Tag Archives: Sonic Flare
Sonic Flare at Hard Rock Cafe, Hyderabad
When you bring a bunch of working professionals, the love of rock music and great talent together a band like Sonic Flare is born. After many “beginnings” in 2002, the band was formed with Neeraj, Jongky, Ajit, Vinay and Martin as their first lineup. The current lineup of the band, however, is vox by Nikhil and Priyanka, Neeraj on the guitars, Jongky on the keys, Ajit on the bass and Vinay on the drums.
Sonic Flare decided to celebrate Republic day at Hard Rock Cafe, Hyderabad. An evening of good classic rock, their set list included a couple of their own compositions and covers of some of the all-time classic greats with vocalists, Priyanka and Nikhil taking the lead alternately.
They opened with a cover of Black Crowes’ ‘Hard to Handle’ that got people grooving. Tina Turner’s ‘Simply The Best’, Eric Clapton’s ‘I Shot the Sheriff’, and Jefferson Airplane’s ‘Need Somebody to Love’ were nostalgic for those who grew up to listening to them. The blend of both Priyanka’s and Nikhil’s voices was harmonious when they sang The Knacks’ ‘My Sharona’. Also, their covers of Pink Floyd’s ‘Coming Back to Life’ and Cranberries’ ‘Zombie’ were probably the best versions heard live in Hyderabad. The rest of covers included Dire Straits’ ‘Money for Nothing’, Queen’s ‘Under Pressure’, Van Halen’s ‘Jump’. And the finale – the all-time favourite Guns n Roses’ ‘Sweet Child O’ Mine’ got the crowd singing along.
Whereas ‘Take Me Away’, ‘Beautiful World’, ‘Stay’, ‘Dream On’, and ‘Me and You’ were their original compositions, which felt like they stepped out of the 80s. Their music is a light-hearted blend of rock, funk and blues. Every composition had its own essence and ‘Stay’ seemed to be the favorite among Sonic Flare fans.
Thanks to dry day the turnout was not great. This did not bring down the spirits of the band and those present, and turned out to be quite an enjoyable evening. The band interacted with the crowd and had great stage presence. Their energy was contagious. Though the sound had some tweaks here and there, it did not affect the performance.
There are only a few bands that play classic rock and blues, Sonic Flare being one of them. With the bluesy vocals of Priyanka, awesome ranges of Nikhil, the classic tones of Neeraj’s guitar, some crazy bass lines by Ajit, the old school tones that Jongky played on the keys and Vinay not skipping a beat on the drums, this band played to perfection. Each member of the band brought his and her own flavor to their music. Despite the small turnout, it was a wonderful evening of classic rock. Nobody really wanted the evening to end.
The Final Beginning by Sonic Flare
Sonic Flare is a band that has been around for a while now. And like most bands, has a long and complicated past. They have finally come out with their first album, and it is definitely something that they should be proud of. The first thing that would catch your eye when you get your copy of the album is the very impressive album cover. Their history as a band seems to have inspired the album title, though the meaning behind the imagery on the cover is beyond me.
The album opens with a very funky track ‘Beautiful World’. Crisp guitars, tight drum recording, and punchy vocal delivery – but the brass runs leave much to be desired. Brass sounds are fairly easy to replicate with today’s technology, but I can’t see why they didn’t pay attention to this important detail. It could have really added the much-needed fullness to the track. The same goes for the fake sax solo. These oversights are disappointing, because without them, this otherwise nicely done track, has the potential to be a lot better. However, this could also be attributed to the quick recording schedules that most rising bands have to go through.
The next track ‘I, Me, Myself’ is a very vocal-driven song. The vocalist has an amazing tone, but the accent that he put on would probably make one want to switch to the next track. We have come to a stage in Indian indie music where musicians can be comfortable with their own accents, which aren’t bad at all. Over all, this song has nice changes, and a simple well thought-out guitar outro.
‘Me & You’ started with a very reggae guitar intro. Just when I thought I’d heard all the I-V-vi-IV love songs, here comes another! This song is highly predictable and has the same changes as ‘With or Without You’ (U2), and probably a hundred others. It’s a formulaic track, and doesn’t really showcase the band’s songwriting ability. In the end, it’s a catchy, easy listening track perfectly placed in the middle of the album, to catch your attention, if you got distracted by original material.
Fourth on the album,’Stay’ is a straightforward track with nothing that stands out. It felt like the band had already told what they had to say musically, in the first couple of tracks. The song also seems to be arranged badly. It seems to pick up, and then go back down, and then end somewhere in the middle leaving the listener completely confused.
The last track on the album, ‘Weight of this World’, opens with a fairly catchy riff. Again, there are very predictable changes which is not necessarily a bad thing – it makes for easy listening. The song is quite reminiscent of Queen.
In conclusion, the album sounds well produced, and intelligently organized. This album is probably not going to be a best-seller. But I can see this as an album being hotly shared online among friends on social networks and the album adds to the band’s demo reel.
The sound of the band is fresh, and there are no vulgar displays of virtuosity, or my-instrument-is-more-important-than-yours that plagues so many upcoming bands. They are unapologetically, straightforward, easy-on-the-ears pop-rock, bordering on boy band. The Final Beginning, might not do wonders for the Indie music scene, with their non-controversial and pop-ish material but what they will do is go out there and play some clean, tight, catchy music.