The Mellow Dees Release Filipino-Language Version of New Single

What’s in someone’s mother tongue? The difference leaps in The Mellow Dees’ Filipino rendering of previous single “Amber Alert” from two weeks back.

Surprise, no surprise: there’s inherent musicality in languages.

Songs aren’t like Netflix movies; you can’t subtitle them and expect to leave a ballpark-mirror message. Song translations often sound reaching, for better or worse, and it’s not often the case that disparate versions are able to convey the same spirit.

That is the curious conundrum (a good thing, mind you) of today’s release: The Mellow Dees’ Filipino rendering of “Amber Alert” (“Sakim”), which apparently was the song’s intended form anyway.

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If you’ve missed the previous outings by the trio of Melody del Mundo-Lucas, Wolf Gemora, and Nievera, you’d know it’s been a heady amalgam of warring shapes and colors: there’s a punky kundiman quality in their debut (“Lamán”), an emo-New Wave undercurrent running through their follow-up (“Runnin’”), and a propulsive vigor in “Amber Alert.”

To recap the band’s own description of the track, it’s Pat Benatar-brand rock crossed with the propulsive rhythms of Yano’s “Tsinelas.”

“It’s a total break from our other songs [because] it’s closer to punk,” the band tells internal publicity. “We are getting closer to the album launch and we’re very excited!” they add.

“Sakim” fuels that excitement very well. As soon as the relentless rhythms and the flange-and-drive guitar tones establish the tenor of the tune, the razor-sharp phonemes of the Filipino lyrics provide a more decisive assault.

“The track is about different versions of greed and [narcissism],” the band adds about “Sakim,” and, while it’s mostly swathed in brushstrokes and umbrella vitriol, we get a very clear, very palpable sense of anger.

The persona has got her eyes laser-focused on an infinitely deplorable addressee, and the censure has got more teeth in the mother tongue.

Oh, to implore “lumayas” to someone “sinungaling,” “mahangin,” and “gahaman”—one who’s “huling-huli”—and to wish this “sakim” loser to get banished in the deepest pits of hell? Tell me you’d rather not cuss this tarantado out in the language you dream in, and my friend, I’ll show you the door.

Let’s not split hairs over this, shall we? Spin the rocking new single today.

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