Filipino alternative heavy metal band Halik ni Gringo are back with their new rock anthem, “Home Alone”, which will be one of the lead singles from their upcoming and long-awaited second album.
Unlike the classic film which bears the same title, the new song is no laughing matter.
Like many recording artists who have released songs and albums in this pandemic, “Home Alone” explores themes of social deprivation and paranoia.
“I caught COVID-19 and had to isolate myself and do things on my own,” Halik ni Gringo frontman DJ Joey Santos revealed. “You are distanced from the things you love and even take for granted and are forced to face so many heavy things like life, death and the inability to do the things you love.”
When Halik ni Gringo came out with their debut album “The Call of Booty” in 2014, they sounded and even had the same vibe as American band Powerman 5000 with a penchant for humor and sci-fi pulp around industrial metal . But the album felt like an ode to Jack Sparrow – pirates of the high seas with a slab of heavy metal.
“‘The Call of Booty’ was raging with hormones, man,” Santos said with a laugh. “It was another era. And we were also into steampunk and cyberpunk, but kind of metal.
And the time between life and COVID-19 has a way of changing perspective and even style.
“It wasn’t always about the pandemic,” said Santos, who also produced the album. “Work started on the second album as early as 2014, but when the pandemic and lockdown hit us, what we went through became the overriding emotion and theme.”
The artwork that accompanies the single shows a rampaging Santos. It’s not Macaulay Culkin with the palms of his hands on his face after slathering them in aftershave. It could be part zombie, part letting go.
Although older and the effects of the pandemic affecting the group, they have not lost their sense of humor.
“Sometimes we treat evil with dark humor,” Santos joked. “And that included moving audio files from one to another as we are everywhere and in varying degrees of lockdown.”
“It is 2022 and yet I feel like we are stuck in 2020 as our country lags behind many other countries in dealing with the virus. These thoughts and feelings had been swirling around in my thoughts for quite a while now, and weaving them into a song was not only a means of expression, but also a form of catharsis. Looking back to that time, there are glimmers of hope that you take with you today.
The track is a preview of the band’s upcoming 2022 full album on floppy disk, which includes previous singles “Injustice For All” and “Mr. Big Data.” As with previous releases, the LP is still part of the band’s ongoing effort #2stDebutAlbum – now in its 5th year, having started in 2017.
“What makes the upcoming new album different,” Santos said, “is not about hormones, but as a band, we have a story to tell.”