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Sep 15, 2016
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Everyday there are gigs at everyone's favorite spots, be it Saguijo, Route196, MOWs, and beyond. In-between the sought after live acts in these shows, though, are the relatively unknown, the so-called "cigarette break" bands that patrons sometimes deliberately not choose to see so they can smoke outside and have drunken talks with friends.

Unaware of what is happening inside, these fans are actually missing out on the acts and music of these fresh and promising talents who just might be their new favorite bands in the months to come. You know those friends of yours who are always in the know when it comes to the great but rarely seen new bands in town? Well, with this solid guide to these four indie bands we're seriously following now, you have the chance to keep pace with them now.


1) Grows

Formed last year by Pastilan Dong! bandmates Kaloy Olavides and Alvin Zafra alongside The Strangeness bassist Bijan Gorospe, Grows plays easy fuzzed out jams you can sway to. Vocalist and guitarist Olavides originally wrote an album’s worth of unrecorded material even before starting the band, which we hope we can check out soon. But judging from their live shows, these gazers' album "Go, Glow, Grows," released by indie label Beat The Robot Records, is something everyone should listen to. Trust us.


2) Hey! It’s Your Birthday


While Cebu prides itself of being the reggae capital of the Philippines, there are pocket scenes that stray from the norm. One of the bands leading this charge, alongside their cohorts in Bomba Press, is Hey! It's Your Birthday.

Fresh from a Manila stint last month and conquering a stage like indie production staple Attraction! Reaction!, the band is set to bring Cebu back in the indie map.

3) Rusty Machines

This four-piece band evokes unending fun days under blue skies with their sunshiny pop straight out of California, only they're from here and in fact regularly play with most of the nation's established acts at our usual favorite bars. Them playing alongside these top bands is proof of Rusty Machines' considerable musical chops, of course.

But that also makes them somewhat the ideal smoking-break-band on any given gig night. Which is sad. But don't wallow too much in it, folks. Just promise us that the next time you see Rusty Machines' name in the marquee, do us a favor and fight the urge to light one up.

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4) 
Bubble Economy

Comprised of 3/7 of The Strangeness, Bubble Economy plays easy-going pop tunes built for mornings, in-between coffee and cigarettes. While the band has yet to amass a bigger body of work—only one song has been posted in their Soundcloud as of late—it is enough for the band to garner radio airplay in Japan.

It should come as a surprise since Francis Cabal, Jayme Ancla, and Paolo Arciga all worship in the altar of Japan's city pop genre, a mixture of smooth jazz and AOR, basically what the kids call "tito music" nowadays.

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