Talking to the locals is one of the best ways to discover and understand punk. When I traveled to the Philippines, I was fortunate that so many people were so forthcoming with their knowledge and perspectives. But I was truly impressed by one particular trend I noticed:
Every single woman I talked to said Choke Cocoi was the most important Filipino punk band to them.
Choke Cocoi started in Lucena City in 1999, becoming one of a small handful of all-women Filipino punk bands. And over the last 23 years, through family and career, moving across cities and countries, with varying degrees of activity, they've continued to play their style of mettalic, 90s-inspired hardcore. They play with the heaviness and ferocity of bands like His Hero is Gone and Unruh, but lean into the mosh and toughness prominent in hardcore of that time, all with a distinctly feminist edge, speaking directly to the experiences and empowerment of women in their home country. And I think most impressively, they've inspired a couple generations of women to start their own bands, book their own shows, find their own paths forward in life.
But in all this time, they haven't had a full, proper vinyl release to call their own. So it is with immense pride and joy that a few of us banded together to bring their quintessential recording session onto vinyl, all the best songs captured in the best fidelity, in support of a European tour next year.
Experience a band that's so important to so many people, the finest punk that the island has to offer.