Getting the intro right – on this review particularly – is not an easy task by a long shot, especially when I have been listening to the album on loop for 4 days at a stretch. The songs succeeded in evoking all kinds of moods and emotions and maybe the gloomy, magical monsoon is responsible for that, but hey! I’d rather give credit to the album. Trying to read between the lines, perhaps the songs were meant to amplify and create the dull yet mystical atmosphere surrounding the listener, like the season of the Rain Gods who knows?
David Abraham, who is the sole creator of every ingredient in each of the songs, chose a rather unconventional way to go about the launch/release of this début album. Quoting one of Mark Knopflers songs, the album just came out of nowhere – “Boom, like that!”! No EP, no gigs, no launch tour. An even a bigger shocker was that the songs were written in 2005 and recorded in Abraham’s bedroom. No, it was not meant to be sexy, in case you were wondering. Sometimes, however, short-cuts work considerably well, given that the music is unquestionably good.
Not long after One Last Monsoon came out in early February, the band had some airtime in the UK and USA. It was only then that Abraham decided to start jamming with full-time musicians and make something concrete.
For most of us, Indie music was always something foreign. After all, we did not really have good Indie bands like DCFC, Florence and the Machine, Phoenix, or Menomena playing at our pubs. With the bands decision to start playing live, things, for Mumbai at least, have changed for the better.
If given some time, this project could be a trendsetter along the lines of Sridhar/Thayil for trip hop/groove/jazz fusion, Split for re-inventing Alternative Rock, Shaair+Func for electro rock and Soulmate for blues.
As I put the album on loop and went ahead with the usual “Internet Chores”, little did I know that I would end up spending the next 2 hours being completely smitten by the album. To be honest, it was unlike anything I had ever heard. The next two days were like a time lapse. An added bonus about the album is most of the songs fit in perfectly with almost all of your moods.
The album is full of flavour like red wine, and leaves a sweet after-taste like a matured bottle of scotch. To put it very simply, if I heard one of their songs on a random playlist, I would take the effort of looking up the artist information and would probably even look for more songs.
The first track itself is layered by hope and calm and conveys the message: It’s alright, you need to move on. Perhaps its an intimation for us to play the next track, which breaks the standards set by this one.
Abraham’s unique vocal melodies manage to easily follow the highs and lows with the guitar – particularly in this track, which gives it a whole lot of depth. The song does a good job of keeping its charm intact and does not shift it into another dimension just to provide a shock factor to the listener.
On the flipside however, the song would take a lot of time to grow on you. This wont be that catchy song you heard one evening and couldnt stop humming all night!
To put it simply, the next song Maggie (A Song for Brad) would be perfect for the last scene and ending credits of any of the rom-com movie. The guitar work on the verse and the bridge is excellent and compliments the “bouncy” feel of the song, and it manages to keep it mellow at the same time.
The band has shot a really good-looking video for This Time Around. The lyrics scream out the fact that it’s a break up song! Light on the ears, heavy on melody, the songs rhythm is really catchy and the beats easy to follow, throwing out a relaxed vibe.
Divine Submersion is a very arty song. It boasts creativity and great composition. The vocal falsettos sound great and Abraham has tried to incorporate different voices in one song. The song is like a small journey to that place in your head which you have always feared. Abraham talks about solitude and the bad triumphing over all things good. There are a few phases in life where you are inspired to make something worthwhile out of your time. Abraham has done the same and he has hit the bullseye. Everything in the song is warm and comforting. You wont even know when the song is over.
One of the darker sounding numbers and the heaviest track of the album, Midnights Children is not just a song its a thought, a message. Eden Shyodhi the guest vocalist has given the background vocals for the same. The song flows, like everything is in the right place.
Demure and Once, I Ruled Myself are the average tracks on the album, nothing particularly special or outstanding in the songs. They tend to follow the similar patters from the previous songs; guitar effects are mundane and sound repetitive. Demure, however, is lyrically brilliant. Once, I Ruled Myself is a mopey track. That being said, the drumming in the song seems to suggest otherwise. It manages to lift the spirits of the song a tad bit.
Simple is on the slower side. The acoustic guitar brings a much-needed change in the album. The song is almost dying and just then, the drums kick in and rejuvenate the almost-corpse. The basslines in the song are very interesting. A person who likes to concentrate on ‘lows’ would certainly enjoy all aspects of the song.
‘Bricks’ is 4 minutes of genius. Its a song that would make you want to put on your thinking cap. The sea of emotions can be heard with crystal clarity. The pillars of experiences that have made your life, how many of them are fragile? Maybe, you ought to ponder the same after a listen. Even though the track is on the softer side, the drums provide the hard hits where required.
Anesthetic & The Withdrawal put a phenomenal end to the album. The song talks about life, perspectives and all that lies amidst. It’s pretty obvious by now that the songs have been made after putting a lot of thought into them.
The Koniac Net has ‘All That Jazz’ – what it takes for a band to grow, thrive and produce quality music year after year. How much of it they extract, only time will tell. After giving the album a fair listen, my criticisms would be: The bass guitar seemed absent in most of the songs. The guitar effects are not heterogeneous and mostly sound repetitive. The arrangement of the songs on the album should have been better. A few songs that have peculiar sounds should have been shuffled and put in right intervals to break the monotonous patterns.
On the bright side, the soul of the album lies in its poetic lyricism and its emotional melodrama. They aren’t songs you would listen to with a casual ear. They are much more. They are like the very words that I have fallen short of.