Tag Archives: Goodbye

Album Review: Evolve by Indus Creed


Original Indian rock has had quite a chequered history. Several acts have made bright starts only to sputter out into oblivion a few years later. Several acts have appeared promising but have faded away before anything substantial materialized. But then there are some other acts that have persevered through a fair share of ups and downs, and found their niche in terms of their sound, presence and appeal.

And then there’s Indus Creed.

Quite easily the big daddy of the rock music scene in India, the band that released Rock n’ Roll Renegade (As Rock Machine, in 1989), when this writer was barely out of the diaper stage, hit big time with its appearances on big music channels, an acclaimed video for ‘Pretty Child’ and a rather kitschy one for ‘Top of the Rock’. A couple of albums and some collectors’ edition tapes later, the band decided to call it quits with its members going their own way. Along the way, partial avatars of the band sprung up here and there, with Alms for Shanti (check out ‘Kashmakash’) being the most notable.

And thus, it was with much glee that the news of Indus Creed’s revival after a decade and a half of exile was welcomed whole-heartedly. A year and something of playing at venues around the country, the band announced the release of their comeback album Evolve.  And it does not disappoint. Well, not entirely. Straight out of the CD cover (with excellent artwork, although some sleeve-work would have been nice), one gets the feeling that this is not the Indus Creed of yore.

‘Fireflies’ starts things off in style. Layered with tones that wouldn’t be entirely out of place in the 80s and 90s, the song has an evocative feel around it. The song really kicks in on the chorus along with the bass and some nice harmonies on the vocals. With a couple of teaser solos on the keyboard and guitar, the song definitely sets the mood for the album to follow. Uday Benegal’s voice sounds fuller than its 90s avatar. Another thing that is immediately apparent is the quality of production— the mixing and mastering is terrific.

The album then moves to its second track, ‘Dissolve’. The distorted guitar kicking in after arpeggiated intro, sits in the mix very comfortably, yet adds a significant power to the song. The odd rhythm (10-beat cycle?), is very reminiscent of Porcupine Tree, almost Sound of Muzak like. Lyrically, this song is the strongest in the entire album. The chorus kicks in with a bang, and is easily my favourite section of the album. It also fits in very nicely with the album cover.

Mahesh Tinaikar’s guitar solo rises nicely above the rest of the instruments after the second chorus. The spoken-word section doesn’t really stick it for me, although the evolving soundscapes are nice. The almost vocal only third chorus and the throwback to the intro are nicely pulled off. The longest song at 7:38, it is great to see a somewhat different, slightly heavier side to Indus Creed’s music. A definite evolution from the Rock Machine sound! A big thumbs up to Rushad Mistry’s basswork and Jai Row Kavi on the drums as well.

‘The Money’ follows next, and it’s a bit of a letdown. With its marching beat style intro, electronic influences et al, the song does not quite stick it. After the strong opening in a couple of songs, the song doesn’t quite keep the mood. The excellent guitar solo towards the end does nothing to change that sentiment. The theme of the song lyrically also does not seem as strong as some of the other tracks on the album.

‘Take it Harder’ follows and normal service is resumed with a hard hitting song, with excellent soundscape building on the intro courtesy Zubin Balaporia. The song is excellently written, and Uday Benegal’s vocals really shine through on this one. Well structured, with stellar guitar work, the solo oozes feel and the soundscapes added towards the end of the solo only add to the charm. Jay Row Kavi’s drumming is almost meditative in places. This song is a close second behind ‘Dissolve’ in terms of favourites from the album for me.

Another longish song follows in ‘No Disgrace’. There’s a bit of a throwback to the likes of Extreme and Mr. Big, the song has its own highs and lows. The band, as a whole, shines through nicely as a unit, but the song isn’t as memorable as some of the other tracks. The progressive bent of mind is again very apparent, with some Rush-like keyboard tones, one can almost imagine Geddy Lee coming in with a couple of lines just before the guitar solo. The song highlights the individual skills of the band quite nicely though.

‘Come Around’ kicks off with a nice acoustic guitar intro. Dripping with nostalgia, the song is lyrically a throwback to a time gone by. The song is balladish at times, and is the mellowest of the album in terms of its structure as well as tone and it definitely keeps the mood nostalgic. The production value shines through brilliantly on this track. Uday Benegal’s vocals drive the song and are almost reminiscent of the ‘Pretty Child’ days.

‘Bulletproof’ is a hard hitting out-and-out rocker. The song is of a different vintage from the rest of the album, and is, most definitely, one for the stage. This one would, no doubt, be something to get a crowd going at a nice venue blaring out from the PA. The band sounds nice and tight, with the bass and drum section really coming across in a great fashion.

‘Goodbye’ winds things down for Evolve. The song has a happy nostalgic air about it. While Indus Creed would have us believe that ‘the dream was struck by reality’ and that the bigger dream would have a bigger fall, a resurrection of sorts could be just as big if not bigger. In some ways, it is an appropriate track to close out the album, shutting the door on one chapter while opening another to a possibly more exciting one.

In conclusion, the album does feel a little short and leaves me wanting for more. There are several moments on the album where Indus Creed shows us just why they were so revered back in the day, while at the same time, there are frustratingly ordinary moments as well.

All said and done, Uday Benegal, Mahesh Tinaikar, Zubin Balaporia, Rushad Mistry and Jai Row Kavi have put together an eminently enjoyable album. A special mention to Tim Palmer and company for the mixing and the production. Evolve sounds just as good on hi-fi speakers, headphones and on the car stereo. Another special mention to Zorran Mendonsa for shaping Evolve’s guitar sound, which is phenomenal!

Here’s hoping that this is just the beginning of a new chapter for Indus Creed. Audiences in India are more mature, appreciative and informed these days and exciting times surely lie ahead.

Bharath Bevinahally

The writer is a generally fat, slow moving creature, who loves to eat and swears by South Indian filter coffee. He also daylights as a consultant for an IT major.


Allegro Fudge at The BFlat Bar, Bangalore


Allegro Fudge – a contemporary acoustic rock band had a modest crowd gathered at The BFlat Bar in Indiranagar on the 8th of June to listen to music from their new album Maximum City. Strong influences of jazz, pop and folk music make for their unique sound. The band seemed to be enjoying every second on stage and kept the small assembly of enthusiastic listeners near the stage thoroughly engaged.

Allegro Fudge at The BFlat Bar, Bangalore

The show kicked off at 9 p.m. with ‘Hear Them Say, a bluesy tune that I enjoyed a lot. The song has a nice up- tempo break in between which adds some oomph to their sound. The first thing that struck me when Allegro Fudge opened their set is that they are all individually very talented musicians. The band went on to play ‘Far Away’ and ‘Yellow by Coldplay. The keyboard forms an important part of their sound and is almost a lead instrument in itself. The keyboardist, Jason Zacharaiah, added a level of complexity to the sound which kept the music engaging. I really enjoyed the “blues face” he’d make when it was his time to jam out! The band followed with some more originals, ‘Colors Fly’, ‘Day Dreamer’ and ‘˜Waiting’. The crowd really got going by now and a few people could be seen dancing animatedly to the music. Anish’s guitar work was particularly enjoyable on the latter part of the setlist. The drummer, Kishan Balaji, also did a fantastic job throughout the set and played with a lot of feel and dynamics.

Allegro Fudge at The BFlat Bar, Bangalore

Allegro Fudge then went ahead to play the classic ‘Ain’t No Sunshine’ originally by Bill Withers and this proved to be an instant crowd pleaser with people joining in with the singing here and there. Vocalist Saahas Patil has a sweet choir-boy voice which is soulful and easy on the ears. They followed up with ‘Rock All Night’, their heaviest number so to speak and this was one of the more memorable moments of the night. The barefoot Shalini Mohan did a really good job on this track playing bass and the song also featured a bass-vocal duel.  They followed with ‘Adrift’, ‘Goodbye’, ‘Eye To Eye’ and ‘Time After Time‘ by Cindy Lauper. The overall sound of the band was tame and I was disappointed that they opted to play more easy-to-listen-to covers than their heavier and darker tunes like ‘City Of Sin’ and ‘Constant Paralysis.’

Allegro Fudge at The BFlat Bar, Bangalore

They ended their set with ‘When We’re Gone’, ‘Maximum City‘ and ‘Hey Jude’. The Beatles cover was a good concluding track with the audience singing along and Saahas walking off the stage with his mike to egg people on to join in, to which they readily obliged. Galeej Gurus’ guitarist Ananth Menon then took over the vocal and guitar duties and played some blues for us with the remainder of Allegro Fudge helping out and at this point, the audience just didn’t seem to want to leave. Most of the tracks Allegro Fudge played can be found on their new album which is out online and is soon to be released on disk. The band still has a lot of work to do in terms of keeping their scarce live performances a little more engaging with more stage presence but Allegro Fudge is most definitely a band to watch out for!