5 indian bands you have to listen to….in 2011

5 Aug

“Only thing that’s on my mindis who’s gonna run this town tonight”

– Jay Z ft Rihanna and Kanye

So yes we are back. Not exactly with a bang, if you see the stats, but more like ‘hello, can we come in?’. After being cut out from the world for 16 days, taking a bike trip to Leh( Amey will be covering it so much better than I ever can), standing atop 17500 ft and being completely oblivious to what’s happening in the music scene ( I didn’t even know there was something called as the iTunes festival), I am back in Bombay ready for the grind and getting back to doing what I do best. Eat junk food!

I am just staring at the screen tapping the keys on the keyboard cause I have no idea as to what I want to write about. It’s because being ‘into the wild’ doesn’t help you when you want to come up with a topic to write on. I have slowly been trying to hear new bands (well some are new to me) that have a great sound. Some i liked and others not so much. So here’s a list of 5 bands you should definitely hear. The standards are all mine and you might not agree with me. But just give their music a listen and form your opinion.

In no particular order –

1. Barefaced Liar – These guys from Delhi played a sound that could be termed as an amalgamation of classic rock and modern progressive sound. Which is not surprising considering that their influences range from Led Zeppelin to Tool. While they may not have a sound that totally differentiates them from the crowd, they are very very good at the things they do. And that may well help them progress. Because they know where their strengths lie and and play to that. They are not such a new band considering they have been around since 2002 but due to on and off parting off ways, it has not been smooth for them. But over the last couple of years they have remained consistent and have been playing a lot of shows and recording their songs. The songs that got me hooked onto them was ‘Glow‘ and ‘Out of My League‘ . Hopefully will do well over the next couple of years

Barefaced Liar

2. The Lightyears Explode – I went to this ‘Punk Night’ gig at Blue Frog a couple of months back. This very band came up on stage last and they owned the place. Like wow, this is how punk should be!! Saurabh Roy on vocals and guitars was screaming, jumping around, manhandling the mike and what not. It was a pity I could only stand through a couple of songs of theirs as I had to leave shortly afterwards (stupid deadlines). Anyway next day, I downloaded their EP which starts off with ‘She Probably Still Is’ and the song just takes off and hooks you instantly. Masala Punk is another great track. The next two songs are average but they end with a stellar one called ‘The Weapon’ with great intro guitar riffs. Their live performances are bound to be a blast. Comparisons to Green Day

Shalom Benjamin, Saurabh Roy, Aaron Carvalho

are normal but their sound actually reminds me of NOFX. They are probably not as polished as other bands but when you hear a raw sound with the vocalist going mental on stage interspersed with great guitar riffs and solid drumming, do you really care for polish?

3. The Colour Compound –  A new Bombay based band that cites ‘Incubus’ as one of the artists they like and that itself got me intrigued. I had the chance to watch them play yesterday at Hard Rock (watch this space next week for more coverage) and I was quite taken aback by the quality of their music.

The Colour Compound. Pic courtesy Keegan Crasto

They play a mix of pop rock/alternative if I may say so. The two vocalists, Rohan and Bradley, both have very different voices which lends a nice dimension to the vocals. Some of their songs that I particularly liked are ‘ Keep it Together’, ‘Why’ and ‘Can’t afford to cry’. The band recently released an EP titled ‘ Sincerely Yours’. They make foot tapping jazz inspired music with as much aplomb as they create soulful ballads. I will wait for new songs from them. Maybe an ‘Incubus’ cover :P. You can check out their songs at Soundcloud

4. Goddess Gagged – One of the best bands I have heard this year. Their music has been defined as progressive post-hardcore. And with inspiration ranging from ‘Tool’ to ‘Porcupine Tree’ to ‘A Perfect Circle’, Goddess Gagged creates music that can only be defined as spellbinding. Their songs are over 5 mins long(almost all). But not once do you get bored.  After winning Strawberry Fields in 2010, they have turned heads wherever they have played. Their songs though leaning towards hardcore have a very ambient and atmospheric element to them. If you love the bands that inspire them, you will definitely like them. If you haven’t heard these bands, hear Goddess Gagged, like them and maybe then discover bands that inspire them. Except Siddharth Basrur, all the other 4 members are very young (and well Siddharth is not very old either) and that is one of the coolest things. Cause being a 22 year old myself, I can only imagine the joy they must be getting out of making original quality music at such a young age. You can stream their music at Reverbnation. Listen for ‘Flow’ and then move onto ‘Visionary’

p.s. The name is derived from a ‘Protest the Hero’ song.

Goddess Gagged. Pic courstesy of Krish Makhija

5. DIY – Do It Yourself. Every music magazine, blog or article that makes a list of bands that you should listen to, always never include that one band you love a lot (please tell me this has happened to you too). So the last band on this list will be filled by you. You might have heard a great band that no one knows about. Or are too scared to talk about it, cause you will become a laughing stock if your friends don’t like their music. There is no need for me to validate the music that you listen to. If you have discovered a new band whose music speaks to you, then THAT is the band that you should listen to this 2011.

And maybe even we should.

                                          –   ♫ My Roots(Shaa’ir & Func)


Kunal Pawar is currently figuring out the best way to get to Mulund and beyond without the traffic hassles. He now firmly believes that 2011 is his year and also that Chelsea will win the BPL. He is living the high life with music, money and booze. If you wish to become a part of his entourage and in turn meet the very endearing Anushree Phanse, you can mail him at kunal.pawar@gmail or follow him on Twitter

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4 Responses to “5 indian bands you have to listen to….in 2011”

  1. Anushree Phanse August 5, 2011 at 11:35 am #

    Arey majha naav ka lihila? lol and mom is amazed by your brilliant lifestyle considering you owe the Phanses so much money

    • dkr August 5, 2011 at 11:58 am #


  2. Kunal August 5, 2011 at 12:19 pm #

    Anushree I am rolling in the Phanses’ money only!!

  3. hotshot bald cop August 30, 2011 at 5:07 am #

    Good points

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