For a lot of the cynics and critics, Bevar Sea are all that stands between pop and the complete disappearance of true blues-based rock sound we have long revered the 70s for.
That’s high praise indeed, but not entirely true, for a lot of other Tony Iommi acolytes still roam the country. But Bevar Sea, to be fair, have imbibed and regurgitated all those latent inspirations with an authenticity we thought we might never hear on record again.
Their eponymously titled debut album was compiled out of a shortlist of their stage favourites. That’s a smart move, as guitarist Srikanth Panaman talks about the long gestation period of these songs on stage helping them evolve into record – worthy content, as the band themselves deem it. “On the one hand it’s been difficult to capture the live vibe in the studio, and on the other hand, being in the studio and listening to the songs over and over again has allowed us to fine tune our arrangements”
What’s it like, then?
‘Universal Sleeper’ is a great start mirroring honest intentions. The opening riff sounds like all that we love, growing further in stature once the rest of the orchestral accompaniments join in. Their single minded focus in holding fort with their basic song structure – the guitar riff travels a closed loop while Ganesh Krishnaswamy does a great job of sounding like Rob Zombie – makes them an involving listen.
There is more of the Indian-ness in Abhishtu, with that surreal intro reminiscent of The Doors’ ‘The End’. The rest of the song is what Jethro Tull might’ve liked to sound like. This song features some great composite guitar work, and the usual solos at the end that Bevar Sea hope will distract from the fact that their songs seem to totally outlive the welcome.
Each of the four songs are pegged at 7 minute+ mark, with Mono Gnome scaling and beating the 12 minute mark. While on the first song, this seems like just an artistic elaboration, by the time you are done listening to Abhishtu and moving on to The Smiler, it begins to get a little tiresome.
Mono Gnome and The Smiler – the ultimate and penultimate songs on the album, respectively – sound like siblings. Which isn’t necessarily a bad thing, as long as they aren’t sharing scales and notes. It’s more about the general sense and ambience. Each of them slyly take refuge behind some gnashing blues break downs, but they retain their own trademark with some virtous guitaring from Rahul Chacko and Srikanth Panaman.
For those given to reminiscing about ‘the way we were’, here’s something to set the record straight and generate optimism about the 21st century. The album is slated for release on the web and CD, which will come with a whole lot of arty accoutrements, including a 12 page booklet with inscriptions and sketches put together by Rahul Chacko – all coming your way a little closer to summer 2012.
If you want to catch them in action sooner, Bevar Sea will be supporting Kryptos on the occasion of their third album launch at The Kyra Theatre on the 18th of February – them being mates and all that. Go find yourself a shirt to wear.