Over the past few years, Mood Indigo has acquired itself quite a reputation for attracting acts of international rock vintage, most with several intercontinental tour schedules already under their belts. This year, it’ll be emerging Australian progressive rock band, Karnivool, who’ll be stepping into the limelight at IIT-B come December.
Karnivool are no amateurs, though in the decade that they’ve been active, only two albums have made the record store shelves, apart from their forgotten EP, Persona, that saw light of day once again as a re-release once their debut Themata hit it big.
But they’ve been rampant on the live circuit, both within Australia, as well as in the US and Europe, after their successful album releases. They’ve become seasoned veterans of stage performances, innovating with their styles and accompaniments, that range from taped introductions to songs to pyrotechnics.
If you’re planning on hitting the campus for this year’s headlining concert at Mood-I, here are a few songs to knock you into shape.
A song such as this cannot help but be played at concerts. It’s got that inherent anthemic quality; a song that just begs to be sung along to, and not in the least because it empowers.
It does play by the rules of pop music, with suitably loud chorus lines and easybeats, but it doesn’t let commercial appeal overwhelm any of its original indignations. The video is appropriately debauched and well, who can ask for more?
Cote is quite smash and grab. It smashes your presumptions about nu metal and grabs you by the unmentionables.
It is a perfectly executed song that defies stereotyping. You want to adjudicate on the genre of this one? Well, be my guest.
Because here, you see, are the finest aspects of pop rock, embedded with the symphonic alacrity of progressive metal. There isn’t an easy way out of this one.
It withers away a bit at the end, as if the band had overdone the song a tad. But at least it leaves room for the afterglow.
Sound Awake, as the band’s second album, was touted to be a big step up. John Stockman mentioned how this album was more of a team effort, unlike Themata, which was Drew Goddard’s through and through.
Deadman – one of the magnum opuses from the album – does sound populated with ideas. They sync and mesh chaotically; at times, Kenny seems to have his voice harmonized with the guitars and we’re very fluid, but then, the tempo might shift and we hit turbulence again.
Again, the song outlives the welcome. The album version is timed at 12 minutes and a little more, though the song itself is only 10 minutes long. The extra couple of minutes are segues of closing songs from the previous album. Trippy idea, that.
If I were at the concert, this is the song I’d be waiting to hear. Why? Well, because it’s so spaced out; like a whole panorama squeezed into a song. Ian Kenny sings fabulously, ably backed by his guitarists who tail his voice closely, and then sometimes, step out into the front.
And of course, the overdue relief of a song that fits within an average listener’s attention span; Mauseum is tight and orderly in it’s 4 minutes, leaving you wishing for more; which is actually a veritable litmus test of how much you really like a song. It’s about craving, even for just a little bit.
I’d vote Simple Boy the best song on Sound Awake. The question wasn’t asked, but it never hurt to be forthright. Anyway, this song is one of those few which sound as good live as they do in a studio.
What really works for the song is difficult to decipher. It probably is the slower tempo, that allows Ian Kenny to really flex those pipes. The guitars are at it again; colouring your imaginations while you listen to the words, a la Radiohead. Live performances of this song are often accompanied by wicked lightworks, abstract monologues, or whatever might be on the menu that day.