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Try as we might, it’s hard to ignore the little factoid that new band Gaijin is yet another one of those Raimund Marasigan projects. [firstpara]

If we are correct—and please correct us if we're wrong—Gaijin is Raimund Band Number Four with Cambio, Sandwich, and Pedicab tucked safely in his repertoire. The list excludes his stint as Squid Nine.

Apart from having a difficult time ignoring that fact, we mention this because having a popular member like Marasigan will easily overshadow a few good things about the band, if by a hair.

This is a pity because Gaijin seems to have a noble little mandate: they aim to hark back to punk’s rude and crude ethos, which, judging from its debut record Welcome Back, Earthlings, it is able to successfully pull off thanks to the three veteran, talented, skilled musicians that make up the band.

We say this for several reasons: First, the longest song in this 12-track record is the charming "Bugtaw" at 4:36 minutes; most of the songs clock in at just two minutes.

Second, Gaijin adapts as super straightforward song structure, which coupled with length of songs,  surprisingly doesn’t sound bitin or trying-hard; should younger or less talented bands attempt this, bitin or trying-hard would have easily been the case.


WORDS BY: LOU E. ALBANO

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