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rock in the fine city
'80s-'90s singapore independent music archives
Saturday, April 26, 2008
AWOL- Midnight In June CD
(BMG Pte Ltd 1993)



AWOL is a band that upon initial listen may not seem instantly gratifying, but their music had souls filled to the brim and with patience one will find that it is a very rewarding experience, their down to earth sensibility so very humanely comforting to weary ears. The exceptionally clear lucid productions of this album is a well deserved treatment for a group of serious musicians whom exhibit professional attitude in their music. I've come to know the band leader Lenny Garcia from my old Boys' Town alma mater and he is an individual that displays the finesse of conviction and tenacity that are crucial in getting AWOL on the pathway through to produce such proficient piece of art. In 1993, they released their debut album “Midnight In June”, which comes expectedly like I predicted.

For those who remember, the AWOL moniker was frequently mentioned ever since they contributed two songs for BigO's New School Rock II CD compilation, namely “Postcards” and “Claude's Dog”. Their adult oriented rock (AOR) made them sound older and more matured than they actually were, and the whole seriousness of the sound scheme set themselves strata above many amateurs from the Singapore bandwagons, having got invited to play in many venues with many headlining moments. Formed in 1989, AWOL also known as “Artistes Without License”, consisted of Lenny Garcia (lead vocals, guitars), Christopher Toh (lead guitar, vocals), Kevin Netto (bass), Fin (drums) and Colin Teo (keyboards). On “Midnight In June”, Dominic Wan was roped in to perform guitars on “Someday”. Musically the debut album rich in soul, is deeply steeped in earthly hue, a little mundane but nevertheless warm and catchy. They sound like they were influenced by U2, Crowded House and REM, but they were also closet Megadeth and Testament fans according to their bio. There are many strong numbers on the CD, with some of my favourites being the energetic “Tear Down These Walls”, the moody yet uplifting “Midnight In June”, two songs with very motivational U2 gist flowing through, “Still Building”, a song inspired by the Hotel New World disaster (for those who never lived through the days, Singapore actually suffered a serious deadly building collapse back in 1986), the infectiously solemn reggae number “Russell The Cat”, the two improved tracks originally from New School Rock II and the beautiful shimmering acoustic number “Someday”, which sounds like Kansas on “Dust In The Wind”.

The band took themselves seriously and it showed on their masterwork, but unfortunately the nuances, conditions and mills of the Singapore society did not permit continued existence of this band and that's the last I've heard from them. So in all technicality, they were literally AWOL this time.


--sojourner at 7:08 AM

album reviews

Anesthesia- Anesthesia CD Astreal- Ouijablush CD AWOL- Midnight In June CD Band of Slaves- 45 MCD Bird Brains- Peanut Butter Jelly Sandwich CD The Black Sun- The Black Sun CD The Boredphucks- Revolution 69 MCD The Boredphucks- Banned In Da Singapura CD Chris Ho- Nite Songs In Day-Glo CD Concave Scream- Concave Scream CD Concave Scream- Erratic CD Concave Scream- Three CD Daze- Sexy Little Boy MCD Do Not Ask- Just Play It! CD Edgar's Fault- Edgar's Fault CD Fection Dasche- Eternal Transgression CD Flying Pills- Flying Pills CD Force Vomit- The Furniture Goes Up CD Global Chaos- The Art of Listening CD Humpback Oak- Pain-stained Morning CD Humpback Oak- Ghostfather CD Humpback Oak- SideASideB CD Humpback Oak- Oaksongs Boxset Impiety- Asateerul Awaleen CD Kelvin Tan- The Bluest Silence CD Lilac Saints- Awake CD The Lizard's Convention- Here's a Funny Fish, Hurrah! CD The Mother- A Dark Trip On The Ill Tip CD Mutation- Void of Disharmony EP Neural Vibe- Mantra CD The Oddfellows- Teenage Head CD The Oddfellows- Carnival CD The Ordinary People- It's A Weird Existence CD The Padres- BigO Singles Club #1 MCD The Padres- What's Your Story MCD The Pagans- Stereokineticspiraldreams CD Radio Active- Eyes In The Attic CD Starfish n Coffee- Ghost MCD Stompin' Ground- Measured By The Richter Scale CD Stoned Revivals- Golden Lovesongs From The Evil Island of The Handsome Tropical Cannibals CD Sugarflies- And That's Why CD Watchmen- Democracy CD Watchmen- Love MCD Zircon Gov.Pawn Starz- Follywood CD Zircon Lounge- Regal Vigor LP Various Artists- +65 Indie Underground 3 CDs Set Various Artists- Left of The Dial CD Various Artists- The Substation 10 Years & Counting (Rock The Garden) CD Various Artists- 12 Storeys CD Various Artists- New School Rock MCD

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