It is the night before a so-called “super typhoon” in the heart of Metro Manila, and four musicians are willing to brave the impending heavy downpour to rehearse their original materials in their favorite music studio.
After a glance and nod, they start playing their first song. One of them produces a trail of ambient sounds with his guitar, signaling the calm before the storm. The drummer starts and stops a series of fills that sound like firecrackers popping inside a tin can. The bassist locks in with the beat, giving the rhythm an alarming presence within the room. The singer pitches a wild synth sound with his guitar, adding an eerily familiar 80’s feel to the mix. Then the band seemingly synchronizes its music with the crack of thunder and loud raindrops outside.
Meet Lip Service – four individuals with widely varying musical backgrounds merging as an entity, determined to inject a fresh vibe to the Filipino music scene. They banded together just a year ago and now the band has quickly matured and started to rock out in radio stations and popular venues across the metro, earning respect and praise from bar-goers, radio listeners and fellow musicians.
The members come from diverse background that greatly contribute to the Lip Service sound. Singer Pats Co had his share of glam rock experience playing as the lead guitarist of Trigger Bliss and singing to the dance-punk beats of Karma Coma. Lead guitarist Robby Mananquil explored the six-stringed instrument playing in Karma Coma, new wave act Stereodeal and for a time also played for the indie pop group The Pin-Ups. Together, these two guitarists created a musical nucleus through the band Karma Coma, which they played in until they yearned to pursue their project with the resolve of finding band members with the same interests.
Eventually, thanks to communication through an online music forum, two members came along to help them in their musical search. Mike Ducusin had earned his hardcore cred playing bass for Hampaslupa and Witchtree Symbol, while Gep Macadaeg spent his teenage years with post-hardcore group Elevator Action and alternative band Five Feet Adjustment. Together, they started their musical journey by collectively paying homage to their heroes and combining the best of their musical influences, from alternative rock, indie-pop, new wave, punk, and grunge, into a new breed of music.
The songs of Lip Service attest to the rush brought about by the band’s rollercoaster dynamics and angular yet melodic riffs, like a shot of adrenalin straight to the heart. “Weekend Dreams” skips and jumps its way across syncopated patterns through melodic hooks that eventually lead to a wild chant-along bridge and a rock-out ending. “Chandeliers” seemingly commands listeners to formation with its staccato intro, only to break the cadence with dance-punk frenzy until the very end. Melancholy and memories of old romance kicks in through the melody and lyrics of breather track “Velvet Burn”, until the ambiance takes a 180-degree turn through the rumbling drums and feral guitars of “Celebrate”. The band then takes on a sinister theme as it dabbles into math rock territory with “Black Sheets”, which showcases the band as an intense and tight unit. “Patintero” synthesizes the two worlds of soulful guitar playing with drum-machine precision over the theme of juvenile fun, only to explode with bravado at the end. In between these songs, listeners are allowed to gasp for air as they marvel in the post-rock audio landscapes of “Heliopause” and “Two-Eyed Violet”.
Lip Service is now ready to set its mark in the Filipino music scene as they unleash their debut mini-album, Synapse. This self-produced album, set to be launched on November this year, documents the bands’ ability to fuse melody, rhythm, and harmony to become vessels of the band’s dreams, loves, and fears. After months of crafting and refining the songs that have grown and intensified in their collective consciousness, Lip Service is now ready to share its raw and driving music to the world through Synapse.
Want to catch the band live? You can check out the band’s gig schedule and activities through their MySpace page, http://www.myspace.com/lipservicemanila, and through their Facebook page, http://www.facebook.com/lipservicemanila.
Outside the studio, there was a flash, then a thunder. The band has ended their rehearsal when the eye of the storm has loomed over the city. The calm may have dominated the moment, but Lip Service, like the storm, will resonate once more with astounding power. Watch out for this intense force of nature known as Lip Service!//Best Album Cover by QLE3 Young Star (Philippine Star)http://www.philstar.com/youngstar/ysarticle.aspx?articleId=645939&publicationSubCategoryId=84