07
Sep
09

Sodium Trail (And The Current Beantown Voice) – Parachute XVI

Look at the album cover. Looks like an Alternative Band.

Look at the name of the band. Looks Alternative.

Look at the song titles. Looks Alternative.

Well…they are Progressive.

So what we got here, with Alternative looks and Progressive sounds? A completely original band with songs which will grip you and will not let go. The jams in each of the four songs in the EP will remind anyone of the Allman Brothers Band…but the beginning and the ends will remind you: that its more than a “southern jam”.

Sodium Trail is a fully developed EP which has little space of improvement in any department. With roping in almost 25 minutes…the songs show the band’s strengths, ideas, ambitions and weaknesses.

Ananth Menon’s guitar work is like an explorer. On beautiful soundscapes, the guitar walks slowly, sometimes run, sometimes wobble, sometimes stammer but all the while…going forward. Without his guitar, simply, cant imagine this EP. His voice though, sounds familiar. You have heard that voice and vocal delivery before in other bands (like “Galeej Gurus”? :D). But again, who cares?

Ganesh K’s bass riffs are easier to spot and far more groovier than its allowed to be in a progressive band. Which is good…no…great actually. The boringness which the progressive bands brought in the 70s which led to birth of punk and hard rock, is easily cured here by the riffs. The “Krptos” experience helped.

And the drums. Will a jam ever be energetic without the drums? Sachin Moogi knows it. He shows it. Whats amazing is the way the drums share the same urgency with the guitars. It simply amazing.

“Walk : Rewind” starts with a bang…goes on showing promise and ends with leaving you wanting more. “60 Watt Sun” picks up on your thirst, takes you on an optimistic joyride with subtle hints that not everything is alright. “05/04” is a slow tempo number. Midway, it picks up pace. (Which was weirdly predictable..not a good thing!). “Mobius Trip” is exactly what it says. A trip. Listen to it with the lights out. You will be seeing things.

Apart from the voice, the only other concern is the words. Though the outlook is way different than the rest..the words are not strong enough as the music.

Like I said in the beginning, the Alternative outlook helped.  They have kept the experimental factor alive, mixed it with southern rock and chose the channel of progressive. And gave us a stunning debut EP.

Rating: 3.9/5

You can download the album for free from their website. You can check them out on myspace too.

parachutexvi

03
Jul
09

What is “Desi Beats”????

Okke.. so MTV came out with this already tried out idea of bringing reality TV in Rock Band concept. And who is better to promote than the girlfriend of a self proclaimed rock star. At least thats what MTV thinks.

Now the name itself is an amalgam of two cliches: “Desi Beats” and “Rock On”. But considering its MTV, and how their creative output dropped at a staggering rate during the last decade, its our fault if we expected more.

Now its too early to judge anything, but you know the reality shows on MTV. They suck. Hopefully, the bands and their music will be able to salvage this one.

In case you want to know more, check their site.

Check out the video of Kareena breaking a drum… and wonder why you are not suprised.

29
Apr
09

british council soundpad

Most of you already know about this. And this is really exciting!!!!

Okke..so after everything said, done, played and recorded, tonight is the official launch of the British Council’s brainchild, “Soundpad” featuring 4 Indian bands at the top of their game with assistance from John Leckie and Dan Austin. Those who have seen the videos of behind the scenes recording, will know that these two British gentlemen have done what they are famous for…taking the bands’ talents and potentials and multiplying them to such a level that most of the times, bands are amazed themselves.

Those who dont know, here are the four bands who were selected:

Medusa (Bombay), Swarathma (Bangalore), Indigo Children (Delhi), Advaita (Delhi)

And for the videos of the studio sessions click here.

And those of you who will be in Mumbai tonight can catch them at Land’s End Amphitheatre, Bandra Bandstand, Next To Taj Lands End, Mumbai – 400050, from 6 pm onwards. Entry is free…so really, you are out of excuses.

And the album will be launched there too. Cant wait to listen to it. Really.

31
Mar
09

AVIMA Awards

Indian acts had it good. 4 awards altogether. And the winning in “Most Mind Blowing Music Video”  and “Best Rock Act (Group/duo)” should have particularly benign effects on the evolving music scene.

The winners:

Best Pop Song – Naino Sey by Sanjay Divecha

Best Rock Act (Group/duo)Motherjane

Most Mind Blowing Music Video – Vivek Rajagopalan’s video for Snake in the City (to see the video click here)

Best Genre Bending Track – Together again by Shaair and Func

This feels good, isnt it ?

In case you want to improve the ties between the countries of this region, you can start with this site:

http://www.malaysiakini.com/news/101262

P.S. : Here is the cover of the album “Ports of Lima” by Indonesian band Sore, which won “Best Album/ EP cover of the year”. Photoshop freaks who design the album covers of our bands and are fixated with B grade horror flicks, could learn a few things. Could.

Ports of Lima

14
Mar
09

The Power of Press

1992.

American Grunge was sweeping all over the world. Seattle was World’s Rock Headquarters. Bands who were not grunge, were not considered bands at all.

Understandably…some bands were pissed. Especially British bands.

Suede was formed in 1991, and they were supported by the press…Melody Maker, NME and Select to name a few.

When NME found out that Suede was left off the nominations at Brit Awards, 1992, they started a weekly campaign. The theme of the campaign being: Fuck the old Phil Collins, Rod Stewart and their cronies. We need new blood to perform at the Awards. And it should be Suede.

Their relentless campaign worked. Brit Awards organizers decided to let Suede perform. The song “Animal Nitrate” with its hidden sexual messages was performed. The sea of tuxedos looked uncomfortable in their chairs.

Brit Pop had its birth!

The song was released as single and it went to the Top Ten. People started noticing Blur, Oasis and countless other good bands.

And we, the listeners, got a chance to listen to absolutely amazing songs.

The moral of the story: Music magazines in our country should be more open about their support. They should try things which may not have done before. They need to convince the non believers..so that the bands in our country gets the attention.

Music Magazines….Are you listening? Do you have the power and the will to change the scene?

04
Mar
09

Murphy’s Law – Another Vertigo Rush

 

             Murphy’s Law states “Anything that can go wrong will go wrong.”

 

             Is it the chords?? Or the guitar tones?? Barring few bands, everytime I listen to a song by an Indian band, the first reaction is, “Hey..the guitar sounds like that band we heard live last week..in that pub..you know..the one with exorbitant prices..” Its distinctly Indian..which should be a good thing…only that it isn’t….

 

            Offering the album for free download is bold. An album which is better than a collection of “misjudged musical arrangements mistakenly assumed to be experimentation” (read Scribe’s Confect) makes this gesture even more laudable. Another Vertigo Rush sounds like a band who has already made it. The production is at par with any other studio album by a major label. In fact, the intelligent use of production is one of the freshest things in this album.

 

            While listening to the Murphy’s Law, if suddenly you remember the now forgotten “Significant Other” by Limp Bizkit, no one can blame you. Consciously or not, Akhil Sood’s guitar playing and Viraj Mohan’s vocal delivery do sound inspired by Wes Borland and Fred Durst (but with far better lyrics than Durst ever could). But it has become so uncool now to get inspired by Limp Bizkit.

 

            Om is the song which is regarded as their signature sound. The nomination of the song in the Best Rock Song Category at AVIMA 2009 should put all criticisms at rest. Well..as it turns out, there are better songs than Om in the album. Drop, The Vibe and Anger Management are songs which are better composed and fresher sounding than Om. Nikhil Rufus Raj’s bass sounds cannot be overlooked. They sound melodic and heavy. And it’s little doubt that Akshat Nauriyal and his drums are the reasons for their energy.

 

            The two experiments “Connect” and “Disconnect” do sound unlike anything we have heard, but one must remember, experiments which don’t end in fruitful results are called failures.

 

            This album is less of an album, but more of a glimpse of the interesting things which we can expect from Another Vertigo Rush. They do sound different. And keep a close watch on these guys. You might as well get rewarded. Musically.

 

Murphy’s Law by Another Vertigo Rush: 3/5

 

You can download the album here   Myspace

album art


 

11
Feb
09

India at the Grammys

Zakir Hussain won in the Contemporary World Music Album category for his collaborative album “Global Drum Project”. Congratulations to him. Will it have any impact on The Rock Scene of India?…We all know the answer.

 

This is the sixth time that an Indian won the grammy. Earlier three includes Ravi Shankar(won thrice), Vishwa Mohan Bhatt and Zakir Hussain(twice).

 

The other three Indians nominated this year were Debashish Bhattacharya for Calcutta Chronicles: Indian Slide Guitar OdysseyLakshmi Shanka for Dancing In The LightLouis Banks for Miles from India and his collaboration with John McLaughlin for Floating Point

 

Well..its impossible to not notice…that India is synonymous with traditional music..which is not a good news for rock musicians of the country…but two things:

1. Who cares a fuck for the Grammys??

   Admittedly..for people whose music resource is not VH1 or Rolling Stone, knows well enough the farce which is displayed every year at the show which is nothing more than a never ending saga of celebrities and less of appreciating new and fresh music.

2.  May be A.R.Rahman will bring hope!!!

   Of course…make sure that theres a white guy associated with your act ..more importantly.. a white guy whom the world knows and respects …then you are in for some good times.

 

A.R.Rahman or Zakir Hussain’s victory may be the victory for Indian music …but its most unlikely that it will have even a little effect on the Independent Rock Scene.  In fact, all of us know it. Dont we?

Lets get back to our basements and keep practising.

 

PS: This year Radiohead’s stunning performance at the Grammys with USC Marching Band proved again why they are called the best band in the world today. Only they can pull off an absolute smart show with a gang of high schoolers. 

Watch it before the Grammy complaints make Youtube pull it off the site. It already happened once.




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