“Mister Tililing is like your favorite radio play or theatrical dark comedy show that you want to keep yourself engaged to from beginning up to the end and can’t afford to miss any part of it — entertaining, creative and precise.”
Tanya Markova’s Mister Tililing is the band’s sophomore album independently produced and released on April 25, 2016 which can only be purchased in band’s gigs or ordered from them (visit their Facebook page for more details).
The shock pop/goth rock band’s 2nd album has a total of 17 tracks, 8 of which are full length songs and the rest are transitional tracks. Hello, Hello, Hello is its 1st carrier single and the next one will be, Ang Darling Kong Zombie.
1. Tililing, Tililing
This is the filler and opening track of the album which is introduced by carefree acoustic guitar strums, percussions and then, bells come after followed by repeatedly sung onomatopoeic title, Tililing, Tililing. As the joyful cheer fades into dark rhythm of chimes and eerie pad, we are introduced to a character who named himself as Mister Tililing having ridiculous tone and dropping questions that perfectly sets the mood for the whole album. One can equate Mister Tililing as a parodic Mr. DJ of a radio and this will not be the last time you’ll hear his background theme.
Beginning with a pumped up intro with syllables “Pap-parap-pap-papapa” famously heard in a fastfood chain tune (a reference to their parodied character in their album cover); Bermuda Love Triangle, as narrated in the song’s bridge, simply tells a love triangle story about 3 lost hearts — the two-timer, the traitor and the total fool. The listener can feel the anguish during the chorus because of the shifts and progression in instrumentation. The groove of the bass will drive you forward all throughout the song while electric guitars fill both your ears with riffs and breaks. But what more stood out in this song (that will set this apart from their upbeat tracks later on), is the rhythmic-chaotic piano playing from the mid until the near end.
The 3rd track is initial carrier single and the first song I heard from this album. I fell in love with Hello, Hello, Hello when I listened it on radio the first time because of its sweet vocals accompanied by good vibe feels that can be likened to their most popular song, Picture Picture. I have played back its music video several times since then. The studio version is different from the music video version because the latter has tons of sound effects and an excerpt of Ang Darling Kong Zombie’s chorus before the 2nd verse of the song. So, when I listened to the studio mix, I was kind of missing those additional sound effects. My favorite part is the bridge and how it welcomes back the chorus and ends with its redundant title pretty sweetly and smoothly.
After a combination of upbeat songs, the album starts to tone down with this short-but-sweet-one-liner-acoustic filler track Eskeleton which I wish was turned into a full song.
I never expected this is actually the song from the short preview in Hello, Hello, Hello Music Video. Ang Darling Kong Zombie takes us back to old fashion serenading music but with a twist — this kundiman is offered to a zombie. When I first heard its preview, I know that it will one of the tracks of their new album and it would turn out as a song that I will really like. Pre-chorus and chorus are the highlights of the song that makes it a unique romantic love song.
6. B.U.N.G.O. (Mag-Asawang)
Another filler track dedicated to a couple who cheated in B.I.N.G.O. which I think I heard its tune somewhere before. I’m not sure if it’s another parodied nursery rhyme or charismatic song by the band.
7. Metal Hospital
Metal Hospital is also a transitional track that sounds like recorded straight from one of the live performances of Tanya Markova (or was it really?) The track is just filled with seemingly endless exchange of same loud banters between the band members and the audiences. It was insane but yet fun filler.
In contrast to the two comedic and nonsensical filler tracks, the next track is a full-length song that reveals the depth of this band. This epic song is of timely social relevance especially in our country that makes us aware of those indigents and where their desperations came from in trying their luck in metropolis referred by the song as Pandemonium. The bridge part is filled with very familiar children rhymes but one can realize how they are somehow connected to the theme of the song. Every instrument here is played with so much passion, especially how commendable the bass runs throughout the song.
9. Nari Tuna
We again take a break with this track Nari Tuna which really sounds like a legit radio commercial of an parodied brand name of tuna for the sake of word play. When I heard the line, “Eto na…” I really thought I heard Coco Martin singing the jingle. Hahaha! This track only showcases how Tanya Markova can create catchy radio commercial jingles, too!
We are greeted with captivating rhythms and especially the violin, which for me, are the best assets of this track High-End that are responsible for sustaining the high energy in the whole duration of the song. Like the songs that came before it in this album, the production/arrangement of the song sounds full and solid. The song is about the gap in social/financial status between lovers. It doesn’t lyrically contain any mystical/child rhyme references usually added by Tanya Markova in their songs yet this remains enjoyable to the ears. This song also has made me realize how the band can write lyrics in combination of English & Filipino languages in seamless way.
11. Belated Happy Birthday Song
Another short but yet enjoyable birthday song which anyone can sing casually for their friends. You can hear the band members were having so much fun recording this only with a guitar.
In this next song, you will be wondering what it is really about. Nakatutok can be treated as another allegory to a guy who is ‘torpe’ or in stealth mode in making his moves towards a love interest. But, taking this song literally, it’s about a surveillance/arrest case which I think is an innovative metaphor to use by the band to portray this cliche situation in love. Listening to this song, Nakatutok rings so much Kamikazee vibes to my ears. My favorite parts are all when the song goes from fast to slow pace with definitive beats.
13. No Eating Below The Belt
You can tell that this filler is a green joke byte by reading it’s title which involves a hilarious dialogue between Marlon and Angel, a guy and a gay (respectively). What I don’t get here is why is the guy keep on using the reverse psychology approach on his friend when it is not obviously working… Even at the end. Hahaha!
Lagalag is the most good vibe song of Tanya Markova in the album, thanks to its simple lyrics, acoustic guitar and the synth keyboard that brings life to the song. The sincerity demanded by the song is delivered successfully by Norma Love’s voice. His voice really fits especially in this kind of songs, so I’m looking forward to more chill songs from Tanya Markova in the future.
15. Mr. Tililing & Kuya Dark Contract
By hearing his background theme, you know Mr. Tililing is back but this time with another persona called Kuya Dark Contract for a question and answer segment like you hear in a radio show.
E.O.W. (End Of The World) is the last full song in the album and it is also coincidentally about the end of the world literally. The highlight of this song is its bridge where you’ll be shocked by a lot of growling. I’m not actually a fan of death growls but for this song, it just works effectively. The band’s execution of the bridge and the outro makes the morbid love song interestingly operatic.
The final track of the album, Liwaliwba, is where you will hear Mr. Tilling bids goodbye to the listeners as his creepy tune fades out followed by the striking clock sound indicating the cycle has ended and can begin anew.
Mister Tililing, in simplest words, is a pretty solid sophomore album from Tanya Markova. The production quality is top-notch that I cannot believe that it is only an independent release. This definitely has raised the standards not for indie records but also the commercial albums. I love every single track out of it that even the fillers I never skipped out. Take note, I rarely listen to a whole album without skipping for playback. I can’t even overemphasize with my own words how all their songs incredibly written, meticulously arranged and fantastically performed. More so, artists should learn from Tanya Markova how to they should do filler tracks in their albums.
With this release, Tanya Markova continues to challenge the convention and only proves that they can effectively tell stories through their songs, regardless whether it’s for entertainment value or for delivering bold statements. Mister Tililing is like your favorite radio play or theatrical dark comedy show that you want to keep yourself engaged to from beginning up to the end and can’t afford to miss any part of it — entertaining, creative and precise.