Music Review: ROCK ON

\m/.Bollywood Rock has Arrived. And it is FULL ON.\m/

Rock OnSo we have it. The first Indian Rock Bollywood soundtrack. Ugh! I so hate to call it that. It is a Bollywood movie soundtrack-Yes! And it IS ROCK. How Indian? I can see no Indianization in it (except for the Hindi lyrics) and it is an all out-full throttle Rock soundtrack with no holds barred. No cliche’ sitar addition or an Indian classical solo on a distorted electric guitar in the arrangement of which Indian Rock soundtracks in Bollywood are known to be. Nothing wrong about them as well. But Rock On’s soundtrack is what it is-ROCK ON. It is somehow an Indian tribute to the many Legends of Rock that we have grown up listening to –AC/DC, Megadeth,The Who et al. And I know it for sure that Farhan Akhtar saw way too many concert DVDs before sitting down to sing for the soundtrack. The attitude, the grunge and the punch in the vocals comes through easily, and yes, get ready to be hit by the Vocals. And well, it might not be a totaly new sound for us Rock fans, who pretty much listen to it all the time, it is a big welcome change for Bollywood Music. And quite frankly, it seems funny (in a good way) to hear Hindi lyrics on a Rock Song. As always, I am gonna go the reverse way -Last track first.

But well, there is now a twist to it. The Last track is a Live version of the second track in the album. SO let’s go for it together. Track 2 and 8: Pichle Saat Dinon Mein – Farhan Akhtar on the vocals. I know it is Ehsaan on the guitars belting out the riff. 🙂 . The lyrics is as silly as it could be , but well you don’t expect a very metaphorical referencing rhyme in a Rock Song-not this one. It is about what stuff the guy lost in the last seven days. And it contains things as trivial as a Laundry Bill, a lady’s phone number, a king of hearts from the deck of cards, and a silver ring. Pretty meaningless and irrelevant, unless we hear the organ sound in the background, the riff, and the chorus going Na Na Na Na Na!! And hold on it does contain the Lines- Maryjane ka ek packet, Meri Denim ka ek Jacket. And who did we say wrote the lyrics. Read More

Wagon Rags-The Making of Devil’s Ride

Ladies n Gents, Boyz n Gals, make room for the Rock to hit you, coz here they are: Wagon Rags to knock your socks off with their rock and well make Bollywood remixed bitches eat dust. But well, Mr.Lead Singer, Jh**ga (though he specifically mentioned his displeasure over being referred by this name and that Jh**ga is not derived from Abhishek JHA but from his affinity to prawn dishes) would put it otherwise. (I asterisked the name coz my chicken platter is at stake) He says, Wagon Rags aren’t here to compete or battle against any form of music. Wagon Rags are just here to belt out their music and sweep the crowd off their feet. Ok, I know Wordsworth said “A thing of beauty is a joy forever”. And well, “A little of Self Promotion is SuJOY forever *wink*”. First, lemme introduce the band before I go into the intricate details of the seven hours in Sound Ideaz Studios of Pune where we witnessed a nine month old tune take its shape, riff by riff, solo to solo and beat to beat.
Drum Rolls: Dheessh!!!!!!
Dean on the Bass.
Gyan on the Drums
Vatsal on the Guitars
Parag on the Lead Guitars
Abhishek on the Vocals.
The Band: Wagon Rags . First Single: Devil’s Ride
In a way, it makes sense that the bands Rhythm guitarist:  Vatsal Raicha is a Mechanical Engineer from NIT Surathkal. But then, he has lost all of his mechanical gyan of IC engines, and that now all he knows is screw up the nuts of his project teammates (he is a project lead in an respectable IT Firm ). And well, to say that Wagon Rags has anything to do with Mr.Raicha would just be cool for the sake of it. That is so not how it happened. Wagon Rags emerged as the winner over such great ones nominated as “Marcoly’s Punch”, ” Pure silver Brutal Farce” and well the one suggested by me – ” Paanch Badan Ek Jaan” (5 bodies, one soul). Clearly Wagon Rags seemed logical to them, but well I still think Paanch Badan to be a clear winner.


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MySpace India Launch Gig, Pune. Where is the Rock?

MySpace India launch party brought together 4 musical acts. Great or not, I’ll decide that a bit later in this post. The acts for the evening:- Them Clones from Delhi, Swarathma from Bangalore and The Raghu Dixit Project- also from Bangalore. The gig was organised as a launch party of MySpace India- yet another Social Networking website. And as I reached the venue (Soul, Koregaon Park, Pune), I realised that we were very late for the show. Them Clones had already started their set, and were almost nearing the end of their playlist. I had plans of slurping my favorite Chicken Classic Soup, but I couldn’t find any waiters. All I could see around me were people with their heads directed towards the stage. The crowd had some familiar faces- Bobby, bassist of Zero, P-Man, bassist of PDV and well, the other performing artistes. I came in late hoping Swarathma would open and well, Them Clones would be the second act, if not the closing act. But then it didn’t happen so.

Them Clones:- They were in the middle of their song (which I hadn’t heard before, and so couldn’t recognise). Surprisingly, they were doing an Unplugged-ish acoustic set, with the candles lit in the mini-glass chimneys et al. I had seen them before in the very first LaunchPad concert of Channel V, and for that matter I only one song of theirs- Bomb Song. Don’t know if they performed it or not. And so, I had this notion that these guys would be hard hitting rock. But it was a welcome change from the usual stuff we get to listen. Prithwish on the vocals and the Keyboards belted out one song after the other , which would remind you of a British romantic soundtrack. And I could definitely picture Julia Roberts running in her white bridal wear. :). That means it wasn’t bad. It was good. The song arrangements was perfect and the song felt complete. The two tracks on the Keyboard gave me a Coldplay-Goo Goo Dolls vibe bordering on the lines of (previously mentioned) Brit pop-rock arrangement which I love. It certainly made me feel happy. The next two tracks were very upbeat, catchy and Prithwish had left the Keyboards and had joined the Jumping League. I can only remember their final track- Syndrome -coz he made the audience remember the chorus lines. Joseph on the lead guitars gave an acoustic guitar solo. All I could want more on their tracks was prominent harmonies. Apart from that, the show-stealer was Nitin on the sound console. Perfect sound! Them Clones definitely nailed the four originals and had set the perfect tone for the night.

Up Next: Swarathma


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Rock in India 2008: 9 bands, One Concert

Guest Author: Prakash Rajgopal ( the guy in the Gulshan Grover beard).

Praxy and Harshal

BENGALURU, Bangalore or just same ol’ BANGY. Oh how fortunate art thee to have been the soil which played host to Rock in India. How golden is thy spirit to have seen history in the making!The biggest International Rock Festival India has ever seen! Nine bands! Two headlining acts! The chance to get 8 hours of thrash/hard rock drilled into metal heads! What a mouth-watering prospect! Which genuine rock enthusiast would miss such a historic event? One of the top four metal acts in the world, Megadeth was playing in India. Yes, MEGADETH!! It was the last leg of their United Abominations Tour Of Duty. March 14, 2008. Palace Grounds, Bangalore. After a month of eager anticipation since booking the tickets, the day had finally arrived! We all HAD to be there to witness it. And we did!

We (my friend Harshal and I) reached the venue well ahead of time, at 1 pm. As we arrived at the venue and were waiting for the gates to open, we could hear some sound checks going on inside. There were already some people loitering around, most of them wearing black tees. I could see lots of Maiden’s, some Slipknot’s, Children Of Bodom’s, Nirvana’s around along with the usual Megadeth ones. We also saw a girl and a guy walking in, with the girl wearing a Megadeth tee, and the guy wearing a… hold your breath… 50 Cents!! Yo mama, he was right in da club!!! I also saw a guy wearing a Master Of Puppets tee. I wonder what became of him. Soon, Sujoy arrived with his gang just in time for the gates to open, and we headed inside. There were two stages on the venue. A smaller stage that was meant for the Indian bands, and a bigger one up front, obviously for Megadeth and Machine Head .

Here’s a run-up of all the bands in the order of their appearances:

1. Casino Blues: The band from Guwahati formed by Joshua, the lead singer of the Independence Rock winner band-Faith. They might’ve rued the fact that their’s was the first act of the day. With the scorching sun was beating down everybody’s necks, most of the people preferred taking shelter in the shady corners of the ground to avoid being burnt. The band had some catchy numbers. But they didn’t catch enough attention. Enough said.
Verdict: Mediocre.
Sujoy’s Verdict: Joshua has got strong vocals, but it got sunburnt.

2. Prestorika:


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