Archive for May, 2013

17
May
13

Album Review: Reptilian Death – The Dawn of Consummation and Emergence (2013)

By PRAYAG ARORA-DESAI

Sahil Makhija told me to publish this review on or after the tenth of May, and I received my copy of the album on the 5th. Today is the 17th, which has given me more than enough time to spend with the album before writing this. I don’t think I want to spend any more time with, honestly.

But before I get into reviewing the new Reptilian Death, I think I’d be better off putting all my cards on the table. I am not a fan of The Demonstealer. I’m not a fan of Demonic Resurrection. I’m not a fan of Workshop or Hellwind and I’ve never been a fan of Reptilian Death, either. I could go on in more explicit terms, but I don’t want to pull another Cain Pinto on everyone’s ass, if there are still people around who remember what that guy did. And yet, it should be said that all of Sahil Makhija’s music till date has been afflicted with a mediocrity that only gets worse with each new release, transmitting also to every new band he forms. The last Workshop album was worse than the first Workshop album. The third DR album was worse than the second DR album. And Reptilian Death hasn’t redeemed itself from that old ‘5 Easy Ways to Murder Someone’ with the “amazing new release” that is The Dawn of Consummation and Emergence. Also, I wonder if it’s just me or does that title sound more pretentious than is reasonable?

Reptilian Death – The Dawn of Consummation and Emergence [2013] album coverThe Demonstealer’s last release was Made Love to the Dragon, Workshop’s sophomore effort. Thankfully now, Makhija puts the brakes on his largely unfunny ‘comedy metal’ routine and instead rolls out Reptilian Death, his death metal vehicle of 11 years; or at least he intended for it to be death metal. But it’s not. At least not at a level that hits me right in the guts and makes me jerk my neck like a badass mofo. Like how Workshop was supposed to be really funny but isn’t, Reptilian Death doesn’t have nearly as much muscle as a death metal band necessarily should. The ‘listenability’ is consequently upped, sure, but largely at cost of what makes death metal listenable to those who listen to it seriously.

“Inchoate” is the title of the second track on TDOCAE. “Inchoate” means something that is tentative, not fully formed, undeveloped, foetal, embryonic. “Inchoate” is the appropriate adjective to describe the how this album sounds. Perhaps it’s because Reptilian Death has never quite been at the absolute fore of Makhija’s musical output, or that it’s not quite a band in the sense that Makhija’s other bands are bands, but an “inchoate” album isn’t what one expects from someone who’s been writing music for fucking ages, and the extended superstar line-up that now comprises the live format of Reptilian Death all just seems like a bunch of hype that the album doesn’t live up to.

Listening to The Dawn of Consummation and Emergence is like playing a game in which you’re constantly trying to figure out what band Reptilian Death sound like. But Reptilian Death doesn’t sound like anything, mainly because they don’t even sound like themselves. The Demonstealer may be the most recognized face in “the Indian metal scene”, but he isn’t the most recognized sound.

Gig Announcement: Solar Deity, Reptilian Death and Albatross at Blue Frog 

STREAMING: Motorhead Tribute India

EP REVIEW: Devoid – The Invasion (2013)

13
May
13

Motorhead India Tribute up for streaming and ready for preorders

Solar Deity is proud to be a part of the Motorhead India Tribute! You can listen to all the tracks and preorder the release and merchandise from this link: http://motorheadtribute.bandcamp.com/

motorhead india tribute

motorhead india tributemotorhead india tribute

You can also read Devdutt Nawalkar‘s review on Old Disgruntled Bastard.

Metal Gig Announcement: Solar Deity, Albatross and Reptilian Death LIVE at Blue Frog

Movie Review: “Go Goa Gone” is Bollywood’s first stoner-zombie-comedy

11
May
13

Review: ‘Go Goa Gone’ is a stoner-zombie-comedy

Go-Goa-Gone-postersThis review contains spoilers.

Go Goa Gone isn’t just a zomcom, it’s a stoner zomcom, in which two potheads, desperate to break out of their daily routine, convince their gullible flatmate to drive them to Goa, where they can spend a few days drinking copious amounts of alcohol, consuming all the drugs they can buy, having sex with beautiful women, and party the go-goa-gone-saif-ali-khantime away. The sexy Puja Gupta appears in a blue bikini to tell one of these fools about a party on an island off the Goa shore, and it so happens that this rave has been organized by the Russian mafia. At this beach rave, a red pill our heroes can’t afford turns those who consume it into zombies.

So now we know – it’s an expensive party drug that turns partygoers into bloodthirsty zombies. Go Goa Gone is a light comedy – the humour is mild, part wit and part slapstick, funny enough only to raise chuckles. Enter Saif Ali Khan as the Russian-Punjabi mafioso who saves puja-gupta-blue-bikini-Go-goa-goneKunal Khemu, Anand Tiwari, Vir Das and Puja Gupta from being eaten by the zombies. I didn’t think the living dead would care about being cannibalistic, but Go Goa Gone is a Bollywood movie in which party animals have been transformed into soulless corpses because of partying excesses, so everything else is allowed, too, I guess.

Watching a whole lot of zombies get their heads shot is like watching a video game, and I don’t even know why they limp about instead of walking normally, but the most important thing here is they can be stopped only by cocaine. This is the moral of the story right here: What drugs can make wrong, only drugs can set right. Even though it’s as short as a Hollywood movie, Go Goa Gone isn’t alive enough to merit a second watch. Bollywood’s first stoner-zombie-comedy is entertaining only the first time, so leave your brains at home because that’s where the zombies won’t be looking.

RATING: 3/5

Breaking News: Satanic black metal band Solar Deity to play live at Blue Frog

Aditya Mehta’s Review: Bombay Talkies

Sayak Boral’s Review: Ek Thi Daayan

Janak Samtani’s Review: Kai Po Che

09
May
13

Film Review: Bombay Talkies

Bombay Talkies posterSuch is the state of Bollywood that to celebrate (or simply acknowledge) a century of Indian cinema, four directors have made a short film each, and all they had to was make it decently, to let everybody know decently made films still come out of Hindi cinema. These 100 years of cinema have given movie buffs plenty of films to enjoy, and although there is a good film that comes our way every now and then, nine out of ten Hindi movies leave us squirming with embarrassment, cringing in our seats, cursing our fate, and dying to get out of the multiplex and in the warm embrace of an air-conditioned bar. So, every time I watch a movie that doesn’t feel like an axe chopping my skull into two equal halves, I inhale and exhale consciously, very deeply, and try to take in and hold on on the moments of these extremely rare experiences.

Karan Johar perhaps meant to reach out to the gay community long ago, and his film seems like a long overdue apology to the queers who are well aware of how many folks in Bollywood like it up the bum. His story of a stigmatized homosexual, who because of a strong attraction to a married man, brings out the latter’s bisexuality and with that frees the desperate working wife, is a contrived tale. The insertion (pardon all the puns in this review) of their common love of old Hindi film music wasn’t necessary at all, because people come together because they want to come together, not because they both like some long dead composer who was criminally underrated. There is also a beggar child who sings on a railway bridge, and Ram Gopal Varma must be losing hair thinking about how to thrust an even more real slice-of-reality scene in his next flick which will try to be very hard-hitting but won’t even prick a balloon.

Dibakar Banerjee has done it at last. After making that shit movie Shanghai which all the mainstream critics went gaga over, Dibakar Banerjee has made an amazing little film with the absolutely stunning Nawazuddin Siddique in the role of a man who does odd jobs to sustain a living. Adding weirdness to this short story is an emu who… looks happy to be in a Bollywood movie. Nawazuddin misses out on the job of a watchman because he’s late for the interview, and later watching a movie shoot, is picked from among the onlookers to play a bit part in the film. I’d love to tell you about this in detail, but I’d rather you treat yourself to a class act by a splendid actor. So impressive is Nawaz as the guy who hallucinates his dead father chiding him, with the emu present in the hallucination, and later plays his very tiny role in the film that’s being made and rushes home without taking his payment because he wants to give an animated narration to his sick daughter about how his day was.

Zoya Akhtar has it worse than Karan Johar. She makes mainstream films with an artsy touch, and this can go wrong if the focus is too much on ensuring the movie does business. This is hardly the problem here, though. The story is quite cute: A fucked family, in which the mother has no say, the father decides everything, the daughter can’t go on a school trip because money is being spent on the son’s sport coaching fees, even though the boy doesn’t want to play with other boys and wants to dance like Katrina Kaif. While it’s cool how the brother and sister raise funds so that she can go on that school trip to the Badami caves (which are so old that they might fall before next year, according to the girl), I was quite shocked as Zoya Akhtar’s story unfolded. The love for dance seemed like a coverup, for the boy turned out to be a happy little cross-dresser. Fucking disgusting shit, I tell you. I’m not surprised he got slapped by his father for wearing his mother’s make-up and his sister’s clothes and dancing like a little slut.

Anurag Kashyap plays it safe in Bombay Talkies. He has these odd characters in his movies which you end up liking a lot, and he’s got his Gangs Of Wasseypur actor Vineet Kumar here as Vijay, whose sick father thinks he’s going to die, and wants Amitabh Bachchan to taste their homemade murabba. Vijay (a name made famous by the megastar through several of his super-hit films) gets a taste of Bombay/Mumbai trying to get past the Big B’s security, and Anurag Kashyap’s Murabba is a blast to watch. Vineet Kumar essays his haplessness with brilliance, going everywhere with his precious jar of murabba, sharing awkward conversations with other AB fans waiting outside his Juhu residence to get a glimpse of the superstar. It’s funny as hell, and mainly for those who are aware how great a phenomenon Amitabh Bachchan is. (Is there anyone who doesn’t know?)

So, yeah – Bombay Talkies is certainly worth watching. Dibakar Banerjee and Anurag Kashyap excel, and Karan Johar and Zoya Akhtar make decent efforts. A humorous zombie film (zom-com, they’re calling it) Go Goa Gone hits theatres this week, but if that’s not your thing I totally recommend Bombay Talkies. If only to believe decently made films still come out of Hindi cinema.

RATING: 3.5/5

NEWS: Satanic black metal band Solar Deity to perform at Blue Frog

LIST: 10 amazing beers to drink this summer!

07
May
13

Barefaced Liar

By PRAYAG ARORA-DESAI

Last night I got an email from Aditya Mehta asking, did I “feel like writing about these guys?”, “these guys” meaning Barefaced Liar, that band from Delhi with a self-stated “truly unique sound” who’ve been around since 2002, writing songs with titles like “Unity” and “Glow” and “Mirage”. They’re a band that “adheres to convention, yet defies it”. 11 years since they formed, Barefaced Liar is still playing “tribute gigs” to The Beatles at Hard Rock Cafe. I do not particularly feel like writing about these guys, but I could always use the practice.

Plus, the band asked nicely.

The rest of Mehta’s email was an awkwardly, but politely, worded forward written by Bincy Babu, whose name is awkward to pronounce. Bincy Babu is not part of the band. He works, in fact, in “client servicing” for 10 Minutes to 1, “a Gurgaon based full service communication agency.” Bincy claims to be an “avid reader” of the blog, saying that he and the band “thoroughly enjoy it” and would Mehta Kya Kehta perhaps write about Barefaced Liar? Why thank you, Bincy. Of course we’ll write about the band. Bincy was also kind enough to link us to the band’s Facebook, Soundclound, Reverbnation and Twitter pages, even attaching a neat PDF document titled “Band Profile”, which reads a lot like those ‘Company Profile sections on corporate websites, only with more grammatical and spelling errors. ‘Violin’ is spelled as “Voilin” and, to whoever wrote that PDF, ‘Blues’, ‘Heavy Metal’ and ‘Classic Rock’ should’ve just been written as ‘blues’, ‘heavy metal’ and ‘classic rock’.

Scrolling through the ‘BFL’ Facebook page, I find that it is very regularly updated with the sort of content that makes for the latest commercial trend of inchoate and irrelevant of “social media campaigns”. A few tips for the band, in that regard, particularly because I’ve done enough devilish social media work myself.

1) Plain text is boring. Use an image. Every time.

2) Learn to fucking write. A good sentence is like a good guitar riff, and referring to Jeff Hanneman as “a legendary thrash metal guitarist of all times” doesn’t feel congruent with the sort of musical chops he had. Neither is it flattering to write about Ravi Shankar as “a master magician with Sitar and legend amongst all.”

3) On Facebook, there are way too many pictures of your frontmen.

4) Don’t link me to a Twitter page that has been inactive for two fucking years.

5) Get on fucking Twitter.

6) You need a more attractive logo and cover picture.

7) Please, create some original content.

8) Less AC / DC and Led Zep, more Barefaced Liar.

9) Less making yourselves look like fucking 9GAG.

As for how the band sounds… well, I don’t know, man. They sound like how a bunch of sell-outs are likely to sound. I saw them live, once, just once, in 2008 I think, at GIR Mumbai. I don’t remember a second of their performance. The stuff I heard on Soundcloud today does not refresh my memory. Whatever they’re doing, Barefaced Liar are most certainly not “traversing through genres ranging from Blues to Classic Rock and Heavy Metal, drawing inspiration from all of them to craft their own individual sound” and they do not sound like “blues- based modern rock riffs with sing-along choruses”, either.

Their “Hit New Single”, however, is “Blazing The Radios”, having already become a “top chart buster at 95 FM”.

Now, if you’ll excuse me I need to go write about Reptilian Death because Sahil Makhija sent me an email requesting a review for the “amazing new release” headed my way.Image

03
May
13

Farewell, Jeff Hanneman

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Concert Review: Slayer in Bangalore, India

01
May
13

2013 List: 10 Refreshing Beers To Drink This Summer

Kick the heat’s ass by drinking these tasty beers!

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Schneider Weisse (Tap 7)

Doolally’s German Wheat Beer

Saison Dupont

Hoegaarden

Geist Whistling Wheat

Christoffel Bier

Erdinger Weissbier

Fruh Kolsch

Weihenstephaner Hefeweissbier

Duvel




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