EARLY this year, Lizza Nakpil, best known as longtime manager of Rivermaya aside from her lesser known advocacy of championing Andres Bonifacio as our national hero, sent me a CD of a new recording of the new band that she is now managing. That band turned out to be Wolfgang and Villains, the CD is actually their very first studio recording of new material since they went on hiatus in 2002.
At right about the same time, FHM Philippines asked me to submit some capsule music reviews for their March (or was that April?) issue. Although I do listen to all kinds of music, I was never much of a hard rock slash heavy metal fan to begin with and I also don't do music reviews on a regular basis anymore so yes, there was some reluctance on my part to touch Villains.
Still, I never really had a problem with Wolfgang's brand of headbanging rock and unlike many of their contemporaries, I always regarded the band as a class act not just in terms of their body of work but also with the way these guys carry themselves on stage and off: all business and no bullshit.
So I gave Villains a few spins and yes, actually enjoyed it. But as much as I want to say more on my review, I was limited by FHM's prescribed format. I hope what little I said about the album pretty much covers what it was all about. We all love comeback stories and as hackneyed as it sounds, Villains was/is indeed a triumphant return to form.
And here's that review:
Like they were never gone. Even without the Wolfman on drums, the bangs and crashes remain loud and proud on Wolfgang’s long-anticipated studio return. The method of Wolfgang’s madness is restrained a bit with slick production values that somewhat tames the raw power of the band’s early releases. Still, it’s a solid all-around effort from Basti, Mon, Manuel and new drummer Francis Aquino. Standout tracks: “Diaspora Mama,” “John of the Cross,” “Kung Gusto Mo Pa” and “RP Deathsquad.” Rating: 4 out of 5.
Here's Wolfgang and their video of "Soap" from Villains: