Posts Tagged ‘band


Music Review: Mutiny In March – Till We Last (Single)

By Himashu Singh Rathor

Another band from Gurgaon, Mutiny In March have come out with a new single named Till We Last. The song has been given a typical hardcore start, though the backing vocals could have been better, and the recording and mastering is okay. The bass line is tight and the drummer has done a nice job! Till We Last moves ahead with a catchy riff and wanders into an unneeded breakdown. This doesn’t seem to be enough, so they force another breakdown. Dudes! Why? There are so many of these bands who put breakdowns where they just don’t fit or do justice to the song structure. I mean, breakdowns should have their time to get installed in the song and should sync with the riff, but here in this song, it embarrasses the riff, and it’s a good riff! The solo in the end of the song is again accompanied by the breakdown. The ambient part at the end could have been utilized in the start. Till We Last is a nice song, but it’s standard stuff. The band should focus on their structures if they want to make their songs special. Mutiny In March call themselves hardcore, but they have solos, double bass and heavy breakdowns, which makes them metalcore.

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Getting Nostalgic About Kinky Ski Munky And Striking A Deal With The Riot Peddlers

Of all his misdeeds, Ashwin Dutt should not be forgiven for taking such a long break between two fantastic bands. His list of wrongdoings is long and makes for a fascinating read, but not all of you may have been lucky enough to look at it. Those who’ve known the guy from the time he had hair on his head – and that scalp has showed no signs of growth in many years – will love to hear the name Kinky Ski Munky. Looked upon with suspicion by the metal bands of that time for being alternative and loved by girls, and loved by girls for fuck-knows-what-reason, Kinky Ski Munky had clambered up to the top of the scene in their trendy sneakers. I was in Demonic Resurrection back then, and preferred smoking grass in the lane outside Razz Rhino (Once upon a time, when Mumbai was Bombay, there was a discotheque called Razzberry Rhinoceros, which on Thursday nights…) to seeing a bunch of punks the ladies adored. It was while mixing cheap whisky in flat soda that a friend dragged me in. He liked the band and I was too stoned to protest, and that night, as guitarist Michael Lee broke a string and the band had to wrap up after playing Pearl Jam‘s Last Kiss, you too would’ve got a good idea of why Kinky Ski Munky were such a hit.

Over the next year, Demonic Resurrection played shows in and out of Bombay with Kinky Ski Munky, and I got to hang with Siddharth Basrur and Ashwin Dutt a lot. Good guys who introduced me to bad drugs. The band had lots of charm. A quarter of the music scene was ready to play bass for them. Judges at Independence Rock would be creaming themselves as the band launched into Alice In ChainsWould? in the middle of their set, and I swear I saw everybody at IIT Mood Indigo get up from the ground and run to the front even before KSM had finished the first two bars of Stone Temple PilotsPlush. That’s the kind of popularity they enjoyed. Everybody loved them. Even the metalheads who looked perpetually stoic would diss non-metal bands at shows, but they always standing around in their black tees and with their arms crossed during KSM‘s set. Channel V was going apeshit over them. We, in Demonic Resurrection, were more than happy to have filthy, long-haired guys headbanging during our sets. Some female attention would’ve been nice, but this was good enough.

Kinky Sky Munky spiraled out of control after that. Not that there was anything else left for them do. Bands didn’t think about playing abroad back then.KSM had played all the shows they’d been offered, become extremely famous, done all the drugs they could find. They ran away from the nookie, so they could take the cookie, and smoke it with their friends. Mikey, too mellow a fellow, couldn’t possibly have salvaged the situation. Managers were around to score the booze and be famous by association, and the organizers then didn’t know bands could be pimped all the way to Inferno and back. It was all very real, very underground, very small. Bands were just how they were. Not smug assholes who transformed into the united epitome of coolth when they got onstage.

The grunge bands that came after KSM just weren’t as cool. Kinky Ski Munky left a void that is still gaping at the underground music scene. Siddharth Basrur went to rehab and has been clean for almost a decade now, and has shot back to popularity. Mikey plays only and nothing but tasteful guitar to this day. Ashwin Dutt had only wasted his time playing in bands which took him across cities but not places. Until two years back.

How he met Arun Singh Ravi, how they decided to start a hardcore-punk outfit together, why they asked an extreme-metal enthusiast to play bass for their band – these are boring questions they’ll have to answer in interviews after they live up to the hype. The question that needs to be answered is: why the hell are they taking so long to release a collection of songs they’ve always had ready?

I gave a listen to The Riot Peddlers‘ first single only because it was Ashwin’s new band. So he has gone and joined another band, I thought. But there is something to be said about a song that has a chorus so powerful that the band begins the track with it. The force of Sau Rupiya hit hard and I had the damned song on repeat for a long time. The Riot Peddlers was an instant hit with me and I become their fan. Now let me tell you how I become a fan of people and things. I don’t become a fan by ‘liking’ a page on Facebook. I don’t become a fan of every thing people do just because they’re in a band. Everything musicians do does not inadvertently become cool or great. No, it doesn’t.

But it’s easy to become a fan of The Riot Peddlers because they’re not selling themselves to you. They haven’t befriended you on Facebook so that you can join their fan club and learn how “old school” they are and what all you need to do to qualify as a worthy metalhead. The don’t play every show they’re offered in the same city every month pretending they have something new to offer to the same old crowd. They’re too busy spitting cannonballs of gall. The cheekiness that comes out when you sing along with the chorus of Chai Pani will get you slapped and kicked around by cops if they hear you, but then you are tickling greasy-palmed authority’s scrotum by singing that annoying little number. There’s more where that came from: Platform is about being frustrated at railway stations waiting for a delayed, packed train to arrive; Bollywood Song is about how vexing Hindi film music can get. You get the idea – it’s silly and fun but not immature; it’s highly relevant without being anal or obnoxious; it’s great music that pisses a lot of people off.

But The Riot Peddlers are so lazy that they didn’t get a band pic clicked even when Animesh Das joined as bassist – they morphed him in. Animesh, a death/black metal fan, still doesn’t feel the need for it, and is only too happy delivering backing vocals in the most painful way. Arun Singh Ravi doesn’t shy away from putting up a fight when he needs to – he showed it last year by taking on an errant cop who had made the big mistake of picking on him. Ashwin Dutt works mostly under pressure and occasionally on alcohol. I’m not at all worried about how it’s going to sound. With Ayan De as producer, there’s no way anything can go wrong. But The Riot Peddlers should get Sau Rupiya and Chai Pani redone at Midicore Studios and let the whole record blast with consistency. We’ve waited two years for this release, so they might as well take a few months more. We already know how good it’s going to be, so they might as well make it huge.

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In The Shadow Of The Heathen Beast

Having taken their names from three atheistic schools of Hinduism, an angry antitheistic force is penetrating deeper into the emptiness of religion

The sound of the tabla on Contaminating The Ganges is the most ominous part on Drowning The Elephant God, a direct shot at the mythological deity Ganesh, whose idols are immersed in water bodies every year either during or after the nine-day festival of Ganesh Chaturthi. While Maharashtrians won’t take too kindly to this critical attack, Heathen Beast have a much more extreme force to deal with: their third song on their new release is called Bakras To The Slaughter, a sensitive topic for Muslims who won’t react sensitively to this diatribe. Not exactly the poster boys of vegetarianism themselves, Heathen Beast explain their stance by clarifying that they are meat-eaters against inhumane slaughter.

The tables are on the song about Bakri Eid as well, and even in the middle of the title track, and why not? Heathen Beast are no strangers to Indian musical instruments. Samkhya – the bassist, and Mimamsa – the drummer, are brothers born to parents who are heavily into Indian classical music and own and run a studio. It is at this studio that Heathen Beast records its religion-bashing metal. When there is no commercial work on, and the vocalist/guitarist Carvaka, who works in an advertising firm in Kolkata, is in Mumbai, the studio emanates hellish sounds as the trio captures the blasphemy to unleash it upon this god-fearing world.

More direct than on their debut, Ayodhya Burns, the band moves away from questioning Blind Faith and criticizing Religious Genocide, and pulls up three religions for their destructive practices. The Marathis are made fun of for Ganpati Visarjan, the celebration of which cause pollution of air, sound and water; the Brahmin caste is criticized for polluting the Ganga, the holiest river of India; and Islam is attacked for the mass slaughter of goats and cows on Bakra Eid. How the religious faithful will react to this music if they come to know of its existence is debatable. Some will accept it as freedom of speech while the response from others might be harsh, and maybe even violent, which is why Heathen Beast aren’t revealing their true identities. The members operate under the names Carvaka, Samkhya and Mimamsa – the three atheistic schools of Hinduism, and even their friends who know the three musicians jam every now and then aren’t aware that these young men who graduated from college last year are the extreme force known to the underground metal scene as Heathen Beast.

Obfuscating details about their lives, Heathen Beast say that who they are and what they look like is not important, and instead talk about all that drives them to create music of this nature and the meaning behind it. With only EPs being released from their ordnance, Heathen Beast‘s fury may seem fugacious, but its relevance cannot be questioned. May the short blasts lead to loud explosions and eventually a big bang that empowers many more people to reject religion without hesitation, to challenge the notion that an almighty god exists and controls this world from high heaven and that hell awaits the heathen unbelievers; to be free from the shackles of faiths that only chain and divide, and to draw strength from within without fearing wrath from above.

“The Drowning Of The Elephant God” releases 23rd May, 2012, and can be downloaded along with Heathen Beast‘s 2010 debut “Ayodhya Burns”  from HEATHENBEAST.BANDCAMP.COM

MORE FREE DOWNLOADS: Solar Deity‘s In The Name Of Satan | Solar Deity‘s Snowless


Music Review: Cannibal Corpse – Torture (2012)

Had a smaller band released an album titled Torture, it would’ve been laughed off. But one has to take a couple of steps back in disbelief and fear when one thinks of the Cannibal Corpse logo above the word ‘torture’, because with that name comes a guarantee of unadulterated brutal death metal bliss no other band can match up to the quality of.

The visceral power of this unit is legendary; they come at you like hungry barbarians who’ve chanced upon a sheep, pounding away like it’s the first time they’ve got that chance, surprising you with how they keep their attack fresh each time without succumbing to the pressure of doing something new.

As became their style long ago, Cannibal Corpse begin the album with a frenzied assault: ‘Demented Aggression’ becomes the youngest brother of opening cuts like ‘Priests Of Sodom’ (from Evisceration Plague), ‘Pounded Into Dust’ (from Bloodthirst – my favourite CC record from the Corpsegrinder era)  ‘I Will Kill You’ (Gallery Of Suicide), ‘Devoured By Vermin’ (Vile), ‘Savage Butchery’ (Gore Obsessed) – yeah, I’m going to name them all, or as many as I can think of right now – ‘Staring Through The Eyes Of The Dead’ (The Bleeding), ‘Meathook Sodomy’ (Butchered At Birth) and of course, ‘Hammer-Smashed Face’ (Tomb Of The Mutilated), ramming into you without a warning and preparing you for the next 30 minutes or so of battering, with is done in the usual way: some more pummeling tracks, a couple of fillers, instrumentals or experimental pieces of music dripping with bile. With songs like ‘Encased In Cement’ and ‘Followed Home Then Killed’, Cannibal Corpse assure you they’re going to push ‘As Deep As The Knife Will Go’.

Technically, Cannibal Corpse have never lacked anything: Chris Barnes was perfect for what they were doing back then, and George Fisher is a powerful monster with the richest growls in death metal. What am I doing? It’s pointless talking about Cannibal Corpse’s musicianship – they’re Cannibal Corpse: the band that defines death metal with every album. I’m not sure what other ‘fans’ expect of them, but I certainly don’t want them cave in to the pressure of trying to redefine their style or reinvent themselves and fall flat on their face. To hell with that… it’s thrilling to be reassured with every release that there’s one band that doesn’t care about jumping out of the vast boundaries it has created for itself and the genre.

Cannibal Corpse are relentless on Torture; predictable as you think they are, you can never guess what they’re going to do next. In the river of pus they’ll be hacking cadavers rabidly for a few seconds and then will suddenly throw you a groovy piece of flesh to rip apart as you regenerate in the fountain of blood.

Say what you will about CC, but you’ll always remember them as the most consistent death metal band ever; Cannibal Corpse have always been the best at merging gore-soaked brutality and ghastly horror with top-notch technicality to become a flesh-ripping, bloodthirsty beast that erodes everything in its path.

Torture, exactly like every other Cannibal Corpse album, is brutal death metal at its most sophisticated. It’s overpowering, even if not always overwhelming, and it’s futile trying to fight what was created to kill. We can only decompose in sickness and disease under the rotting pile of carcasses.


Music Review: Providence – Vanguard

It’s baffling as to why a band would release an album at the fag end of a year; the last week of any year is the time nobody takes anything seriously because everybody wants to party. When the year turns new, the offering gets lumped with ‘last year’s releases’ and isn’t fresh anymore. Vanguard, as a result, has got hardly any exposure despite being an impressive debut from Providence.

Attitude is the name of the game here; the music has a no-nonsense approach which is maintained throughout, and the band sounds pissed-off enough to assault anyone in sight. To my relief, the lyrics seem to deal with interpersonal conflict and the turmoil within; an outpouring of grief and anger in the form of broken or incomplete sentences roared with spite and despair. It’ll be great if the band continues and grows with this style, because socially-relevant nonsense goes straight to the recycle bin, and even if the band is at any point going anti-establishment, the vagueness of it all works in their favour. In any case, the singing is stern as hell, can’t be taken lightly and is powered ably by the music.

Providence don’t seem to care about sounding overly technical or intricate and throw four interesting groove-packed songs and an instrumental that connects instantly and ends too soon. The songs – all of them – hit high points and end before the grooves get familiar, thus keeping Vanguard fresh as new even after several plays.

Vanguard doesn’t come across as an attempt to be profound; it seeks to engage the listener with short, rapid bursts of one-dimensional rage, and that’s the fun of it: a band no longer able to withhold their stronger emotions found at their starting point. The songwriting is bound to get more elaborate and sophisticated with future releases; here’s hoping Providence remain as stoic with their streamlined hate.

Live Report: Deathfest 2 | Live Report: Metal Bajaao | Interview: Riju Dasgupta | Feature: Albatross


Music Review: SuperHeavy (2011)

Given the amount of cribbing I’ve done about AR Rahman doling out trashy music for Hindi films for many years now, I don’t blame anyone for expecting me to pan this album. The guy’s made some of the best music ever and he has also disappointed several times, but here’s where AR Rahman totally redeems himself. The songs on SuperHeavy would sound aimless and out of place if you heard one and then another one much later, but as a whole, the album is an amazing mix of sounds and ideas.

With zero display of conventional songwriting, Rahman, Mick Jagger, Joss Stone, Dave Stewart and Damian Marley have composed very little that you can sing along with (Satyamev Jayate, an attempt at creating an anthem, being the exception), and there’s nothing here that sounds contrived. The biggest surprise here is that all the members are contributing to the songs only with what they can truly offer and only when they have to; they slip into the background when they’re not supposed to be heard. The songs seem underwhelming when you listen to them as singles, but listening to SuperHeavy as a full album you’ll think it’s so cool they’re not doing over-the-top stuff just because they’re all biggies.

SuperHeavy isn’t a supergroup of superstars collaborating to make foot-tapping chartbusters; it’s a merging of super-talented musicians underplaying their individual genius and creating original music that’s nearly impossible to criticize or complain about. Thumbs up.

RELATED LINKS: AR Rahman & Michael Jackson | A Lost Victory For India

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