Some people invariably describe rock metal music as nothing but noise. Disturbing, incomprehensible, loud and lacks harmony are some of few overused adjectives used to describe this genre, which audience generally belongs to the younger age group.
Rock band Slapshock, which is known for its distinctly earsplitting sound, knows for a fact that when somebody doesn’t like its music, it means that the person has a different preference. For 15 years now, Slapshock has been the center of music critics who find its music unpleasant.
In retrospect, many tossed the band aside when the quintet was just starting out in the mid-90s, when the rap metal movement was also emerging. But instead of accepting what its critics say about its music, the band just continued doing what its members truly love and passionate about.
“To be honest, we are inspired more when we hear bad things coming from our detractors. Because on the other side we have supporters that, rain or shine, still watch (our gigs) and listen to our music. We have more supporters than those who don’t like us,” Slapshock vocalist Jamir Garcia told us.
Now on its 15th year, the rock metal band released its seventh studio album under Polyeast Records. Called Kinse Kalibre, the record documents Slapshock’s 15-year old career. Featuring “Ngayon Na,” the album’s first single referencing some stylistic Slapshock trademarks—stomping through “Ngayon na, isigaw sa mundo…Ngayon na” gives a fiery shout-along hook while introducing some fresh dynamic sensibilities. The single’s music video is directed by Team Manila and now being aired on MYX Channel, which is running it’s no. 1 seat in one month.
This full-length album consists of 12 tracks—produced by the band, all songs originally written by Jamir Garcia, mixed in Malaysia and was mastered at John Greenham Mastering in San Francisco, USA. Aside from working with notable artists outside the country, Slapshock also worked with Xander Angeles (photographer) and Team Manila for the album artwork that have also done many projects with the band.
“This time, we can honestly walk in every show knowing that we have made at least a contribution in this industry. For the last 15 years, we are able to crash the image of being just a fad. Some bands have expiry dates, they only last for a couple of years or after releasing one or two music albums,” Garcia said.
The band’s secret to longevity lies on its members. Apart from their loyalty to the group, Slapshock still has the same members: Garcia (vocals), Lee Nadela (bass), Lean Ansing (guitars) and Chi Evora (drums). Also, the quintet still works with same crew, and receives support from the same sponsors and the same record label.
“And, yes, the sound is still loud and I still scream the lyrics from time to time. And we are a solid band. Up to know, out talent fee is still divided equally among us and not one of us has had a side band in all our 15 years together,” Garcia exclaimed.
With Kinse Kalibre, the band has once again found a place for reinvention, created a multi-layered and genre-smashing album set to cater more to our local market. Jamir said, “In this album, we we’re challenged to produce something that will cater more to our Filipino listeners. This time, I have challenged myself to write five Tagalog songs.” Tracks include “Kinse Kalibre (intro),” “Ngayon Na,” “Reset,” “Deliryo,” “Asal Demonyo,” “Burn In Hell,” “In The Line Of Fire,” “Langit,” “Under The Needle,” “Heartless,” “Salamin” and “All Hope Is Gone.”
“Kinse Kalibre represents our 15 years of existence as a band. Kalibre means that after 15 years, the band is still here creating what we’re known for. We’re happy with what we’ve achieved but we never aimed to have everyone know us. Mas importante sa amin that people like us for our music. We’re fine in our niche and knowing that there are people who solidly like our music,” Garcia concluded.