Running Out Of Ink was created by Mark Mirabuenos, a Bulacan-based (Philippines) artist and instructor, as a personal musical outlet for expressing spiritual thoughts and struggles. The songs were home-recorded and remained in the corners of SoundCloud for a few years.
In a few days, the band is releasing their debut EP “Cascade: The Fall”. It has been in the works for 5 years since Mark met with Timothy Diokno of KillTheBunny who was an intern in a Christian publishing company Mark was working for as a multimedia officer. From producing kids’ theme songs in the company’s recording facilities, Mark continued working with Tim beyond his internship on Running Out Of Ink’s songs in his free time, one song at a time for a few years. The new EP is a collection of those songs.
Packaged with Mark’s personal paintings that go as cover art for each of them, the songs represent snapshots of moments in his personal spiritual journey. Rather than a work that tells a continuous story, the aptly named “Cascade” is a succession of differing stories, each having lyrics and a sound that is distinct from the other — at times with a near polarizing sense. Essentially, it is part artistic portfolio and part therapeutic diary of one who grapples with matters of life through the lens of imperfect faith.
The collection opens with the melodramatic alt-rock “Nakikintal” done entirely with clean guitars and a mere hint of fuzz buried in the backdrop. The mood remains consistent with a cry for companionship and sympathy in “Can I Tell”. Mark then suddenly cranks up the guitars and loads aggressive dubstep synthesizers on a straightforward electronic groove with “Flowers Over My Head” to sing about. The next song picks up speed and goes straight into a rock anthem with the biblical Job-inspired lyricism of “Hubad”.
“Selina” drops the mood and brings the listener into an anguished introspective state with the help of post-rock and grunge elements. “Pansamantala” makes yet another drop and strips everything of anything but Mark’s raw lullaby delivery, lyricism and an acoustic guitar.
The EP’s closing track shoots back up at high gain. But it brings with it the sparing melodramatic synth work reminiscent of moods from the tracks it followed as “Flow” seemingly voices its parting words to the listener’s awareness that “everything comes to an end”.
As with life itself, things have a way of coming together, making sense out of themselves, and relating the unrelated in unexpected ways. With that in mind, one can say that the story of “Cascade” is the general story of life — and how it is ultimately defined by a series of smaller, and sometimes seemingly conflicting, stories.