Last September, rock icons Sandwich released their second single of the year titled “Ibang Araw Na Lang.” In an Instagram post by guitarist Diego Castillo, he explained that the song started out as a demo originally made as background music for drummer Mike Dizon’s vlog all the way back in 2014. Guitarist and backing vocalist Mong Alcaraz added lyrics and vocal arrangements while frontman Raimund Marasigan and bassist Myrene Academia collaborated to make the track what it is today.
No one can question the mark that Sandwich has made on Filipino rock and the music scene as a whole. With 25 years of continuous releases, it seems that no one else can pull off their signature Beastie Boys-style of rock that has defined their career until today. Their 2022 EP, No Goodbyes, was a testament to that — Marasigan’s wit and swagger along with the pure talents of Castillo, Alcaraz, Academia, and Dizon showed that the band could still produce tracks that hold the same weight as their earlier hits.
While their more popular releases are upbeat, “Ibang Araw Na Lang” is still a trademark Sandwich melancholic and melodic song. Lyrically, the single is straight to the point: Marasigan sings about being tired, wanting to forget the world, and a refusal to accept the way things are. The guitar arrangement for the verses revolve around just a few chords, as many Sandwich songs do.
This isn’t the first time that the band has tackled more sentimental topics in their discography. The track “New Romancer” in their 2014 album, Fat Salt & Flame lays down metaphors about watching the world around you change. “Two Lovers” from <S> Marks The Spot grapples with a failed love, no rapping, and a generally more melodic musical arrangement. “In Case of Fire,” while more musically upbeat than the past two examples, still features more serious lyrics with metaphors weaved in.
However, the band’s newest single doesn’t share the same impactful effect as previous explorations into their more muted side. The melody feels one-note and underwhelming, and while Alcaraz’s riff is impressive, it feels repetitive with the lead guitar riffs during the verses and chorus. During the points where it does vary, it doesn’t make the guitar solo feel any different from the rest of the song. Just like the melody and instrumentation, the literal aspect of the lyrics make the track uninspiring and forgettable. For example, in the song’s chorus, Marasigan croons “Ayokong tanggapin / Ayoko pang isipin / Ibang araw na lang.”
In comparison with “Two Lovers,” while the melody is admittedly repetitive, the lyric “I resign all implications with the war that’s imminent” and the backing synth adds more flavor to the song.
Ultimately, the single falls flat both lyrically and musically. However, this doesn’t necessarily mean that the band is entering a creatively underwhelming era. Their first release of 2023, “Nyare?” has more memorable points such as the leading riff and melody for the chorus in “Di ka na naman mapakali / Ano ba’ng nangyari kagabi?” The guitar solo sections add more variation to the instrumentation of the song, despite the extremely abrupt ending of the song.
Hopefully the next singles — and upcoming record, as mentioned by Castillo in an Instagram comment — are more musically interesting and memorable, like the Sandwich we know well.
Listen to Sandwich’s “Ibang Araw Na Lang” below: