Parikrama is one of India’s most revered rock bands. Formed in 1991 in New Delhi, they’ve forged their unique identity in the Indian music scene. Even though they have been around for almost 30 years, Parikrama have not released a single full length album. The band just prefers to give its music away for free. The band also famously doesn’t usually record its songs in the studio. Most of Parikrama’s music available for listeners is from their live shows. In fact, when they were asked about the possibility of releasing a compilation album featuring their live recordings, Parikrama just asked people to download their songs and create their own album in whichever way they want.
“Vapourize” is one of Parikrama’s most famous songs, specifically their performance of the song during the Download Festival in UK. The stunning screams of Nitin Malik and the magical leads and solos of the late great Sonam Sherpa were some of the highlights of the track. On top of that, there was a magical violin section near the end as well. This “lockdown version” has none of those elements. However, it’s not just a softened or “unplugged” version of the fiery original, it’s a completely different take on the song. The aggression has been toned down quite a bit. As edgy and fiery the original “Vapourize” was, the “lockdown edition” is far more laid-back and stripped.
The project was created with the idea of supporting two great causes, the plight of daily wage workers affected by Covid and West Bengal by the cyclone. The initial idea was to create a swing version of the classic but the band’s drummer Srijan Mahajan came up with this arrangement and the band members loved it a lot and decided to go ahead with it.
The song is well written (or re-written) and performed and even features a short and sweet sitar solo by Dhruv Bedi. If you enjoy mellowed down versions of fiery hard rock songs, you will probably like this song, if you don’t, you probably won’t.
Press the play button without expecting a hard rock number and you will most probably end up enjoying it. A lot of times, good music is crushed under the weight of unfair expectations. So approach it with an open mind.
Verdict: An interesting take on the fiery classic.