Happy Thursday everyone! This week’s latest from the music scene we have for you some familiar voices (and faces), a little bit of comedy rap (and serious danceable rap), and some interesting Nusantara psychedelic indie tracks to go along with our go-to jiwang song of the week. Check it out and tell us what you think!
1) Maaf – Estranged
Pining on regrets and expressing loneliness, Maaf is a rock ballad that sounds like so many other rock ballads. Although the lyrics might come from the heart, and does have that rare romantic highlight (Kau sebenarnya sesuatu yang dimestikan setiap hari/Seperti malam mengganti pagi agar bintang menyinari), it comes off as a bit bland and sometimes slightly frustrating. What is the context here? If this person is his life ( Engkau hidupku, degup jantungku/Engkau bayangku, lengkapi aku/Aku lepaskan, kau genggamkan/Selaluku ragu, kau percaya ) why did he leave them? Or maybe we’re just being petty because there really is nothing else to this song. A pleasant listen, but barely straddling the line of “bland” and “boring”. Musically, nothing interesting happens either, and the hooks are forgettable too. We would not give Estranged such a hard time though, since they have made more memorable tracks before like Itu Kamu and Hancur Aku (if you remove Fazura‘s part)
2) Realigned – Scarlet Heroes
Sick (the good kind of ‘sick’) opening riffs that is filled with colour and energy gets you pumped from the very first second this song starts. Probably another favourite track of ours from their upcoming album Somewhere Under the Atmosphere – it has that youthful & vibrant sound similar to Headway, their first single from the album. Scarlet Heroes ensures that this song remains interesting with that technically precise and hard-hitting drums, and more interestingly in this song, the more prominent vocals of Jah (guitarist) complementing Daryl’s (vocalist). The dynamism of their vocals adds more meaning and vigour to the lyrics as well, which really adds up to an overall pleasant track. If there are anything to criticize, it would probably be because it doesn’t stray too far away from the template of metalcore and hardcore punk – although depending on whether you’re a fan of the genre or not – this isn’t really a flaw, and more like a minor gripe.
3) Pizza Please – Barai
Barai is a rap duo consisting of meme makers and social media influencers Luqman Podolski and Adib Hakim. In this rap track, they talk about how hungry they are while commenting on the sad state of society (Akademi berhadis, tapi perangai kalah habis). Memes being an ever-evolving, nebulous world of jokes and references; Pizza Please seems to be inspired by this Filthy Frank(another Internet celebrity that makes offensive, gross, shock & awe humour) video. Not to say that the track is a rip-off. The duo definitely brings their own sound and bars to the meme. In terms of comedy rap quality however, it just hovers around average with a few funny lines here amidst the clumsy flow. But you know, they’re not looking to be real rappers, so the evaluation can’t be based upon that much rap or hip hop technicality. Still the track falls short of what these lovable, random people can do. Or maybe we’re still stuck in the Myvi nostalgia. That was a great song.
4) It’s Gonna Be Much Better – Shuuna
It’s Gonna Be Much Better is another song from Shuuna‘s record Torsades de Pointes, but with a slightly brighter vibe than the song we’ve reviewed in the past, Good Night. This song speaks to a silent thrill (It’s like riding with a long hair, falling in the wrong hands) and expresses it with some kind of dreamy clarity. This track hones more of that electronica consistency to it, which it makes it musically less interesting than Good Night. However it does not mean that this song is not without its alluring momentum. Although the backbeat is sort of similar throughout, you can feel it getting more intense and distorted as the track progresses. All in all, this makes us excited about reviewing her entire album, Torsades de Pointes, so stay tuned for our review of it next week!
5) Again – SonaOne
Sonaone is finally joining the bandwagon of trap beats and unorthodox flows with emphasis on catchy bangers, mumbling and simplicity. Again is not a bad track – catchy enough for us to play it again and again. But Sonaone really doesn’t bring anything new to the genre, yet maintains a consistent quality in bars and some bouncable beats to dance to. Do we welcome this change from this rapper with a solid track record of rhymes and music production? That depends on what else he can do with this new vibe he’s adopting.
6) Tergantung Sepi – Haqiem Rusli
Haqiem Rusli‘s latest single really tests his vocals to the limit. That guttural, raspy vocals during the high notes strikes the heart and is a testament to Haqiem Rusli’s capabilities. The words are also very well-composed and would probably fill in the position of a television drama’s theme song soon. With the song also sharing its sentiment with the other song this week Maaf by Estranged, the reason why it fares better is because it is pierced with those sharp string sections carried out by somber violins. However, if you listen to it closely, it really is almost the same track as his previous hit, Segalanya. We would love to see Haqiem Rusli perform this song live and see if his chops are as good on stage.
Want to get the latest music updates from the local scene from all genres and all levels of popularity? Follow our playlist on Spotify below. If you have any comments, hit us up on Twitter or Facebook.
This article is written by Iezahdiyana & Zim Ahmadi.