Taken by Cars
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Taken by Cars

Quezon City, National Capital Region, Philippines | Established. Jan 01, 2008 | INDIE

Quezon City, National Capital Region, Philippines | INDIE
Established on Jan, 2008
Band Alternative EDM


This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos



"PSFK: Taken by Cars"

Taken by Cars is a Filipino band that first appeared in the Manila gig circuit around 2007, gradually but successfully building a fiercely devoted following of indie music fans, friends, and peers in the local band scene with their infectious and dance-friendly brand of intelligent and meticulously-crafted brand of indie rock. Fronted by the energetic Sarah Marco, Taken by Cars offers a modern, dynamic sound that typically combines precise interplay from the rhythm section, carefully orchestrated guitar and synth lines, and Sarah’s fairly androgynous but genuinely compelling vocals. The fact that the band is mostly composed of longtime friends who’ve been playing music together since their high school days is another major aspect that contributes to their tight chemistry.

A demo of the song “A Weeknight Memoir in High Definition” was submitted to Manila’s premier rock station NU107, whose programmers subsequently added the track to the station’s regular playlist due to high demand. The track went to Number One, a rare feat for an independently-produced demo. Their debut record, Endings Of A New Kind, was released in 2008 to so much anticipation that five separate events had to be held to formally launch it. The album was received well by critics and fans, and spawned the radio singles “Uh-Oh,” “December 2 Chapter VII,” “Shapeshifter,” and “Neon Brights,” all of which were accompanied by brilliant music videos—all filmed by different directors—that effectively conveyed the vibe and the spirit of the band and each song.

As the band got busier, so did the band members’ personal lives, as each of them held demanding day jobs and were steadily approaching the age in which they could settle down and start families. Taken by Cars experienced its first major setback when original bassist Benny Yap left the band in 2009, as they were preparing to write songs for their next full-length release. This slowed the group’s momentum for a while, but they eventually found a more than capable musician in Isa Garcia, who assumed bass playing duties a few months later. Soon, the band’s level of activity rose from dormant to functioning; they started writing new songs and debuted them one by one during their live sets, and even managed to perform several shows abroad, including one at Singapore’s Baybeats Music Festival that same year. At that point it could be argued that Taken by Cars had become an even better musical unit than before, and expectations rose for the follow-up to Endings Of A New Kind. In fact, Time Magazine included them as one of Five Asian Bands To Watch In 2011, the only Filipino act mentioned on the list.

And indeed, many did watch Taken by Cars in 2011. Their second record, Dualist, was finally released early in the year, and this time, the band even returned to Singapore to hold a special record release show/party for their fans there. As expected of an album by group of gifted musicians driven to improve their craft, Dualist met all expectations, and in most cases, surpassed them. Songs like “This Is Our City” and “Unidentified” showcase highly evolved takes on their trademark dance-rock formula, but other tracks like “Considerate,” “Thrones: Equals,” and the dense, sprawling “Matter Of Fact” sound like they came from a different sonic plane altogether. Many critics and music bloggers have already hailed Dualist as one of the year’s best local releases; fans continue to flock to their shows, and more listeners nationwide are looking forward to seeing Taken by Cars live, as they’ve launched a sporadic provincial tour with other similarly aesthetic local acts and kindred spirits like Pedicab, Gaijin, and others.

With all these achievements in place, pretty much all that’s left for Taken by Cars is to perform at a renowned international music festival and reach an exponentially wider audience. In 2012, they were the first Filipino band to be invited to perform in the prestigious South by Southwest Music Festival in Austin, Texas. - PSFK

"Taken by Cars - Endings of a New Kind Album Review"

TAKEN BY CARS – Endings Of A New Kind
(Party Bear Records/Warner Music)

Rating: 4


OK, I’ll be completely honest – I’ve always loved this band since I first saw them perform live sometime last year (in Mayrics, “where all great bands are born,” no less). Taken By Cars’ take on neo-post-punk – which adds synth-like guitar lines and frontwoman Sarah Marco’s dry, almost genderless vocals to Bloc Party-esque angularity and New Order’s club-friendly vibe – is pretty much up my alley. It also helps that the band members themselves are skilled and tasteful musicians, both individually and as a whole unit, so their tight live performances have almost immediately earned the respect of their peers, as well as admiration from gig-goers who dig dancing to the quintet’s infectious party-punk.
The band’s only apparent hindrance, as noted by a few early detractors, was Marco’s singing, which, in scene of Aia De Leons and Kat Aggarados, had been considered by some as somewhat of an acquired taste. But fortunately for the band’s unwavering followers (like myself), Marco steps up on Endings Of A New Kind, Taken By Cars’ indie debut. On the album’s opener (and carrier single) “Uh-Oh,” she effectively hits all the necessary notes, while displaying a certain confidence previously absent in the band’s earlier, inconsistent performances. The song itself is a real trip, starting from when guitarist Siopao Chua’s jagged riffs serve as a prelude to his lead-playing counterpart Bryce Zialcita’s fluid, ethereal melodies, when the track kicks into high gear.
“The Blackout” and “Colourway” follow a more-or-less similar blueprint, while further reinforcing another aspect of what makes Taken By Cars a first-rate unit – their rhythm section. “The Blackout,” in particular, is drummer Bryan Kong’s show; his deft rolls call attention to themselves but are never out of place, while Benny Yap’s unrelenting disco basslines simultaneously keep up and hold everything together. But again Marco owns the spotlight for “A Weeknight Memoir In High Definition,” whose demo version became the band’s breakout radio hit, and a cult classic by their own terms. The track’s opening line seems to grab the listener by the collar, while the driving chord progression of its chorus finishes the job. Vocally, she’s still an acquired taste, but Marco’s uniquely dry voice should appeal to fans of Shirley Manson, Courtney Love, or even Liz Phair, and she successfully displays a range of emotions throughout the album, from spiteful (“All For A Tuesday”) to vulnerable (“The Afterhours”).
Endings Of A New Kind actually maintains its brilliance towards its second half (save for the too-New Order-y “Stereolove,” but a valiant effort at techno nonetheless), especially on “December 2 Chapter VII,” “Neon Brights” (which SHOULD be a single, in my humble opinion), and the languid but gorgeous “Shapeshifter.” However, the album isn’t quite perfect, and honestly, there are still a number of areas in which the band could still improve. But for a debut by a young band still finding its sound, Endings is remarkably consistent, and a worthwhile listen from end to end. In a word: promising. – Jason Caballa - Pulp Magazine

"Five New Bands to Watch"

4. Taken by Cars, Manila
Three years after the national triumph of their debut album Endings of a New Kind, Philippine new-wave electro-rock quintet Taken by Cars still can't believe its luck. "We never thought we'd be successful making this kind of music," vocalist Sarah Marco says. "It just happened that suddenly there were large audiences interested in what we were doing."

She cites groups like New Order and Deerhunter as influences, as well as strong female performers such as Florence Welch of Britain's baroque-pop outfit Florence and the Machine and Emily Haines of Canadian band Metric.

Taken by Cars' second album is set to release in March, and introduces Isa Garcia as the band's new bassist. The sophomore effort promises a more mature approach to their music. "Every single member has grown a lot in terms of musicality," says Garcia. "We are coming out of our individual comfort zones." - Time Magazine

"'Dualist' by Taken by Cars - an album review"

Taken By Cars made a lot of buzz during the start of the year when their brand of dance rock got a well-deserved mention in a Time Magazine article. Along with four other bands from Asia, Taken By Cars were named as one of the best musical acts to watch out for in 2011. It definitely put the spotlight on the band right before the release of their much-anticipated second album Dualist.

Their first album Endings of a New Kind drew acclaim from a lot of quarters so a lot of musical aficionados awaited their second studio effort. Staying true to their already established musical approach, Dualist shows the band’s dedication to their preferred sound while continuing to develop towards the direction that they want to follow.With influences like Deerhunter among others, it really is clear that the band means business despite all the things they have had to go through during the interim between albums. For more on that, join the over 14k fans the band has on their Taken By Cars Facebook page.

The great thing about the band is that they do offer something new but they don’t take you out of your comfort zone so much that you get lost in the esotericism of it all. A perfect example of this novel yet accessible (enough) sound is the first track on Dualist – ‘This Is Our City’. The band was generous enough to offer this one up on Splintr for a limited time and it’s an awesome way for people to know more about the general mood of the second album – the band admits that it reflects the ups and downs that they had to go through to have this record finished. The first track has a lot of get up and go in it and is a perfect opener for an album like Dualist. It’s certainly a taste of the things to come.

Another standout from the album is ‘Unidentified’ – a song that explores dealing with persistent individuals who are really glorified nuisances. Despite the potentially frustrating topic, the song has a catchy hook that does make it a lot more pleasant than the actual topic.

The band slows down a few beats with the very chill “Thrones: Indifference” that features heavily textured guitars and electronica. It’s still undeniably Taken by Cars but it’s from the opposite side of the octane spectrum – there’s less get up and go in this song and more room for emotional depth and spacey effects.

The following song “Thrones: Equals” pushes the boundaries a bit further with a quirkier treatment of the vocals and the general progression of track. The lyrics do hint at a glint of frustration and apprehension and the song does the whole idea of building drama and anticipation fairly well.

‘Autopilot’ also does well in conjuring the the snowballing of tension as it crescendos after a series of very catchy verses. It all explodes in a rich blanket of sonic madness in the end in a seamless stream of musical chaos that dies in a glorious and almost sobering feedback.

Taken By Cars definitely deserves all the accolades they deserve. The band raised the bar yet again with Dualist and it’s not unlikely that their fans would be eagerly awaiting the follow-up to this already successful release. - splintr.com


1. Endings of a New Kind (2008)
2. Dualist (2011)

1. A Weeknight Memoir (in High Definition) (2007)
2. Uh Oh (2008)
3. December 2 Chapter VII (2008)
4. Shapeshifter (2008)
5. Neon Brights (2009)
6. This is Our City (2011)

Music Videos

1. Uh Oh - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S3DiMsCK7K8&feature=related
2. Uh Oh It's Electro - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dqp3Nc_05t0
3. December 2 Chapter VII - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XaeDa-FNPI0&feature=related
4. Shapeshifter - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GxWuWR59fxU&feature=related
5. Neon Brights - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iIo3BL1q9HY&feature=channel_page
6. This is Our City - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ymxz8VVrQNg



After three years from the release of their critically acclaimed debut album, ‘Endings of a New Kind’, Taken by Cars is geared up to release their highly anticipated sophomore effort, ‘Dualist’.

Over the past three years, TbC has gone through an array of challenges in completing the second album. Starting with a lineup change when former bassist, Benny Yap, decided to focus more on his personal career and left the bass duties to the capable hands of Isa Garcia (of the former Bitter Pill). TbC has also been heavily promoting their 1st release by gigging relentlessly in and out of the Metro, highlighted by their performance in the 2009 Baybeats Music Festival in Singapore as a representative from the Philippines in this highly-regarded music festival. And in a more festive and personal note, two members from the band decided to settle down and tie the note with their significant other during this span.

In early 2011, Time Magazine named Taken by Cars as one of the bands to watch for in 2011. Expectations have never been higher and the pressure has been mounting, but TbC is ready to conquer them all once again. The 11-track ‘Dualist’ features a more personal and mature approach on TbC’s signature dance rock sound, which encompasses all the highs and lows the band has gone through over the past three years.

In early 2017, Taken by Cars released their highly anticipated 3rd full length album, "Plagues", which will also be released in vinyl format later this year. In "Plagues", the band departed from their signature dance rock sound and focuses more on melodies and texture that charters into more shoegaze and dream pop territory.

Band Members