CD REVIEW: Narda’s Formika

Album cover of Narda

There’s really nothing Narda can apologize for on their new CD, Formika. Katwo still sings like she’s spewing mint candy, and the band shows they have what it takes to dish pop music 60s star Lulu can dance and sing to, or rock out with someone like Sarah Shannon (of Velocity Girl), and show no mercy to the effects pedals.

Been a fan since I bought all of their four previous EP’s in one sweep. The vintage-sounding jangly guitars, helpless Bettie Serveert-like vocals, and the ever-so-rare smart use of Tagalog lyrics, collectively taken, was delightfully refreshing, like it was that oh-so-familiar, can’t-put-my-finger-on-it originality you didn’t search out for, but found nonetheless. The slew of current indiepop acts were shameful Siesta band clones compared to Narda.

On their first full-length album, its easy to sustain your attention on effectively blended electric, joyous ditties (Hudas Not Pay, 1-800-HEY), with pensive love dedications (Kometa Astrolabe, Nico, Disquiet). What’s not surprising at all is how Narda can pull off the ambitious Lipad (theme from Darna), a dark, hopeful ode, slightly enhanced by a string section. Imagine how apt it is to hear it while the credits roll on an actual Darna movie. Or Regine Velasquez singing her own version.

Count the handclaps, search for the moog-like organ effects, and see if you can do second voice to Katwo. They’re slightly out-of-the-box this time, but most definitely, Narda is back, and still is the same wonder girl who doesn’t need a costume to impress.

[Listening to: salamin sibuyas/ tetrapak – narda (3:27)]

6 thoughts on “CD REVIEW: Narda’s Formika”

  1. howdy rain!

    thanks for the short but very sweet review. please let me quote my favorite line:

    The slew of current indiepop acts were shameful Siesta band clones compared to Narda.

    very very nice! 😀 i’m really very glad you pointed that out because some of those so-called “shameful Siesta band clones” have been dissing narda for bastardizing the term “indie”. all i can say to them is they have no inkling what the term means and that they totally missed the point. kudos to you for giving us just retribution. 🙂

    really glad you liked the song “kometa astrolabe”. although it can be read as a love song (most people actually see it that way, which is cool with me), but let me tell you what it’s really about.

    ever since i was a kid, i’ve always been fascinated with various heavenly bodies — stars and comets most especially. i love how comets come every once in a hundred years or so and their tails pick up various space matter creating a trail. i also dig the fact that the stars whch you see in the sky at night are really just the light reaching the earth after travelling very great distances. that these stars have actually been dead or long gone.

    it’s kinda lonely when think about it, but it leaves you in awe nonetheless. it also makes you feel so small amidst the vast expanse of the universe. i tried to capture that in “kometa astrolabe”. and yes, the pun is very much intended. 😉

    thanks again dude! btw, your pictures rawk, especially the “accidental shot” and the one with the skyflakes can (man, when was the last time i saw a skyflakes can?). hope you can come to narda’s next gig. we’ll keep you posted on gig skeds. ayuz! 🙂

    p.s. is it ok if we post your short & sweet review in the mailing list? just asking your permission. 🙂

  2. WOW.

    Sure, you can post it in the mailing list 🙂 I’m actually a member of the yahoogroup, and I recently posted something there about any upcoming gigs Narda might have. I did go to the Sanville Minigolf (?) gig, but couldn’t wait for Narda, since I was nursing a headache by then after attending the iblog Blogging Summit the whole day Saturday.

    Story-sharing na rin: just to let you know the extent of how desperate I was (still am, really) to shoot Narda live, I took crappy shots of the TXTube performance. Gah.

    Ay, salamat pala sa pag-compliment ng pictures 🙂 I still consider myself an intermediate-to-advanced na BEGINNER na litratista lang, though.

  3. ei rain!

    sayang di ka naka-abot sa set ng narda sa sanville. their contribution to 90s nite was the cardigans’ “carnival” and spin doctors’ “two princess” where jv (guitarist who looks like jett pangan, hehehe) took lead vocals. 🙂

    yup, saw your link sa yahoogroups ng narda. that’s how i got to your page 🙂 yeah, i understand totally kung bakit di mo na nahintay narda last saturday. grabe talaga init no? tapos, nag-attend ka nung blogging summit sa malcolm hall (aircon pa dun di ba?). sakit talaga ng ulo abot mo nun. nagkasakit nga ako last week dahil sa sobrang init at labas-pasok sa aircon.

    buti ka nga napanood mo yung txt tube performance e. btw, thanks for giving your permission to post your review. hope to see ya at the gigs. lapit ka lang, ayuz! 🙂

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