Here Be Dragonflies [Album Review of TWIYO on The Philippine Star]

by Scott Garceau
The X-PAT FILES, The Philippine Star

I remember Clementine, a.k.a. Clem Castro, erstwhile guitarist/vocalist with Orange & Lemons, invited us to play our first gig as “The Garceaus” a few years back (an incarnation that then featured my wife Therese on keyboards, Igan D’Bayan on bass, Bryan Escueta on lead guitar, Andy Kaw on drums and me on, um, vocals). It was a Beatles Night in Makati, and Clem thanked us afterward for playing Rain, one of his favorite songs.

Castro has always been a Beatles head, and particularly a Lennon head, not to mention more than a little infatuated with The Smiths and the ‘80s in general. You can definitely sense a strong Anglophile air swirling through his material with Camerawalls, the band he formed after moving on from Orange & Lemons.

Those releases — “Pocket Guide to the Otherworld” and the EP “Bread and Circuses”— went a long way towards feeding his production jones and Lennon songwriting ambitions (Castro even won a John Lennon Birthday Songwriting Competition — you know, the one advertised in the back of Musician and Guitar World magazines — and it earned him, we hear, a Lennon Casino model electric guitar as prize).

There’s a certain cocooning ‘80s familiarity to those Camerawalls releases: it’s as though the decade never left, reimagined for a new generation. Songs like Markers of Beautiful Memories may open like a lift from Echo and the Bunnymen, but it shifts into a very different pop confection during the chorus. Lord of the Flies recalls one of Lennon’s nasal diatribes crossed with Robyn Hitchcock’s wit — then Castro hits you with a McCartney-esque middle eight. And A Gentle Persuasion echoes the Modfather, like some long-lost Style Council vamp.

But the Camerawalls came and went as well, and now Castro has a solo album, “The World is Your Oyster,” that’s every bit as panoramic as his previous bands’ releases.
Going by the name Dragonfly Collector, the release (available on iTunes and soon launching in CD form) takes his listeners on a journey from Oasis-style power ballads (opener The Tragic Story Of Joshua And Fiedme), to gentler fare like Someday, Someday.

Read the rest of the review here:

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