Long before the launch of Up Dharma Down’s Capacities, I told my good friend, Ian Urrutia of Vandals on the Wall, that he has to write the review for the album. I’m convinced I’m not cut out enough to write anything remotely sensible about the album for the music community to understand.
I’m biased. It will show in every article, punctuation, and modifier I use in anything I will write about Up Dharma Down. I’ve compelled myself to use another medium, through painting and Photoshop, to somehow resist the urge to write. I think it’s too much. I feel it’s too much.
Then I read the Rappler article written by Pat Evangelista. That, coupled by the recent Spot interview, and listening to the album as I write (Feelings, coincidentally, played first), has finally got me writing.
This year has been outrageously kind to me. I have been very much contented within the confines of my iPod and earphones, listening to my favorite band, Up Dharma Down. Especially during my review for the licensure exam, I listen to Armi’s voice singing “Unspoken Definites” and finding solace in “Furnace” and “Broken Mirrors and Screaming Turtles”, while learning the chambers and valves of the heart, among thousands of things. Only April this year did I finally got the chance to watch them perform live for the first time (I was relatively a bore in college, not really having a bursting social calendar), during the Encounters with a Yeti launch (which is another band that has inflicted a massive emotional scar on me – and I say this like a soldier who just came home from a war). But only 2 months ago did I finally meet them through another good friend, Bel.
It was too much than I expected. In fact, I did not expect it at all. There was Ean (Mayor) who said “Thank you”, and that he appreciated the support (him reblogging posts I made on Tumblr was more than I could ask for, so just imagine). No, Ean, I thank you.
A few days later, I’ve been a part of the UDD Community, which was just another thing to be incredibly grateful for. I’ve been following the blog since early 2010 and I get an instant tug on my heart whenever I see a ‘like’, more so, a ‘reblog’ from Ean, Paul, or from the admins. Being a part of it opened doors to meeting new people and made friends, whom I cannot possibly thank enough for all these blessings within a short span of time. I feel like I’ve been welcomed a tight-knit family who’ll make sure I won’t feel alone ever. Who would have thought, really.
Being able to talk to them about the blog, about the contest then made me feel how much they care for the community. And that reading how Armi refers to us, as listeners, not fans, just made me appreciate and respect them even more.
It’s so surreal, impossible almost, to think that in the past six years that I was listening to them in several frequencies, through a number of stored megabytes in my laptop and iPod, and back when I don’t know jack about the Internet, and all I had was my Fragmented CD (and later on, Bipolar) and my old Sony Discman, I was the happiest girl in the planet. And that now, I get to know them, stripped of the drum sticks, guitars, and keyboards. Sharing a joke, a meal, a chat, getting a thank you, a hug, a peck on the cheek even, I feel like I’m a volatile liquid about to combust anytime and just vaporize in the air.
It’s like how I feel whenever my mom would take a peek at my room and pull my shirt when my back’s exposed. When she thinks I’m already asleep, and she’ll brush my hair, and pull the covers.
I smile because I feel appreciated, and loved.
So I cannot write anything about the album’s riffs or hooks or synths, or how excellent the songwriting is, nor that I can even list a dozen names of bands or acts that I can compare them to (because I agree with a friend who said that it would be a disservice to do so). I can only write on how I feel and shamelessly cry while doing so.
These are all just feelings.