REVIEW: Nanay Mo – “Medyo Wakwak” (2015)

Nanay Mo Medyo Wakwak

Rock ‘n’ roll is very much alive.

With “Medyo Wakwak”, Nanay Mo are singlehandedly bringing back the element danger in pinoy rock ‘n’ roll. Rock ‘n’ roll has always been about loud guitars, grit, and a sense of fun and irreverence that has been sorely lacking in most releases recently. Listening to this record reminds me of when I was 13 years old, banging my head and playing air-guitar to whatever rock record I can find.

The record opens with the one-two punch of “Take a Bird and Off Your Mind” and “Absent Mind”, which are perfect examples of the band’s grunge-influenced take on garage rock ala Mudhoney (or for you younger people, The Hives and The Vines).

The third track, “Mama’s Little Baby” is fast, loud, and short. It’s a burst of energy peppered with some amazing guitar work. The band slows things down in “Over the Trees”, which is the closest the band has ever gone to making a ballad.

“Medyo Wakwak” closes strong with “CF”, the only Tagalog track in the record, with its locomotive-like rhythm section propelling the song forward. It’s also undeniably catchy.

Considering that this is a self-produced and self-released record, it’s absolutely well-made. The recording completely captures the essence of the band’s live act, and the choice of making it an EP instead of a full-length record gives it the feel of being in one of the band’s live shows. “Medyo Wakwak” is also a document of a band that plays really fucking well together.

The guitar work by Anjo Joaquin and Gio Puyat are on point, the rhythm section comprised of bassist Anton Magno and drummer Nash Ignacio are tighter than ever, and Jong Cardenas has proven once again why he is one of my favourite frontmen in the local music scene.

This lineup of the band has always played well together, but with “Medyo Wakwak”, they’ve shown that they have a few tricks up their collective sleeves.

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