It’s hard to imagine what spurred Pedicab’s decision to release the EP, Kaya Mo Mag Sando. Without resorting to promotions and press releases that could have built public interest, Pedicab silently debuted their record in an online music store one Tuesday afternoon. Whether they’re breaking the usual business model of how major labels release albums or simply trying to tag along the controversial fit of North Korean rocket launch, there’s no denying that their refreshing release strategy have caused so much clamor for fans and music aficionados to dive into their bait. After all, they have a sizable fan base, and they’re one of the few bands I know that are capable of mixing highbrow-cool with pedestrian sensibility relatable to all classes and kinds—A-E, girl, boy, gay or confused. Name it.
On their latest 6-track EP Kaya Mo Mag Sando, Pedicab proves to their detractors that they’re still a galvanizing force in both the indie and mainstream music markets, busting shiny, disco-inflected punk tunes so mightily that we’re now embarrassed to be the wallflower that doesn’t know how to dance. This is more of a cousin to the band’s debut album Tugish Takish than a real follow-up to Shinji Ilabas Mo Na Ang Helicopter, with Sando bringing nonstop fun and escapism and accomplishing the feat where every songs (except for the filler title-track) want to be as tight as the singles. On first few listens, they’ve instantly dragged me to their delightful, four-on-the-floor anthems about drunkenness, summer heat and annoying insects the same way my friends or uncles would have remarked LOL-worthy innuendos in one of those beer-flooded nights. Suddenly, it feels like the 90s again, where everybody doesn’t even care about indie cred.
There aren’t any dull moments from start to finish. What perhaps matters is that they’re trying to make a seamless, punch-drunk record that a lot of people will love and relate to. Lead track “Ang Apoy” demonstrates this sheer selling point: a narcotized, rave-rocker that gives the perfect impression of what summer is all about at its most twisted imagery. “Insekto” triples the energy and excitement, grinding like a Day-glo, synth-heavy hypestorm that Klaxons, Justice or Simian Mobile Disco would care to jam for. Diego Mapa fashionably brings the wit and charm by ranting about insect bites like someone about to explode out of anger. Suddenly it felt like Monsterbot’s back again, this time with a bouncier groove and a dance floor-readiness that’s bound to give you some Brooklyn hipster vibe. “La Liga Filipina” strikes to me as every troubled Filipino anthem that shows why despite all the depravity and problems we face, we still remain cheerful and carefree at all cost. “Otomatik” continues the deliberate pacing, strong enough to have everyone figure out if the fun and loose punk energy would eventually die down. This impressive momentum, unfortunately, is interrupted by “The Shot” which sounds totally out of place in the album. But hey, it took me four spins before I've fully appreciated its appeal. And it's one that actually goes for 90s revivalist, guitar-driven pop that Yuck and Pains of Being Pure At Heart have been busy copping out since last year.
Though Pedicab couldn’t be expected to surpass their previous heights in Tugish Takish or fully immerse themselves in the playful experiments of Shinji Ilabas Mo Na Ang Helicopter, it’s amusing how they were able to deliver another brilliant record brimming with unassuming confidence and consistency that appeals to as many people as possible. At album # 3, they’ve proven enough longevity worthy of a discography track down. And in the grand scheme of Pedicab’s career, this is only one in a series of albums that should define why they’re one of the biggest bands of this generation, and why they need not to dumb down or alienate audience just to prove something. A-