Chicosci have a powerful presence that summons the largest crowds like wildfire with raw energy that hasn’t faltered one bit over the past sixteen years. If one hell of a good time in the pit is what you’re looking for, you’ll definitely find it at a Chicosci show. But these days, something different has been going on at their live performances, and loyal fans can sniff it a mile away: new songs from a new album.

Since May 2014, Chicosci have been actively documenting their process through songwriting for their forthcoming record, which sees an early 2017 release. Guitarist Mong Alcaraz reveals that as of today, they are now halfway through the record. They’ve set camp and holed themselves up inside Tower of Doom, and are completely done with five tracks, which were originally meant for an EP release. Later on, they realized the need to complete the bigger picture and went on to write five more songs. Alcaraz says they never really “go for a sound” when writing. “It’s more of a ‘what’s on my plate’ thing with us, or kind of like how ‘Today’s Menu’ is ultimately determined by what produce is available at the palengke.” He describes their sound as always having a “healthy mix of riffage, melodies, and a lot of easter eggs,” to sum up what makes a 50-minute Chicosci LP.

Besides the new tunes slipped into their set list, the audience will also immediately notice the absence of bassist Carlos Calderon onstage. Since the UP Fair last February, Chicosci recruited 88 City bassist Eco del Rio to step in for Calderon indefinitely. “I always got Calde’s back,” Del Rio says. “Coming into the band, they’ve already recorded half of what we’re releasing din, so the other half, I’ll be recording na.” With Del Rio joining Chicosci, he mentions that 88 City have their own thing going on. “We’re still writing, recording, and playing gigs. Same, same love story!”

On Nov. 19, Chicosci will be sharing the stage with Gab & John of Urbandub, <S>andwich, Malaysia’s An Honest Mistake, Typecast, and Faspitch at Threadfest Manila 2016. “(It’s) always a great time with Nicolo and the gang,” says Alcaraz.