Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Under The Starry Skies of Ursaminor

There are a lot of rock bands today but a few are able to combine their grunge roots with contemporary song writing like Ursaminor. 

Their name is derived from the little bear constellation which, as frontman Ced told, he saw while looking up at the night sky, while in a car, in one of his moments in drunken daze.

They started after guitarist/vocalist Ced came back from the US in 2005 and shared some song ideas with their neighbor Jambs, who would eventually become their bassist. Ced's sister, Yam, was later added as the permanent drummer after their previous one left. Ursaminor friend and Mayonnaise frontman Monty later replaced their former guitarist.

Ced writes the songs for the band and describes their music to be guitar and lyrically driven with sad, melancholic overtones... staying true to his main influence, the late Kurt Cobain of Nirvana. Some may brand their music to be 'Nirvana'-like, but a close look at their arrangements reveals various harmony and progressions usually attributed to Pinoy alternative bands.

They released their EP 'A.S.C.E.T.I.C.' last 2007. I recommend listening to their songs 'Taciturn' and 'Lucky Son'. But, like all artists, nothing beats seeing the energy of their live performances. Like in their outstanding performance at the BandaFest event held last July 4 at Hard Rock Cafe, Makati. Its only in these times when you could hear the intensity of Ced's guitar playing and vocal delivery. Supported by Monty's technical ingeniuity on the guitar and Jambs' almost stoic but full bodied bass. And watching Yam get in the 'zone' by transforming into, what I call, her 'Sadako mode'.

There is their one song, which Ced tells me that is entitled 'MySQL', takes the prize as my fave Ursaminor song. There's something about it that takes me back to my late highschool-early college days. I dunno, maybe because how Ced's crooning is very similar to his late idol's, which I was heavily into that time.

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