Pasca Sini is the pop punk band that makes you long for the pop punk of the early 2000s, but still keeping it fresh with the unabashed aggression of hardcore riffs. If you love yourself some Pierce the Veil but still want the indie sensibilities of Hujan, Pasca Sini’s got you covered.
Hailing from Damansara, Selangor, Pasca Sini‘s story is the classic rock band tale of a group of friends testing their skills at a Battle of the Bands in 2015 and realizing they work great as a unit. The band members consist of Syawal Faka (lead vocals), Anwar Hadi (guitarist, vocals), Thoriq (guitarist), Aqmal Hakim (bassist, vocals) and Zulfadly (drums). Although they all possess a unified musical direction citing influences from the pop punk revivalism music of this decade from bands like Neckdeep or earlier emo-leaning pop punk like The Story So Far, it is interesting to note the different elements each member brings to their table with their varying backgrounds and interests.
Syawal played bass in a band called The Finks from Kuantan and was the singer of Sekali Go! – both pop punk alt-rock outfits – playing a significant role in his singing style and compositions. Anwar Hadi is a comical/educational YouTuber with 60k subscribers, has a podcast called Buah Mulut where he talks with his wifeand artist Takahara Suiko about various topics from feminism to tea varieties. There is this one moment in the band’s EP, specifically in the eponymous song Hardly Do I Find Myself Speechless, But You Have Rendered Me So, where there’s an audio sample of Ustaz Azhar Idrus talking about hardcore music and praying five times a day that shows the refreshing sense of humour this band has amidst lyrics about complex relationships and fighting against the odds stacked against you (we suspect that that came from Anwar).
Besides the indie and pop punk influences, they also have Thoriq who grew up listening to the Oi! music – a grittier, working-class subgenre of punk rock (think early Dropkick Murphy’s and the 4-Skins) – but when it comes to his guitar playing, it’s all about the slow-hand, slick of Eric Clapton’s virtuoso. A lot enters into the smorgasbord of Thoriq’s influences like Britpop and local bands like Bittersweet, but what we’re most intrigued by is his day job at the National Aerospace and Defense Industries. If occupations play a huge role in the way a person plays music, then we wonder whether the sort of galactic vibe we get from the elevated guitars of Dichotomy, (one of the tracks in their EP), is heavily influenced by Thoriq’s aeronautic pursuits
Aqmal, who used to play with Thoriq in a different band called Swndle, skates in his free time, and is motivated the hard-hitting, rawness of skate-punk bands like NOFX. Zulfadly, on the other hand, reveres the drumming precision of Thomas Lang and is the only person in the band knows how to read music scores. His influences range from rock kapak to the likes of the Beatles.
The band played their first gig at Habit Art cafe in Alor Star opening up for Killeur Calculateur, and released an EP entitled Hardly Do I Find Myself Speechless, But You Have Rendered Me So, produced by Shaheir Jibin. The songs in the EP are mainly written by Syawal and Aqmal.
It’s tempting to write Pasca Sini’s latest as your run-of-the-mill pop punk, but there is really a lot of personality in the lyricism and arrangements. We’ve already reviewed Dichotomy and Apa Yang Kau Mahu in the previous articles, and enjoyed it tremendously, with Dichotomy‘s verve that reminds us of the high school days for Malaysian twenty-somethings that grew up with discovering cool bands on Myspace, and Apa Yang Kau Mahu is a solid celebratory anthem despite it’s somewhat gloomy subject matter. Besides the Ustaz Azhar Idrus audio clip, other highlights in the EP include the bass craze that happens around the one minute mark of Directions after Syawal sings “Loser on streak” and instilling self-esteem and hope in all of us with lyrics about how you don’t have to wear a suit to be a superhero, or “I have no bridges to burn, all of my friends are here to say”. A sort of happy ringing farewell conclusion in the EP.
However, most of it still leaves us a lot of for wanting. It is still an EP, with not much length to contain all the creative ways in which Pasca Sini can stand out in the crowd of pop punk bands popping up in Malaysia. The band is in the works of creating their 2nd EP in the future, and hopefully we get fresher tracks and more interesting musical tidbits. Tomorrow might just get even more exciting for them, post-here, and post-now.
To follow up on their gigs or any other updates from the band; check the out there!
FB: Pasca Sini
EDITED: 16/12/2017 – 12:43 AM – Added that the songs in the EP are mainly written by Syawal and Aqmal.