To be honest, I have never ever attended this student-driven exclusively S-ROCK festival organized by Republic Polytechnic. But since I currently teach at RP, it seems to require my attendance. To be brutally candid, I am not wholly thrilled by the line-up of bands on offer at the festival to be held on 1st and 2nd July. Fact is, the only band I might consider traveling all the way to Woodlands for, is Typewriter. At least Chang Kang and Pat have tunes you can bring home.

The other bands have youth and energy in abundance but lack that x-factor that raises them above the ‘indie music’ stereotype. You know what I mean – the bands who tend to play modern-emo-alternative game down to a ‘t’ but are devoid of a distinct personality. Worse still, most of their original repertoire could not muster a memorable tune collectively amongst them.

I’m sorry if this is going to rub people the wrong way but I am tired of pandering to the fragile egos of bands/artists who really should do much better and work much harder to bring their music (and S-ROCK) to the next level. From a glance at the band schedule, it’s clear that the bands have been split along ‘genre’ lines for the two nights.

First night (1st July), we have I guess the ‘poppier’ bands. Besides Typewriter, the likes of Giants Must Fall, Barricade, SIXX, Inch Chua and Metric System will grace the stage. Though to be fair to Barricade, the hard-hitting trio is probably the heaviest of the bunch on this slate. GMF and Inch will deliver femme power to the proceedings whilst SIXX will no doubt bring the party spirit.

Second night, in my humble opinion and from my preferred music tastes, appears less appealing. Although of course, the iconic Plainsunset is always a interesting proposition and Jon Chan and company never give less than their 100%. Sets Band is an unknown quality – having never seen them live – so will reserve judgement. However, although undoubtedly West Grand Boulevard and Caracal are top of the modern-emo-alternative tree, it’s a ‘genre’ that I just cannot get into but I presume the fans will get what they came for. Tacit Aria tread the same furrow as the preceding bands but with less competence and flair and Fatskunks are old hands at delivering crowd-pleasing funk.

So based on my own predilections, it seems that the first night would be more appropriate. Kudos to the team at Ignite Music Festival 2011 for continuing to believe in S-ROCK. As always, I have issues with the curation of the event but that’s purely my own opinion of course. If you are a supporter of S-ROCK and/or a fan of any of these bands, then make your way to RP on these two nights. Free admission.

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