Two Saturdays ago, I forgot that I am not a superwoman. I had planned to initially check out Rude Maynila: Ikalawang Yugto at Sazi's Bar before going to the launching of The Beauty Of Doubt's new EP over at Ten02 Bar. While I was able to show up at Bisikleta Production's comeback gig (fun as always), I failed to catch The Beauty Of Doubt play, which is such a shame because the person who pitched in for semi-retired TBOD guitarist Albert Ascona was none other than Boyet Miguel of Tame The Tikbalang and Betrayed fame.
How could I have missed that awesomeness? The crowd was present but was about to disperse when I arrived at Ten02 at a little past 12 midnight. I was told that 3 (or was it 4?) bands originally slated to play did not play that night, and so the whole gig was finished earlier than expected. I grabbed a copy of the new EP (100 bucks lang po) which contained takes of the singular theme "Just Matter".
Now Mina, a.k.a. the main person behind Filter Zine, has written a rather riveting review of the EP. Mina is herself a riveting writer: I personally enjoy reading her works. I have asked her permission to reprint her review and she agreed. Now here it is: read on. It is probably the closest thing to having a copy of the EP, which I strongly suggest that you get a hold of as soon as you can.
JUST MATTER (EP)
All songs by The Beauty of Doubt
Album artwork and design by JL Burgos
Produced by Counterflow Records
The strum of the guitars and blast of the drums stopped abruptly. I found myself staring at the monitor for a minute or so. I couldn't say a word. I couldn't move my fingers to type anything. The past minutes since I loaded the cd to the player gave me flashes of unending walks in chaotic streets under the blazing tropical heat with people shouting and I,wanting to shout in unison with them. As soon as the music stopped the silence felt deafening. I was emotionally struck.
Just Matter is 10-minute journey of looking at our own lives: how we lived it, how we will spend the rest of it. The sense of reflection and aggressive delivery of the lyrics will have listeners relate to any one, if not all, of the three songs.
"Are we just matter floating
like tiny specks of dust
in an eternity of space?
Are we just matter with no
bearing on anything
devoid of purpose or meaning?
Are we just matter floating
towards a tragic ending?
Are we just matter
destined for a tragic end?"
The past months I would jokingly say that I am having a "premature midlife crisis" (or quarterlife crisis... if ever there is such a thing). Major changes in relationships had caused me to take a better look at my life and things I had set aside to live in acceptable standards. (Are We) Just Matter was able to sum up how discontended I feel of myself and how I had lived the past 27 years. I think most of us comes to a point the same as this. And that people get to have a realization that they are just travellers and this idea urges them to take a bigger, heavier step and leave a mark. Personally I think this makes the idea of death quite acceptable.
"No. I won't spend another day
in this void existence.
And I won't waste another breath
living a fettered life.
And I won't let myself
submerged into nothingness.
No. I won't waste my life."
(We Should) Just Matter is a response to the sense of living in idleness expressed in the first track. It is the second stage wherein after one had identified what's lacking, he'd come up to a decision and start putting such decision into action. The heavy riff definitely adds to the lyrics sense of taking a stand. The band may have (or may not have) the full intention of expressing the levels of consciousness: raising awareness, mobilizing, organizing. But regardless of personal or political ideals, one would relate to this because TBOD voices out questions that we all have lingering inside our minds.
"All the courage you have shown
the seeds that you have sown,
may it grow in all of us.
And when they took you away
into uncertain fate,
we still hope you come home safe
and that they pay."
(A) Just Matter is a tribute to all Desaparacidos (people who chose to "matter," as Ron would say it). Personally, this is the most shattering song in the EP especially for someone who may have a family, a friend or had simply been acquaintted with someone who had been a victim of political killings or political-related injustices. TBOD had included names of Desaparacidos at the ending part of the song and the mixed sadness and anger in it can make one shout along with the line "Surface them now!"
Overall, Just Matter is a three-staged travel. Sit back and close your eyes. Move and shout in full hardcore madness if you feel like it. Then right after the journey, open your eyes into a different perspective.
For more on Mina and Filter Zine, you can click on the link HERE.