From making J-rock inspired pop music that turned every gig into an instant mosh pit session, Autotelic has evolved from being a heavyweight indie band to a pop-rock “iyak sayaw” musicians when they signed with the MCA Music, And just months later, things were moving to the fast lane as this six-piece squad just released their debut album under the major label – and it's called “Papunta Pabalik.”
The record also featured artworks from Daniel Tingcungco, with every item symbolizing each of the ten tracks – all penned by Josh Villena, arranged by the entire band, and mixed thru Milkhouse Recording Studios. At least, they have lyrics this time around; that makes up for having a thick booklet aside from thanking nuermous people (and surprisingly, that includes yours truly there. Thanks, guys!) and a scripture of bands they recommend us listeners to check out.
Let me get straight to this: While there are some flaws in arrangements during the printing itself, the product lived up to its concept: the imagery of art complimented both the lyrical part and the story pf the songs themselves.
And as I see it, Papunta Pabalik was literally the band's progress for over the past years: while they moved on from indie to mainstream, they held back some of their craft that launched them to stratosphere; retaining five of their eight tracks from the independent album We Are Autotelic (2014) and get a massive retouch in sound engineering.
And along the way, the band unleashed five new tracks – including their top 2015 hit called Close Your Eyes and the album's carrier single Gising.
Judging them from their previous versions, I'll say Misteryoso has gotten the massive revamp by mixing the synths from EJ Edralin with their previous work with former bandmate Eric Tubon. Though, the downside, Kai Honasan's vocals were nowhere to be found here.
I must say Dahilan lived up to their present music which is called “iyak-sayaw.” While the song depicts the potential failure of a relationship, the sound lived up as if you hear them live in their gigs.
For a novice listener, Gising and Laro could be the instant favorites, especially with the former garnering exposure at the music channels.
Gising is perhaps the best melodramatic single I have ever heard in the pop rock scene since Maroon 5's Makes Me Wonder (2007). Talk about a reality slap – or rather, a wake-up call (let's take it literally). Somewhat, the uptempo pace overshadowed the real emotions of its lyrical content.
But Laro was displaying more remorse without stating the obvious. Heck, Languyin was actually showcasing the otherwise – although it was actually a spirit-lifting one by story. And if there's a different vibe of a song herein Papunta Pabalik, it was Hanap. While We Are Autotelic ended the record on a slow pop yet mass-drubbing All Night, Hanap is for the chillout version of iyak-sayaw with acoustics dominating the musicality.
I admit I have different expectations for Mapa, considering them as my personal-best live track from Autotelic. But I can say I am not disappointed with this either: they sounded like those Gary V dance tracks in the 80s wherein electric drums have been dictating the beat. Maybe, it wasn't a bad decision to go through that since their gig at Today X Future (or at least some outings wherein Gep had electronic drums as his additional equipment).
And frankly: despite the race against time in terms of preparation, the mixing was helluva good. I can't say the quality was compromised in this.
Few things I love about Papunta Pabalik is the way the band utilized Kai Honasan's vocals. This time around, she got more exposure on Languyin and Hanap. Plus their new songs were more radio-friendly; lasting around 4 to 4 ½ minutes – a breakaway from their usual 5-6 minuters.
Overall, I can say Autotelic has been moving forward to greater heights – and at the same time, never dismissing what they have as they look back. Literal na papunta pabalik talaga! One of the best – and must-haves – for this year!
The Verdict: 8
Author: slickmaster | © 2016 september twenty-eight productions