THE EASTBAY

Dance Revolution #9
By Rio Tantomo
Into action. Every kid with a bowler hat on their head – rude boys, some punks who still dressed in their complete suit, loafers shoes, neckties and tattoos down from the neck ‘til their cold bottle grasping hand – approach the stage when The Eastbay start to slug out their first chord. Reggae on the stereo, punk rock in their belly, and let’s face it, it will be more respectable if your suspenders are bonded with sweat. Blood, sweat and tears, and more blood. Cause’ if you don’t, then you have to question your revolution. In Bali, where construction builds so fast and the traffic moves as fast as our legs stepping out, revolution becomes a potent language to unite the people – from liquor supper to coffee spilled glass; by those who really understand and the misunderstood people who could only sing.
The Eastbay formed two years ago in 2016 in Denpasar. The members are OG, local punk veteran, Gapz – vocal/guitar, Wis – guitar, Gung Aak – bass, Metal – drum, Gung De – organ, were gathered from older bands such as Psychofun, Snap Rawks and The Hydrant. Although they admit the band name was not inspired by Rancid’s Journey to the End of the East Bay, but the Operation Ivy’s skanking mode telling the tail; the one that 2tone slick rocker-rude & reckless punx-skin weedeaters would love. All along pogo dancing with the Vespa boys – the ones who’ll vote Paul Weller for president – and Acapulco foreigners. Ska, ska punk, third wave or whatever you wanna call it, Eastbay’s fusion will always be identified with joviality and the honest message in their every song.
The first single, Manusia Mesin (Human Machine) is a fast tempo dance track guaranteed. Skankin’ pickle. A punk rock song about our egos, where it’s cycle has lowered the human level into some idiosyncratic robot slave. Like we have always been trapped in a consumptive way of life: an individual brat, without heart. Gapz said, “We’re all part of the human machine. We all take part in the destruction.”
Yeah. We are polluting the air, faking the culture, screwing up paddies, forsaking people who cannot fit the rhythm. Including you – and you better grab it fast too instead of feeling paranoid, nervous and stuttery, to tend to playing it safe with your sold-out skeptical soul; the failure enculturation of post-mo generation. “Consumerism, egoism, cupidity is a crushing machine,” Gapz exclaimed as The Eastbay singing their resigned agenda.
“What else could I say? I can only sing,” that’s one of the lines of the Manusia Mesin’s lyrics.
Another Eastbay song titled Makan Uang (Eat Money) talks about hedonism and life supremacy, and Wanita Jalangku (My Moll) about top volume libido.
The fact is The Eastbay is not in a hurry. Releasing an album is not a priority. They only focus on hitting every nearby gig while writing their own songs slowly one by one without any particular target. “No matter how hard you live, keep on dancing and having fun!” Gapz said.
Dance can reveal everything mysterious that is hidden in music, and it has the additional merit of being human and palpable – French poet Baudelaire said that. So dance your life like nobody is watching and work like you aren’t doing it for money.

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