Siddharth Basrur and Vishal J Singh. Both these names are mainstays among avid indie listeners. While Basrur has been serving as a featured vocalist on several collaborations, he also serves as a songwriter and guitarist with alt-rock and punk influences. Singh, on the other hand, fronts the multi-genre band Amogh Symphony. As for the latter’s influences, he mostly relies on progressive rock and avant-garde.
Once flatmates, these two peers have now come together as the duo The Library with an aptly titled album Quiet, Please. The seven-track record is a set of instrumental tracks that are mostly open to the listener’s interpretation. Listen to them while having a run or a drive or just while sitting alone; Quiet, Please can suit any mood.
There’s an amusing blend of punk (pop punk to get specific) and prog-rock throughout the album. On the surface, the genres might sound the same to a layperson but the style and execution are of course, vastly different. While punk relies on straightforward and melodic riffs with emotive (or rather aggressive) lyrics, the realm of progressive rock covers further nuance and complexity. Odd time signatures and intricate guitar solos tend to form the crux of prog-rock.
The mishmash of these two styles creates an interesting blend of chaotic energies that would get you up if you’re in the mood of a fast-paced playlist. Each song plays out perfectly regardless of whether you play in the tracklist’s sequence or not. As mentioned earlier, Quiet, Please is devoid of lyrics. So, the eccentric titles like ‘The Wonderland in Alice’ and ‘Page No. 69’ can be subjectively interpreted by different minds.
The musicality aside, illustrator Pranjeevan Adhikary deserves a pat on his back for the witty cover art. The 90s inspired artwork perfectly captures the album and band’s title along with the thematic elements. As a library’s audience lazily gazes at their books, the duo stands with their guitars strung around their necks. Realizing that a literal library can be the worst performance venue for The Library, an illustrated Siddharth Basrur remarks, ‘This was a dumb idea’.
But Quiet, Please is definitely not a dumb idea. The mix between its two genres might not only impress aficionados of prog-rock and metal but even amateur listeners who might otherwise not listen to such styles. All in all, it makes for an interesting and catchy experiment.
Verdict: Pop-punk and prog-rock collide for a delightful instrumental set.