WHAT do you get when you combine punk with a touch of old school and sing it-”pinoy” style? A fresh sound that sets it apart from the Eraserheads, Teeth, and Rivermaya-inspired music of most rock groups today. The fresh act is Join The Club (JTC).

As their name implies, JTC, who like the Eraserheads also began performing in Mayric’s— a make-or-break bar for most local bands— seem to invite listeners to join in the production of a new Pinoy punk music. They begin with a steady rhythmical flow and then finish with a fast punk beat—something that is new to an era of pop-rock bands.

Although to many, JTC may seem to be “just another rock group”, their unique blend of old-school and punk-rock songs in their debut album, Nobela, separates them from the rest of the pack.

Highly influenced by the Ramones, Sex Pistols, the Clash, the Beach Boys and even the Beatles, JTC, or “the clubbers,” combined these old sounds with new age punk-rock popularized by Blink 182, Green Day, and Dashboard Confessional.

The distinctiveness of their music is complemented by lead vocalist Biboy Renia’s voice, which is low-pitched and yet smooth like Ely Buendia’s combined with Rico Blanco’s.

Like the music, the order of the songs is also distinct. Aptly called Nobela, the album tracks are arranged like a love-themed novel with the lyrics telling how a girl slips away from the guy, and how the guy attempts to bring her back.

According to JTC, the newly released 12-track album is the product of their past disappointments and frustrations in love. Although it somewhat lacks variety in theme, each song displays uniqueness with the lyrics, enabling listeners to interpret each song differently. The lyrics also emphasize the emotions common to people who are frustrated with love.

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The single “Lunes,” is making raves. It is an emotional punk-pop song that reminds one of the Eraserheads classic, “Pare ko.”

Meanwhile, other notable tracks like “Tinig,” “Mahiwaga,” and “Isang Minuto sa Buhay Ko”, meanwhile, are fast-paced like those of Green Day’s “Holiday” and “American Idiot.”

Moreover, the album’s only English tracks, “My Way With You,” “Love Is,” and “One Last Time” further accentuate the band’s emo-punk image with highly expressive lyrics.

However, the song that truly shines in the album is the title track, “Nobela” which manifests the band’s full potential and showcases the full range of Renia’s voice. The track is the “climax” of Nobela as Renia sings smoothly to a much slower and softer rhythm.

With their ability to write and deliver good songs, JTC, gives the impression that they are ready to start a new trend in the music industry. At present, they have already performed at bars like The Dish, Phi Bar and campuses, and are off to a good start. With a little more promotion and more gigs, it won’t be long before they join the rest of the well-established bands of the country and find their niche market.

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