One Click Straight: Elevating Filipino Pop-Rock Vibes in Cosmos’ Top 23 Best Albums

by McKee
One Click Straight Philippines

One Click Straight, a pop-rock band with four members from the Philippines, came together during high school. The group consists of close-knit siblings and best friends who share a deep love for music, infusing their sound with an entertaining rock accent. Their style encompasses a vibe of pop-punk and power-pop that is both intense and emotionally charged. Adding to their distinctiveness, they incorporate catchy beats and cool electronic sounds into their songs in a way that’s hard to compare.

Their self-titled album, in particular, showcases a diverse range of musical styles and stands out for its innovative approach. It garnered significant attention from The COSMOS team, earning a spot on the Top 23 International Albums of 2023 list. This recognition presents an excellent opportunity for Thai music fans to discover another noteworthy band from Southeast Asia.

In our Space Invader feature, we have Tim Marquez, a member of the band, discussing their latest album in an email interview. He sheds light on their journey in finding their musical identity and shares why being included in this list of outstanding albums holds great significance for them.

One Click Straight members
Toffer Marquez (Bass, Keyboard)
Sam Marquez (Guitar)
Tim Marquez (Drum)
Joel Cartera (Guitar)

One Click Straight Philippines

Tim: To be honest, it was just such a nice feeling knowing our album is appreciated in a different country. It was a nice pat on the back, reminding us that we’re doing something right. It just shows that the world is big and that if you feel like your music isn’t appreciated in a certain place, there’s always someone out there who understands what you’re trying to do.

Tim: As funny as it sounds, we can’t remember. We’ve been a band for such a long time that it felt like us naming the band was such a distant memory. There’s a lot of theories of how it came to be, but its funny cause majority of the members are leaning more towards one specific theory 15 years ago, I woke up one day and told them that ONE CLICK STRAIGHT would be our band name. Yeah, I don’t know. haha

Tim: I think our sound evolves the same way we evolve as people. This album came from a lot of dark and disheartening times like the pandemic, and a lot of personal things, that’s why I think this one sounds the angriest but also the most honest one out of all our releases. This is the angriest pop record you’ll ever hear. Haha

Tim: I think the advantage of being in a band with brothers and a friend from fetus-hood can also be the disadvantage, ironically. Basically, there’s no more sugarcoating. We can say it how it is, no holds barred, fight if we fight, live with the results. But I think that really helped us get to where we are now. The trust we’ve built with honesty, I think it really shows in our work ethic and our music. At the end of the day, we always just want what’s best for the band and each other.

One Click Straight Philippines

Tim: The biggest challenge for making the record wasn’t really the music making. We’ve always immersed in and enjoyed the process of making music. I guess where the challenge comes in is on the outside pressure. The business side of it. We understand how the machinery works, it’s just a matter of how well you can handle it. It’s asking yourself what would you do knowing that what you create isn’t what the people are looking for? It’s funny though, because we think our record is a pop record, it’s not as obscure as what some might think. But, we learned to just accept that not everyone would gravitate toward our music and that’s okay.

Tim: This is a culmination of everything that we went through as a band. When we were working on this album, we always knew that it was going to be a “self-titled” record. I think we already knew our identity as a band, but, it’s not until now, when we’ve finally understood it. We finally understood why we are the way we are, why we create what we create and the purpose for the band. I think that revival of confidence in ourselves is what we wanted to explore. We felt like nothing can stop us from creating what we want.

Tim: We grew up with all kinds of music. But being molded by punk music at a very young age, we always had this attitude of trying not to do what others are doing. And I think with this album, we didn’t want to make a “tribute” record or a nostalgia record. We tried to push boundaries in terms of the sound and the use instruments that not necessarily fit well. And I think that’s where the classical and acoustic guitars entered in an electronic driven rock record.

Tim: We’ve always loved the 90’s rave culture and dance music has been such a big influence for the band. We wanted to create something that has that energy and pulse.

Tim: I think it came from the frustration with this day and age. It’s really hard to be yourself and to be authentic. This whole thing where if it doesn’t trend, then it doesn’t matter. If it doesn’t have the numbers, then your music isn’t good. It’s that kind of culture we’re trying to go against.

Tim: Some Kind of Girl is a pretty straightforward song about wanting to be friends with the coolest person on the block. I believe Sam came up with the riff and I remember adding that riff to a different UK garage demo idea I had and it really worked. We ended up doing like a jangle pop, rave thing which was fresh for the band. – Tim

Tim: The music video for Some Kind of Girl started with the idea by my brother Sam. Due to the small budget from our band savings, he thought of just having a DIY video, showcasing the life of our good friends Tonet and Yones. The coolest twins on the block. And from there, I, together with, photographer, Miguel Matreo and video editor, Steven Victor, directed and shot the video; we had to create something that’s near to zero budget, but create something that we can be proud of. We’re really happy with how it turned out. Despite the limitations, I think the magic was there. The people involved were really passionate about the shoot and it felt like a high-school project. It may not be the grandest video out there obviously but, I think we’re just proud that we were able to do something like that.

Tim: Well according to ChatGPT, “Beauty standards in the Philippines are diverse, but some common features considered attractive include tan skin, a bright smile, expressive eyes, curves, long and shiny hair, traditional femininity, and a good sense of fashion. However, perceptions of beauty are subjective and can vary among individuals.”

Sam: I personally love MRT because of it’s simplicity and message. The lyrics are simple and sweet. The production and arrangement is very much what our band is all about. Crafted carefully with taste and control.

Tim: I really like the instrumental track “nonzerosumgame”, it serves as a connection between the song Gulo to MRT which was a challenge to do because sonically the two songs are kind of far apart. So the track became like a bridge. And also it inspired the name we use for the gig series we put up called “NONZEROSUMGIG”.

Joel: Untitled 01 would definitely be my pick for the album cause of its infectious melody, and angsty lyrics.

Toff: Dahan Dahan’s lyrics resonate with me because sometimes we just gotta let life flow and let things happen.

Tim: We love experimenting and thinking of different ways of getting a certain sound. One of my favourite moments is when we used a suitcase drum kick for the song MRT, which really built the whole sonic direction of the drums for that song. Also, I remember recording some metal scraps we found for Untitled 01 and it made it even more….industrial. – Tim

Tim: I think we just have to keep fighting the good fight. Creating shows has been a big help with building this community. So yeah try do more shows and also we hope that we can make a NONZEROSUMGIG in Thailand soon. We just want to connect with people that understand us, wherever that may be.

Tim: I think there’s something brewing in the Philippine music industry right now. I’m talking about the artists you don’t get to see on the Philippine charts, but something is happening, coming from below and it’s gonna be just really good music. Authentic and daring. I can’t wait for Asia to take notice soon. But yeah, I think the music here is getting better. Quality is slowly getting recognised and I think standards are getting higher. That’s why we’re really happy that you guys recognised our record, we’re just trying our best for others to hear what  Philippine artists are capable of doing.

Tim: Hopefully this year! We’ll try our best to make a show over there.

Tim: Khob-kun-krub!! We appreciate you listening and supporting our music. We can’t wait to visit Thailand and have a rad show with you guys.

Check out their latest album here. And stay tuned for updates on the One Click Straight’s activities on Facebook and Instagram.

One Click Straight Philippines

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