Hard Rock Café Bangalore saw three very different acts last night; each competing for a coveted spot in the finals of Independence Rock!
IRock (yes, I know I do but here the I is for Independence – haw HAW!) pretty much aims to do what most competitions aim for – giving the good ones a platform to do what they do best. But this initiative has been around for 24 years now and I Rock is in fact the oldest rock music festival in the country.
What’s more, premier bands like Motherjane, Pentagram, Parikrama, Indus Creed & Demonic Resurrection among others have been discovered via this very platform. So yes, prestige isn’t even a query here.
That said it was a little surprising that only 3 bands were in the running as qualifiers. And each diametrically different at that.
Musically: As tight as a seatbelt to the moon. Hardcore/heavy with progressive elements liberally thrown in. ‘An assault on the senses’.
IRock Eye: Of all the competitors, Knot had arguably the largest presence (being in the scene for nearly 2 to 3 years now), which would probably explain their showmanship. Right from the stellar sound to the onstage energy, this was a mean show. Here’s a band where each individual component works brilliantly to give a mind blowing output.
HRC as a venue was perhaps too tame for the band, going by their legendary crowd-surfing, moshing moments at metal haunts back home where they are used to a younger & umm more pro active audience. Which is by the way an area shrouded in mystery. They hail from, as of yesterday’s claim, Chennai. (We suspect the occasional Bangalore tag is wonly for getthu purposes)
They reached their zenith with Break The Cypher & ended it neat enough to seal the deal in their favour.
Feedback: 7.30 PM was maybe a little too early for something as extreme. It was a gathering of mildly confused faces and apprehensive head bangers. People were not aggressive enough to vent with Escher’s after a hard day’s work.
Musically: Melodic pop. Vibrant, acoustic sounds with some great groove. Got off to a shaky start but made themselves comfortable by the end. This would qualify as GOOD mainstream.
IRock Eye: Bangalorean act Allegro Fudge started with Day Dreamer. With the keys, guitar, bass, drums and a sound that banked on harmonies, theirs was more of the easy listening sorts. The keyboards where were the dynamism really stood out. What would traditionally have been done as vocal runs was improvised nicely on the keys.
The lead singer was a little difficult to like.There was a fair bit of whining about the mic being covered in spit, anxieties about sound perhaps not being full enough, the crowd not responding enough – at one point, we were all jolted to attention about our knowledge on The Beatles’ Hey Jude. But all that was before he stepped into his element & even whopped a neat number of falsettos. There was a smart inclusion of jazzy loud pop in the line up that got a lot of hoots and cheers for the band.
Feedback: Very positive. Also, this was a laid back crowd in the mood to chill without moving their heads too much and limiting enjoyment to foot taps & joyous cheers. However, by the end there was some definite movin’ n groovin’!
CLOWN WITH A FROWN
Musically: Pop/Alternative with a sprinkling of spunk. Slightly inconsequential but made up for it in spirit.
IRock Eye: An achingly young band, they were visibly the youngest of the lot. But kudos to the young guns for no jarringly obvious flaws. Their chirpy lead singer & bassy (with gestures galore) ensured the hyper factor never lowered. I wouldn’t write them off so early for Clown With a Frown can probably achieve more with some focus on developing a unique sound!
Sigh, the young & the restless!
Feedback: Their youthful effervescence was their X factor that had people being forgiving and sweet. It was the end of the night and everyone was more than glad to sit back and watch youthful prancing (which is not as easy as it seems!)
Before that, we had a word with Madhav & Abijith (who switch personalities back & forth, besides other things). And this was their take on I Rock:
However, once the results were out, it seemed liked it did matter after all!
Sweet victory for Knot!
GYAANBANK: The Answer To Mysteries That Plague Your Mind At Night.
Many times I’ve come midway to a metal gig and it’s been confusing. But now I know why! I gathered from this show was that experiencing a metal show in entirety – from beginning to end – is really vital!
This is a sound that isn’t easy on the ears – in the sense it’s not as easy to grasp as grooves or a pop beat. Sure you may think its noise, but it’s structured noise that needs some level of involvement to actually understand let alone enjoy.
There is a unique sense of joy in taking part in a competition completely carefree and criminally cheerful. I was given not just beaming smiles and optimistic answers but also a rubberband decorated with colourful festoons by the clowns that can’t possibly make anyone frown.
Stay with ze Score team for updates on awesomeness in the band circuit!
CAMERA CREDITS: Sandhya R & Ashwath Nair
SPECIAL THANKS: Prachi, HRC Bangalore