In 2018, Vinay Kaushal released his debut album Naked on a Train. And was hailed by the likes of Keith Wyatt and All About Jazz. One would expect him to delve deeper into a genre that was clearly working for him, but the lockdown had different plans.
Kaushal’s new single is a strident classic rock faithful, featuring vocalist Siddharth Basrur, bassist Among JAMIR (of Agnee fame) and award winning drummer Agneya Chikte (based out of Toronto.
Reality Check ticks the right boxes in Kaushal’s new genre of choice, echoing influences from all the greats – Widespread Panic, Pearl Jam, Incubus, and Radiohead, among others. Basrur’s grainy, heavily textured voice fits perfectly into the musical broth – half-dirty, half-uplifting, bristling with rebellion and edged with discontent, bordering on rage.
Musically, there is plenty going on in the interweaving acoustic and electric guitarplay. Kaushal’s composition vacillates between righteous aggression and frothy, soulful blues thanks to a slightly sludgy slide guitar. Symmetrical and an obvious hat-tip to the time-tested appeal of the classics, the song is fun, catchy and easy to listen to.
Thematically, the song describes a relationship that no longer works, and the consequent emotional disorientation. In Kaushal’s own words,
“Sometimes people grow apart. What works for one doesn’t always work for the other. It’s time to stop pretending that you enjoy the same crazy lifestyle. What better way to say it than through a straight up rock tune laced with a bluesy interlude? Just like a wild relationship, the song culminates in one hell of an outro.”
Can’t disagree with any of that now, can we?
Verdict: Kaushal goes back to rock without abandoning his blues. Riveting guitars offers riffs that are quick to bop and quick to love.