NOTE: I was supposed to publish this post a few days ago, but my internet died. So enjoy my
dated and irrelevant timely and relevant review of the Eraserheads Box Set.
I finally have the Eraserheads box set that I had been anticipating since God knows when. I guess you can say that Christmas came early. I was able to get it from Greenwich SM Megamall a day earlier than promised. They’re awesome. I’m still peeved because I didn’t even consider having my pizzas delivered so I could’ve gotten my hands on the box set much, much earlier though. But whatever, I have my grubby hands on the motherfucking Eraserheads box set!
To be honest, I don’t know how to go about this review. I could go for the beautiful packaging and the schwag that came with the CDs, but it’s already been covered in detail by Larry and Kristine. I can go over the tracks and write about my favorite songs and what they mean to me, but Charles already beat me to it. Besides, a nostalgia-inspired Eraserheads essay detailing how much they are an integral part of the life of anyone growing up in the ‘90s hasn’t been overdone yet. I can review the pizzas instead, but I’m still feeling sick from eating way too much of it that the mere sight of one can make me throw up.
This will make you hate pizza for the rest of your life
If you’re wondering what’s included in the box set, it would be 10 CDs, a DVD, a t-shirt, and a book containing pictures, mementos, and lyrics. All contained in a gorgeous tin box.
This is where Ade talks about the packaging
The packaging’s design, as blogged by Larry, is pretty enough – although I have a bit of a problem with the cardboard sleeves used for the CDs. They were too thin, the CDs sometimes got stuck in them, and one that came with Circus was creased the moment I tried to take the CD out.
Design-wise, I thought the sleeve borders were gorgeous – they were designed by Arnold Arre anyway. I would’ve preferred a reproduction of the original album art, front and back, but I loved the designs just the same. I figured they were aiming for consistency, which I don’t mind, honestly.
Since I am a fatass, the t-shirt that came with my Heads Set doesn’t fit me. The pizza, chicken, and pasta I consumed just to get the box set didn’t help me fit the shirt either. Blimey.
The 10 CDs are the original studio albums – digitally remastered – and a bonus CD. The albums included are:
- Bananatype EP
- Aloha Milkyway
- Natin 99
- Carbon Stereoxide
- Dirty Little Treasures
Dirty Little Treasures is a compilation of non-album tracks and alternate mixes of a few songs from Stickerhappy. There’s also a DVD called Pop-u-mentary, made by Marcus back in 2004. It’s actually just a loose collection of home videos of the ‘Heads recording, travelling, and touring, set to some of their songs. If you were expecting an in-depth documentary containing interviews and outtakes, you’d be disappointed.
AJ from my previous post pointed out that the instrumental/minus-one versions of Ultraelectromagneticpop! and Circus weren’t part of the box set. I don’t think the inclusion of those versions of the albums would be necessary. Personally, I couldn’t care less if they were there. I doubt anyone but a die hard fan/hardcore completionist would want those albums anyway.
I fail at being an audiophile douche
Oh yeah, sound quality. I wouldn’t call myself an audiophile. My equipment’s hardly what you call top-notch – I listen to my CDs via iTunes with unremarkable Seinnheiser earbuds. My ears aren’t that sharp, but I heard a huge difference in the quality of the first two albums. I didn’t generate waveforms for the tracks to see if the audio is clipped because Larry and Bim laughed at me and called me a nerd. They hurt my feelings.
I wish they included high-resolution album art jpegs, though.
Ultraelectromagneticpop! now sounds clearer. It still has the tinny (“tunog lata,” LOL) sound you’d come to expect the from something recorded during the early 90’s, but it’s been reduced greatly. The clipping that comes on during the intro of Maling Akala is still there, though. I doubt they can get rid of it unless they reassemble the damn thing from the original recordings. Circus sounds fuller now. As a result, it’s hard to not get goosebumps whenever Minsan comes on.
I don’t know if the remastering benefited Cutterpillow and later releases, though. Those albums always sounded good and I can’t tell the difference, except in Lightyears. The bass and strings really popped out of the mix compared to the original.
Unfortunately, no amount of improved sonic quality is going to make me listen to Natin 99 and Carbon Stereoxide without skipping over a lot of tracks. Heh.
This is where I try to write a pretentious conclusion
If you’re after the music and you want to get your hands on the digitally remastered albums, then the box set is for you. All of the CDs sound great, and it’s definitely worth paying for. But if you want to dig deeper, look somewhere else. Pop-u-mentary was nowhere in the same neighborhood as in-depth – in fact, it seemed like a token effort to include a documentary, given that it’s around 6 years old.
One thing’s for sure, though – a price of Php 2,500-3,300++ is a steal for The Heads Set. Do you guys have any idea how much box sets cost? Just for comparison, The Beatles Stereo Box Set costs $260 when it first came out. That puts it in the neighborhood of around Php 11,000. For Php 2,500, you get The Heads Set and free pizza! Seriously, get the box set. It may be lacking in a few areas, but it’s still worth the price. I don’t regret buying this.
Are you going to get the Eraserheads box set?