Discovering new music and artists is always exciting. For the first few days, all my new music is on repeat and you might catch me singing loudly to lyrics that have just registered in my mind. However, I have a confession to make – most of those songs fall off my playlist in a few days and are never heard again. There are very few artists who can create evergreen songs that one can listen to all the time and Route 3 is one such artist. This young Delhi-based band fuses electronic, jazz, alt rock and pop genres seamlessly to create catchy, easy-to-listen-to songs that get stuck in your head and are hard to shake off. Listen to their songs once and dont be surprised if you find yourself humming them either in your shower or while driving around! Their sound is clean and refreshing with a lively tempo that is bound to lift your mood. Instead of being broody, moody and angsty, Route 3 songs are upbeat, fun and energetic even the ones that handle somewhat dark themes.
They came together in 2009 and have managed to retain the youthfulness in their music ever since. Although they have mainly performed in venues and college fests in and around Delhi, their unique sound and crisp polished songs give no hint to their relative inexperience in the Indian music scene. It is their eccentric music that led them to being awarded the most original band at the Rolling Stone Open Mic conducted at the TLR Cafe in Delhi. There is no place for sad, grand instrumental interludes or cheesy rhymes in their tracks. Instead, you can expect groovy riffs and bass lines that will get your hip shaking and feet tapping.
The band comprises of Vipin Sharma on vocals, Bagus Kusuma on guitars, Yugank Mishra on bass and Shashank Angiras on drums. Apart from their unique sound, the other thing that makes the band so great is their vocalist Vipin Sharma. His vocals can be both explosive and mellow, which is reminiscent of Sting or Lenny Kravitz. All their songs showcase his amazing voice that is both controlled and versatile. After four years of performing live, Route 3 finally decided to put out a debut EP. In All Shapes and Sizes is a perfect sampling of the Route 3 pop/alt-rock/electronic sound and is packed with catchy tunes. Released on 27th February , this 5 song EP is memorable, whacky and polished. Every song moves seamlessly into the next track and is free of convoluted themes and lyrics. Rife with guitar riffs that will get you hooked and bass lines that you cannot stand still to, this album remains fun and affable throughout without being monotonous or immature.
‘Waiting For starts off with a fluid guitar dominated intro that leads into an energetic track.This song was probably the one I liked best on the album and is definitely the catchiest. It is guaranteed to become an earworm despite your best efforts.Even though this song talks about unrequited love, the vocals never get overly dramatic or angry and in fact are sultry and restrained. Like all the other songs on this album, Waiting For is less than three minutes long and driven by wonderful guitar riffs and bass lines. Although the song also has addictive grooves and a rocked-out instrumental section, the guitars never overpower the song and every component and sound fits in cohesively.
The next song Psycho-The-Rapist has an energetic tune that distracts from the disturbing title and creepy lyrics. Think of Every Breath You Take by The Police you know you love the song but cant help feeling that it was written by a stalker – and that is the feeling that you get when listening to this track. Though the song clocks in at barely over three minutes, it packs a punch as it alternates between melodic and fast-paced sections. The relaxed melody is absolutely beguiling and the song ends with a trippy and maddening flourish.
The album moves onto another energetic track Dirty Games, which is most definitely a bitter song about a mysterious vixen. However, the vocals never go overboard and are mesmerizing and smooth. The song suddenly drops tempo with a great jazz-inspired mid section before becoming a foot tapping number again. Although this is a pretty neat track, it is not on par with the other tracks on the album.
‘Do You Know Me is another one of my favourite tracks from this E.P one of the mellower tracks on the album. With an extremely addictive guitar riff, this song talks about being true to oneself and the music compliments the lyrics beautifully. The overture immediately sets the tone of this song and like other songs on this album this track is perfectly punctuated by a guitar-drenched interlude. I cannot stress enough on the exemplary vocals that garnish every song on the album – showcasing Vipin’s range and control to great effect.
The last and shortest track on the album is Happy Guy (as the name suggests) is the most fun filled song on the album. I took an immediate liking to the track because the song is about my favourite Bollywood movie of all time Mr. India and its extraordinarily evil villain Mogambo! This track would fit in perfectly with the modern remake of the movie with its Bollywood-esque intro and lick and addictive hook. The lead singer declares that he is a happy guy and he should be, because the band has done a mighty fine job on this album.
For a debut E.P from a relatively new band, this album has been produced well and everything about it from the music to the album art, hints at the quirkiness that makes the band unique. Route 3 does seem to depend a bit too much on the lead guitars and as a result the songs can come off as slightly one-dimensional. On the bright side, the songs are punchy and youthful. None of them stray too far from their alt and pop-rock sound. Till the band decides to release a full-length album to follow this E.P, you can listen to it and download it for free from their Bandcamp page. Visit their Facebook page for more information on the band.