Hindi Rock already enjoys a lot of popularity and it is particularly hard not to feel queasy when a band proclaims itself to be Hindi Progressive Rock. The long-haired, Lamb of God loving dudes when made aware of their earthly Indian roots, can yield results that can be quite a mess. Stereotypes are a plenty and this is what Coshish shuns through their concept album Firdous. How successfully, remains a contentious question! Coshish is a four-piece band from Mumbai with Hamza Kazi on drums, Anish Nair on bass, Mangesh Gandhi on guitar and vocals and Shrikant Sreenivasan on lead guitars. Coshish, with their debut Firdous makes a dexterous attempt to fuse their eastern and western influences, encompassing everything from Meshuggah and Tool to Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan.
Coshish had their PR act sorted way before the much anticipated release of Firdous and a Hitler Reacts video gets a worthy mention. This was perhaps just the precursor to how well thought-out their album would be and Coshish has not disappointed on that front. The very concept of Firdous and its artwork is as much laudable as unprecedented it is in the independent circuit. This ten-track album is bound by a unifying theme which is not all that apparent as one may think. The listener is expected to stitch the clues hidden in its artwork and rearrange the tracks to turn it into one seamless track. For the spoilers though, Coshish is the story of a man who denounces this mundane world full of pain and attachments. Anyone thought of Siddhartha or Kurt Cobain there?
Song-writing and the composition does more than a fair job but its the vocals that are unfashionably mediocre. The harkatein (nuances) have plenty of sharp edges and the voice overall is barely sonorous to effectively communicate the darker feel of the album. The title track Firdous and Bhula do Unhey stand out while the radio pop rock Coshish is the perhaps the biggest dampener in the entire album. Though, its the finale Mukti- an instrumental – the grandest of all that truly enriches the flavour of Progressive Rock. The track, in its entirety, traverses through mellow overtures which are subsequently taken over by heavy riffs and some impressive solos by Shrikant. Having said that the production deserves credit and you have none other than the ever-impressive Zorran Mendonsa to thank for that.
The underlying darker theme, the album artwork and the music may have struck a few discordant notes, but Firdous still remains a remarkable debut. It is in every sense an unprecedented and indeed a very brave foot forward by Coshish. The very idea of a theme or a story to the entire album is a refreshing one and we can just hope for a domino-effect!