Music & Culture
Music & Culture

“Cell-O-Phane” Tape Reissue from Manila’s Fuzz-Pop Band The Buildings

“Cell-O-Phane” Tape Reissue from Manila’s Fuzz-Pop Band The Buildings

Mynila Team July 5, 2019 Music & Culture

Manila’s fuzz-pop darlings The Buildings get the music video treatment and tape reissue of their 2016 cult-hit album CELL-O-PHANE.

The Buildings is a band that has drawn interest for reproducing the sounds of a bygone era, transitioning seamlessly from intense, guitar-driven indie rock to somber twee ruminations, while staying attuned to rhythms of the present, finding imaginative ways to rework the sounds of their forebears.

Channeling the feverish unpredictability of Built to Spill with the exuberant meandering of The Velvet Underground, and the youthful catharsis that shares a kindred spirit of Snail Mail & Jay Som — The Buildings makes music that resonates on as one of the Manila underground’s most well-loved indie rock acts in their 2016 album “CELL-O-PHANE”.

With the help Singapore-based label Middle Class Cigars, the band just released a music video for their sleeper hit ‘Different Shades of Blue’ in conjunction with a limited tape run reissue and a show in Singapore.

This video is five years in the making, with footage stretching as far back as 2014.

“There are shots from a music video that never happened, our secret recipes, and lots of haircuts,” explains vocalist-guitarist Mariah Reodica.

With lyrics that gradually unfurl in a steady stream-of-consciousness and melodies that pivot from melancholia to ebullience, the band achieves a sound that is at turns comforting and confrontational.

Singles such as ‘Manila’s a Trap’ and ‘Different Shades of Blue’ are veritable earworms with hooks that burrow deep into the brain while activating a complex range of emotions — feelings of stagnation are tackled and complicated by the bittersweet jangle of harmonious, assonant chord patterns, fatigue collapses into and collides against an explosive, triumphant arrangement.

Blank cassette tape box design mockup, isolated, clipping path. Vintage cassete tape case with retro casset mock up. Plastic analog magnetic tape casete clear packaging template. Mixtape box cover.

The group is an important point of convergence for multiple prominent bands in Manila’s fragmented music scenes; all four members have made music under celebrated acts such as Ourselves The Elves, Teenage Granny, and The Gory Orgies.

Hazy backdrops of fuzz are warm and filled with vigor, and each song is imbued with a wave of raw energy that is sustained across every song. Tracks such as ‘Museum Tower’ and ‘Wonder Showzen’ soar grandiose heights, while  ‘Lou’s Coffee Shop’ & ‘Howard’s Favorite Song’ fizzle with idiosyncratic patterns.

This reissue with Middle Class Cigars includes a never-before-heard demo of a new track, ‘Room So Small’, which you can listen to here.

CELL-O-PHANE is packed with surprising musical moments, clever turns of phrase, and a refreshing enthusiasm which truly make The Buildings an intriguing discovery, full of vitality & buzzing potential – even 3 years after.


Cell-O-Phane Album Cover