A glowing halo around the stage, multi-dimensional streaks of lights spanning the floor of Manajsa Café, Hauz Khas – all of this added to the exuberant performance by Fire Exit – a Delhi based progressive alternate rock band. A product of time and talent, the band’s own unrelenting ambition was truly expressed on the stage with its performance of all the tracks from their 6-track EP called OKBYE!
The first official studio release by Fire Exit showcased its proficiency in varied styles of genres; combining rock, metal and electronic sounds. The tracks ranged from acoustic-ambient nature to ones with a heavier feel. The band blends great vocal melody along with instrumental harmony, and is based on experimentation with varied time signatures, jazz-influenced bass-lines and an Indian percussion instrument.
‘Poison Ivy‘, ‘Vacuum‘, ‘MML‘ were the tracks where the tabla gave an intriguing turn to the way the songs progressed, evoking tranquility among the musicians and the audience alike. The band also did a couple of covers including ‘Secret’ by Maroon 5, ‘White Knuckles’ by Alter Bridge, and ‘Creep’ by Radiohead. Not to forget Subhadra Kamath’s bewitching performance reminiscent of Myles Kennedy (that made me hoot in quite an unlady-like manner). Hot guitars gave an energetic beat, with smooth soloing rhythm, accented by shakers and tambourine; paving way to the sizzling musical chemistry between the lead vocalist Subhadra Kamath and the bassist Aditya Roy. Now THAT definitely did not go unnoticed. Killer wah on the drop!
Besides the melody, the impressive song writing had me strung-out all through the gig. I simply love the art form of song writing and yes, agreeing to what Glen Hughes says that it is through song writing that you get to carry a lot of vibes to a lot of people. They tend to find themselves in the songs. Similarly Subhadra’s lyrics hooked and reeled me in till I was drowning in the melody so deep that resurfacing took me a long, long time (I ended up buying three CDs!)
Disappointingly, there were less takers than one would expect at the Cafe. The Indian rock industry has gone through a metamorphosis in the last decade, becoming a melting pot of influences. It comes across as more open to experimentation than bands outside of the country. However, there might be a need to sound out a distress call soon. Especially, considering the fact that we still see people going annoyingly berserk over western influences.