a series with more and more new bands to discover. Whether you gonna like or loathe the bands featured, that’s entirely up to you but to korek-korek and discover new things you must!
THE CD IS AVAILABLE AT ALL THESE STORES & VENUES:
1. Joe’s stall at Amcorp Mall (Flea market, lowest level – next to the elevator. Saturdays & Sundays)
2. Backyard Pub (backyardpub.com)
3. Online Pub (map at 360dhr.com – venues)
4. Victoria Music Station (Sungai Wang Complex, Amcorp Mall)
5. Acoustic Music Station (Pertama Complex)
6. Auntie Shop (Campbell Complex)
7. Perfect Music (Campbell Complex)
8. Mighty Music (Central Market – Pasar Seni)
CENTRAL WEST COAST
1B, Jalan Lim Bo Seng, 30300 Ipoh, Perak D.R.
For snail mail: P.O Box 585, 30670 Ipoh, Perak D.R.
Phone: Meor +60 (12) 550-6592, Jay +60 (19) 367-1837
Mail Order details at: disarseter.com
Should be available at some of these music outlets soon
Suggested Retail Price RM 20.00