Affordable Favorites

Only debt is real.

Vivisick + Cheerio Live in Manila

Sundays are usually assigned as rest days in my personal calendar as I’m still unfortunately part of the workforce that has to wake up really early every Monday morning. There have been a few exceptions throughout the years though, most recent of which was the first ever hardcore punk matinee show I’ve dragged my ass into with Japanese hardcore punk bands Vivisick and Cheerio headlining the bill last June 5, 2016.

The show proper itself started at around 4pm with Pampanga-based punk band Istukas Over Disneyland and related project Holy Cow. Both bands played sans bassist but that didn’t stop them at all from doing what they can to keep the early bird crowd entertained with their set of tunes. Not really that much into Holy Cow though as listening to their set of microsongs felt to me like being bombarded with fastcore variations of Napalm Death’s “You Suffer”. One could only do so much with a minute or less per song anyway. IOD’s set on the other hand was more memorable for me despite the rather brief 4-song set; it was most probably those two songs sung in their native Kapampangan dialect that did it for me. Got me reminded for some nostalgic reason of a handful of my classmates back in my college days who spoke the said dialect.

Istukas Over Disneyland sans bassist

A.D.A. (Aggressive Dog Attack) is a band I’ve been hearing being talked about within the hardcore punk scene but it was only during that June 5 show that I’ve actually had the chance to see them. The band’s rhythm section is superbly tight but the grating vocals proved to be a rather tough pill for me to take. Maybe I should take all those legends I hear with a grain of salt, no?


Killratio and Kaktus Karuka both rarely gig within the Metro so every chance to see them is completely worth it. Both bands play some really intense hardcore that’s sure to cause a pit to form, though I would have to give it to the latter’s vocals that really stood out for me as her barks and brief low-end gutturals are very much at par with some of the tough guy vocalists within the hardcore punk scene.

Kaktus Karuka

I first encountered Vivisick back in college when a record shop I used to occasionally visit had this cassette tape that featured both them and the succinctly named Fuck on the Beach. Vivisick’s logo caught my eye but since I was still totally new to the whole hardcore punk thing at the time, it didn’t really occur to me back then to check out their music. Just like the gap between the band’s first ever visit to the country and their second, it took me more than a decade to finally sink my teeth into Vivisick’s music most especially as the band’s most recent association with Oakland, CA-based record label Tankcrimes who distributed their latest album “Nuked Identity” both Stateside and worldwide helped me get into them easier. With that and being largely a sucker for hardcore punk just like how its pioneers used to do it, I was totally looking forward to see the first ever Tankcrimes band to step into our shores. I sure was in for a treat that night as Vivisick’s vocalist sung anthem after anthem entirely in Japanese and in perhaps one of the highest pitches I’ve come across in years while the rest of the band played like there’s no tomorrow (and with reason as they had to catch their flight back home that same night). Most definitely looking forward to more Tankcrimes bands to drop by our side of the globe anytime soon.

Vocalist Sunao of Vivisick

But just when I thought Vivisick already made more than a good impression on me, co-headlining band and fellow countrymen Cheerio honestly took me completely by surprise. Imagine for a second that two of your forty-something fat and bald uncles with a generally cheerful disposition and propensity for drink during family gatherings suddenly decided to form a hardcore punk band… … that’s pretty much Cheerio in a nutshell. That last song they did though (whose title has unfortunately escaped my memory) during their set stood out the most for me as what I initially thought to be crucifix necklaces that hung around both vocalists’ necks the whole time actually turned out to be whistles. A hardcore punk song with lots of whistle sounds in it sure seemed quite interesting to me, most especially as I know of only two other songs – both non-hardcore by the way – that feature whistles in them. The band’s overall happy vibe (they ain’t named Cheerio for nothing after all) left the crowd that night feeling quite positive and cheerful, ready to take on the next day’s start of yet another workweek.

Your two adorable, huggy bear uncles from Cheerio

Wolf Down + Primitive Man + Weekend Nachos Live in Manila

Welp, it’s been quite a while since I last posted anything in this blog right here but here I am now, back on track and ready to post once again. Yay? Continue reading “Wolf Down + Primitive Man + Weekend Nachos Live in Manila”

Wanderland 2016

Ah Wanderland, we met again after having intentionally missed out on the last one (loyal Pulp Summer Slam devotee since 2012 here, lels)… Some things surely have changed and a few rather unfortunate circumstances along the way have happened too.

Continue reading “Wanderland 2016”

GoodVybes Fest 2016

It’s been roughly two years since I last tried blending in with the hip and trendy crowd (July 2014 to be exact when British indie rock group Bombay Bicycle Club visited the country) mostly to challenge myself to go out of my metal and hardcore/punk comfort zones from time to time but whereas the past few years saw Wanderland Music and Arts Festival as on the verge of becoming an increasingly notable large-scale event catering towards music fans who just aren’t the type to listen to aggressive music in general, bang their heads and/or mosh in Pulp Summer Slam (wasn’t able to go to last year’s installment of the former though as it fell on the very same day as the latter; the choice I made between the two was an absolute no-brainer so to speak), a new music festival catering towards the same crowd had emerged seemingly out of nowhere in the form of GoodVybes Fest. Held last Feb 20 over at the newly built Aseana City Open Grounds in Pasay (near Solaire Resort and City of Dreams), GoodVybes Fest is the first of its kind to feature not just one nor two but THREE separate stages. However, this post-show review will cover only much of the action that happened at the main stage itself as I have yet to come across any completely reliable biohacking technology that would make me split my body and its attached consciousness into three fully functional selves, lol (and also personally not a fan of multiple stage setups as I don’t really like it when my attention gets divided).

Continue reading “GoodVybes Fest 2016”

Infernal Curse Live in Manila

As I mentioned in my previous post, I admit to being a relative newcomer to the stuff being put out by kvlt record label Iron Bonehead Productions from Germany, a result of having checked out Czech black metal band Cult of Fire’s ”मृत्यु का तापसी अनुध्यान” album as it was included in a lot of top metal albums from 2014 listicles which I tend to check out every time December of any year hits for basically new music to listen to. It was a pleasant surprise for me then when after having come across some underground metal show poster but initially had second thoughts as to whether to go or not since I don’t really consider myself as kvlt in any form or shape but rather as more of a curious eclectic as always has been ever since I started digging a lot of music more frequently than your average casual listener, I had to check a bit as to why I should attend Infernal Curse’s show last Feb 6 over at Selda Dos and was led to the band’s 2014 EP released on where else but Iron Bonehead entitled “The End Upon Us”. Listened to the entire EP and glanced cursorily at their promotional photos; I was immediately hooked to both their music and costumes. Totally glad that I made the right choice to go catch Infernal Curse out of a handful of equally interesting gigs that occurred at the same time last Saturday night.

Continue reading “Infernal Curse Live in Manila”

Fleshcrawl Live in Manila

It’s been a very long while since my last post here at Affordable Favorites as some who are actually reading all the stuff I’m leaving here for public consumption had noticed. Let’s just say that a lot of personal stuff got in the way during the Yuletide season and beyond which had admittedly slowed my blogging down (fun fact: I’m missing one show review from last December; still working on it). What’s important though is that I would like to believe that I am more than poised enough to return to blogging whenever moderate to relatively fast Internet connection speed allows me to do so.

Continue reading “Fleshcrawl Live in Manila”

Battles Live in Manila

After three long years when someone who used to organize foreign-headlined shows asked about it (too bad though that I couldn’t find a link to that Facebook poll anymore, possibly deleted by the author after the whole thing didn’t work out as planned), the experimental rock trio of Ian Williams, Dave Konopka and John Stanier – collectively known as Battles – had finally arrived here in Manila last night. This author right here couldn’t be any more happier after having heard the news while just casually browsing Facebook and coming up with stuff to write a day after another previous show. Aside from being the second ever Warp Records artist to visit the country (after dance-rock outfit !!! did a free show back in 2014 and Warp being a personal favorite record label too), a band featuring original members of alt-metal and math rock icons Helmet (Stanier) and Don Caballero (Williams; Konopka was in fellow math rock group Lynx), respectively, is something 90’s kids who grew up even with just the former band at the very least SHOULD totally look forward to. In fact, seeing Stanier alone with my very eyes last night was more than enough for me to fulfill my teenage dream of seeing at least one original Helmet member.

Continue reading “Battles Live in Manila”

Blast from the Past: Dead in the Dirt Live in Manila

Oh boy, how time flies by so quickly just like that… it’s already been two years since Atlanta grindcore trio Dead in the Dirt visited the country and yet it feels like the band performed just last night. I was still rather new to the local hardcore punk scene at the time and only knew very few people in it but what the heck, right? I went to the show anyway which was held at Black Kings’ Bar in Quezon City (near SM North EDSA) on a Sunday night (November 24 to be exact) – surely not the most convenient day to go to a show for someone whose days off fall under the weekend same as most in the working populace in the Metro but given that DITD was the first ever band from the highly respected (and one of my personal favorite record labels since the late 2000’s) Southern Lord Recordings to hit the shores of Manila, it was too good an opportunity to miss out on.

Continue reading “Blast from the Past: Dead in the Dirt Live in Manila”

WSK 2015: Festival Closing x Heresy Launch

The local experimental community’s annual WSK (pronounced as /wasak/) music and arts festival has been steadily going on for quite a few years already but this year’s installment marks the very first time I’ve been to one – the said festival’s closing night last Sunday in particular held at Pineapple Lab (a house located within the vicinity of Rockwell Makati  repurposed as an art gallery and performance space) and for two reasons at that.

Continue reading “WSK 2015: Festival Closing x Heresy Launch”

Blog at

Up ↑