- Band / Artist Indus Creed
- Genre Indie/Alternative Rock
- Label Universal Music India
- Year 2012
- Format Album
I haven’t said this often, but Indus Creed’s Evolve has been such an absolute pleasure to listen to, that I almost feel like thanking them, for this is not just a comeback album from the folks who gave India its first all-original Rock album almost quarter of a century ago, but a lesson in writing not just Rock, but any original music.
There has been talk about how the band has "evolved" from its western Rock cover genre in 1988 to an original Rock band with an Indian flavor. Yes, definitely there has been a change; after all, as a Rock music fan in India, I would like Indian Rock bands to be influenced by the west but not go ahead and completely "ape" their sound as most do. The trick is to limit the influence to the point beyond which it becomes mere imitation, while still retaining the flavor. Indus Creed, whose formative years came at a time when India was only just opening up to western Rock music showed just that right amount of influence, and while doing so, little did they know that they were writing a big chapter in India’s rock history. 1980's was a golden decade for Rock music all over the world. The English gave us Iron Maiden, the Irish U2, and the Americans, Metallica and carving out a place among them was Indus Creed, the proud ambassador from a Rock-starving nation like India, who needed just one band to introduce it to the likes of The Who, Rush and Van Halen. Indus Creed did that with Rock 'N' Roll Renegade in 1988. One part of the job was done. The crowd now knew what Rock 'N' Roll was all about. Post that, The Second Coming (1990) was the next step where more prominent Indian influence was visible in songs like Pretty Woman and Crazy, the former even winning the MTV Video Music Award at the time. And now Evolve finishes the job perfectly with the band bringing in all their experience to the front and showing the rest how influence and inspiration can be moulded to suit one’s own culture and how, in spite of being an obvious Classic Rock influence with English lyrics, a band can still manage to sound as fiercely original and good and Indian as Indus Creed does!
If you’re still expecting the Hard Rock-ish IC sound of the 1990's, be prepared for a surprise as the album is a mixed bag in terms of genres. Right from the word ‘go’, Fireflies throws you off track with its melodious guitar and vocals. Dissolve is a 7:38 minute epic ballad with an unforgettable melody in the chorus. Add to that, beautiful guitar work, an unorthodox structure and lyrics like “I am one with my destination...I walk with the coast, make the most...no more need for worry” symbolizing the band’s journey. Money might easily be their first attempt with Electronica to the extent that they have used it. With a James Bond-ish keyboard theme and an army-march drum pattern backing the vocals, the fine guitar solo towards the end fails to make up for the repetition in lyrics and lack of progress. Perhaps they should stick to pure, undisturbed Hard Rock?
Take It Harder is quintessential Rock material. Listen to it, and you know it’s a formula that’s bound to succeed, but it’s the Floyd-ish guitar solo and the way they fill in the gaps in between with atmospheric guitar work (reminds you of Kings Of Leon) that got me hooked on to this one. Easily one of my favorites and will be yours too. No Disgrace is, if not a phenomenal track, a track to watch out for the brilliant progressions mixed expertly by Grammy nominated mixing engineer Tim Palmer (Pearl Jam, Robert Plant, Ozzy, Porcupine Tree) and mastered in New York city by veteran mastering engineer Andy VanDette. Come Around is a beauty; while the others traverse around known territory, this track single-handedly takes Indian Rock to a different direction altogether. Bulletproof is fast, hard hitting and might take some IC fans back to the summer of 1988. Great drumming and mixing are the highlights of this track, which somehow dims in comparison to other tracks on the album. Goodbye is the final track which does have a happy farewell feel to it.
Looking back at the twenty five odd years that Indus Creed has spent creating music in a, it would be apt to sum up by saying that theirs is a group that has seen and lived it all, when it comes to Rock music in the country. Having said that, them album name couldn’t have been any better; they clearly emerged with a stamping force of a Rock Machine back then, and have evolved over the years to become a legend of sorts.
And with their latest album, it’s like one of those things they said about good old bands like Iron Maiden when they came up with new stuff – “You’ve just gotta hear it hands down, no matter what, because its Maiden after all”. Same goes for Indus Creed. "Buy" the album, "Spend" money on it, and you’ll know why they are called pioneers in this land.
Vishal Shah is a 20-year old from Mumbai, finishing his engineering at present. He likes to read a lot of non-fiction, music and sports magazines. An absolute digger of classic crime movies, he spends his time reading up on movies and music on the internet. Apart from this, he loves to travel, play the guitar and even sing occasionally. His interests in music cover a lot of the classic rock ‘n’ roll of the 60s, the hard rock of the 80s, thrash/power metal, grunge, alternative rock and he is currently deeply fond of the Post-Rock/Experimental music genre. Also, Amit Trivedi, Vishal Bharadwaj, Indian Ocean, and old Mohd. Rafi classics are some of his Indian favourites.
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