Tag Archives: The Colour Compound

Blek’s Debut EP: Hexes + Drama and other reasons for evacuation

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An old joke I heard about these guys when they first hit the scene, was that they are the Gujarati version of Blakc, hence the name Blek! The band actually takes its name from the French graffiti artist Blek le Rat – commonly referred to as the father of stencil – and not from any of the more entertaining ones devised by fans.

They’ve been around for a little more than a year now and they certainly seem to have moved in the right direction. They aren’t a new and distinctive-sounding band as such, but they are in a space by themselves in the blossoming Indian punk scene, managing to cramp a lot of the aggression, normally associated with the genre. However they don’t fall away to the modern mainstream punk sounds of Green Day and Fall out Boy and have the distinction of being the first band to be managed by ennui.BOMB Records.

The EP blasts away with ‘Hexes + Drama’, a song that appears to be dedicated to someone called Jolene, where Rishi pledges all sorts of silly stuff for her. Jared’s bass work is typical of live gigs, with a solid driving bass. Though, what I found pretty annoying was the guitar effect prevalent throughout the song!

Running into Walls Occasionally Helps’  was a song I had first heard at the Rush of Blood blood donation drive at Inorbit mall. The song has a semi-staccato bass line that contrasts beautifully with the guitar riff, although the chorus reminds me of a certain “amma dekh” riff.  The band convinces you that it has a foot-fetish, with lyrics like “Every time I’m hungry, I’ll lick your feet girl” – kinky to say the least. The song closes with a glorious outro that I wished was longer.

The third song has the same rhythm pattern as the second, although the songs don’t sound the same. ‘Minus the Makeup’ has awesome catchy riffs and the chorus riff is brilliant. Jared sticks to his punchy groove bass lines matching Varun’s straightforward driving rhythm.

‘The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou’ shares its title with a Bill Murray film and, much like its namesake, flops. The song starts with a drum intro and… surprise, surprise; it’s the same rhythm again! I found the song a tad boring and listened to it again, but even that didn’t help, so I skipped to the next track.

Finally, a different rhythm makes an appearance on the next track, ‘Fog + Strobe’, with clap snares and a positively disco-sounding beat. The chorus sounded very familiar but I couldn’t figure it out so I gave up trying. Interestingly, the song closed at 3.35 on the player so I was wondering why the band had left more than double that time on the recording. I scrolled ahead looking for maybe a hidden message or to see if it started up again and was rewarded with one of my favorite songs on the EP at exactly 8.39 on the timer.

‘The Monkey Song’ is one of their catchiest songs and I loved this song at the launch where Linford D’Souza, a friend of the band, helped out with some great percussive work. The recording does not disappoint either, capturing the same tight rhythm work and the pace of the song.

The music was produced by Ayan De and mixed and mastered at Midicore Studios who have in the past worked with releases from bands like The Colour Compound, Rosemary and Bones for BertieAlthough the mixes on most songs sound fine, the overall product lacks that punch. This is a feature evident on some of the studio’s other releases. Rishi’s vocals suffer the most, as in all of the songs; his vocals don’t make the impact I wished they would.

The EP features a gloss envelope cover with minimalistic art work. Although the EP was initially supposed to be only for free downloading, the band decided to print a few physical copies for fans who wanted them. A worthwhile effort it would seem, as many people have heard the music online and then bought the CD. It’s at the give away price of Rs. 50/- only so it’s more than worth the cost, and definitely a great prelude to an impending album.

Howard Pereira

Howard is a guitarist with Mumbai based bands, Dischordian and Overhung. His other interests include drinking, comic books and occasional writing.

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Sincerely Yours by The Colour Compound

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I wouldn’t say their reputation preceded them when I first heard of The Colour Compound a few months ago. I had heard Rohan Mazumdar singing just once before when he was helping out Mumbai-based Something Relevant for a few gigs while their vocalist was out of town and I remember him to be very good. Although I was surprised that they were releasing an EP so early and I had missed the launch of Sincerely Yours at the Blue Frog, they were still highly recommended.

The EP starts off with a song called ‘Just Another Déjà vu’. The first thing that struck me was the nice clean sound of all instruments. Acoustic guitar strum launches the song into a warm happy space as the clean picking and drums kick in. Rohan’s voice is pleasant and gives off a familiar vibe. If you listen closely you’ll find some nice phrasing at the beginning of the chorus, which tells you to expect similar interesting ideas in the songs to come. Watch out for the catchy “Deja-voo-hoo” falsetto, the catchy tune and apt title, and some nice subtle lines by Bradley Tellis’ guitar on the bridge, even as it may give you this nagging heard-it-before feeling.

Miracles and Magic’ starts off with some nice stick work by Aditya Ashok. I was told by Rohan in a short conversation that the verses had been shared between Bradley and him, so all the best figuring out who’s singing what part. The bass guitar could have been a little more prominent on this song, but nonetheless, a great pop tune once again.

Drums start off the next track, a seemingly SRV inspired lick. The vocal delivery on ‘Can’t Afford To Cry’ is very impressive, almost reggae, but not. I particularly liked the second verse which begins straight out of the Bad Boys theme by Inner Circle and really underlines the reggae influence. The “Whatcha gonna do when they come for you, and whatcha gonna say when it still won’t go your way” lyric is impressive, as is the nice pretty bluesy solo. The song writing is simple enough as they make great tunes quite memorable with their verse-chorus-verse-chorus-bridge formula.

Rohan’s singing shines through on the next song, called ‘The Other Side’. The vocals are super laid back and really compliment the lazy strumming pattern. Not one of the more memorable ones though.

The dual guitar intro on ‘What’s The Worst’ could have been complimented with a groovier bass line but that notwithstanding, the song is a mid tempo funk ditty. Listening to TCC is kind of like trying to figure out who is singing what parts in an Alice in Chains song. I was smiling throughout the song and particularly loved the clap in the bridge!

My favorite song on the album is ‘You Are Everywhere’. Rohan wrote this song, which would do well as a single, about and for his father. It is a beautiful song that anyone would be able to relate to. The lyrics are charming without getting corny, and the song delivers the highs and goosebumps that a great song should. Easily the best on the album I’d say.

On the whole, The Colour Compound keeps things simple and sincere, like the name of the EP suggests. The most complex part of their music is wondering why they don’t have a video out yet. Although the production could have been a lot better, (the band explained that this was a rushed effort) the music is extremely likable and marketable too. I’m sure their next gig will be well attended, especially by women. It’s a welcome break from music releases of bands that either over think the technical aspects of their songs making them unnecessarily progressive or the heavier sort whose subjects are as varied as the thumbs on my hands. Go check them out! – The Colour Compound

Howard Pereira

Howard is a guitarist with Mumbai based bands, Dischordian and Overhung. His other interests include drinking, comic books and occasional writing.

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