Music Review: The Riot Peddlers – Sarkarsm

Too little, too late, too much of a tease, but outstanding hardcore punk

Oddly, it’s Animesh Das you hear first on The Riot Peddlers‘ long overdue debut, and what you hear is the bassist singing a verse of an immensely popular song from the super-hit soundtrack of a blockbuster Hindi movie, getting the last two lines wrong, before the rest of the band kicks in to show they don’t really give much of a fuck. MTV is attacked too (click here, start downloading and read the damn lyrics), and it’s unexpected after all these years, but deserved and welcome as ever. The funniest part of Bollywood Songs though, is the last section, a hilarious verse sung to the tune of the famous film song.

It’s a direct hit at the government, the system, the state, and it’s dripping with impertinence. Anger born of frustration; Arun Singh Ravi’s inability to mould the nation to his liking ensures that the music scene has not only changed for the better but also has a bloody fine band guaranteeing the music will keep playing.

Sarkarsm‘s two serious songs – Where’s The System and United We Stand – are crunchy as hell, packed with attitude – but then, that’s the general tone of the band: resentful towards all that should have not been wrong. It’s enough to make you form a fist and look around for something to clobber. Maybe the drummer Ashwin Dutt, for taking this long to get to this. Dutt, by the way, sounds like he’s having fun in a place he belongs.

“Platform No. 3 pe aane wala train/ train motherfucking motherfucker nahi hain” is an intro that makes you wonder if the song has something to say or is just unguided angst, but it turns out to be the most profound observation, a sincere admission and the strongest advice you can get from a hardcore-punk band. See, this is why I asked you to read the damn lyrics.

Platform No.3 is more than five minutes long because it contains two hidden tracks: Sau Rupiya and Chai Pani (the band’s best-known songs, gems even the masses will instantly connect to), not completely redone, but effective nevertheless.

My only complaint is that the EP is way too short. After waiting two years for The Riot Peddlers to release an official debut, all I get is four songs (plus two hidden tracks). 11 minutes is too little after two years, even if the music’s free. But a grouse that tiny is not going to keep me from enjoying Sarkarsm for what it is: A wholly lovable debut that has lived up to very high expectations.


LISTEN: The Riot Peddlers – Sarkarsm (Yes, you beggars – it’s free.)

ALSO GET: Solar Deity’s The Darkness Of Being (Free, FREE!)

Movies: Ek Tha Tiger is surprisingly not as lame as Gangs Of Wasseypur 2

Rolling Stone Metal Awards decided it would be a good idea to suck cock in 2012

Ashwin Dutt’s amazing journey from Kinky Ski Munky to The Riot Peddlers

Arrested for drinking in a bar, Arun Singh Ravi takes on the Mumbai police

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August 2012
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