Thursday, June 26, 2008

Avial - Malayalam For Rock

I dont understand Malayalam, but I like good music (who doesn't?) and I must say I'm terrible impressed with Avial! Avial is a rock band out of India who decided to go ethnic as it were but stick to their rock roots - the results are standout!

Its was almost like listening to the Roja soundtrack all those years back - the discovery of Rahman - didn't understand what was being said (thank God - who could have survived P.K. Mishra!) - but Avial ROCKS the party. Definitely highly recommended if you want to pop something into your favourite player and rock for a solid 8 tracks through!

1. Nada Nada: Insert key into ignition and press Start. Nada,Nada,Nada,Nada,Nada,Nada,Nada,Nada... Wow. What an amazing kickstart of a song. Its been a while since I heard such a powerful opening track. Has you rocking your head and singing nada,nada! Crisp vocals and great balance on the music, otherwise Indian rock bands tend to overpower the vocalist. Powerhouse opening. Worth the price of the CD alone!

2. Chekele: After the rip roaring Nada Nada, Chekele is soothing. Its got a latent energy all of itself which builds it up and then tempers you on a plane. Good followup to Nada Nada. I want to hear more!

3. Njan Aara : Strong electric guitar riff to begin with but cools off - its going to be a ballad type of number. Standard hard rock fare. Intensity down.

4. Arikuruka : Intensity Increase. Got my head rocking again.

5. Aranda : More of the same. Good, but standard fare.

6. Karukara : Promising start, its got some nice string work up front and nicely segway's into a guitar solo pepperred with with vocals. This song is really an excuse for a guitar solo with token vocals - but I'm not complaining! The hook is infectious and hey - I'm rocking my head again!

7. Aadu Pambe: Starts off sounding like a track from the northwest frontier somewhere (its a very familiar riff) - is this another guitar solo track? Ah, order is restored, the base and vocals are back. Almost sounds like a System of A Down song. Chopsuey anybody with Avial? The guest vocalist is annoying - could do without it or a distorted background. It all ends in a blaze of guitars and drums - heaven.

8. Ettam Pattu : Final track, damn! Looks like they're going to set you down gently for a farewell. Native American chanting anybody - nah its the naah re through some amp or something! Its the return of the vocalist! Nice smooth number to top off the extrememly satisfying and delightful Avial!

The album art is amazing to boot! Also, was surprised to find Naresh Kamath (Bass) of Kailaasa fame on Avial. I am not a fan of the edible type of Avial - but I'm sold on the type I can rock to! Go out and get this CD while I make my way back to Nada,Nada,Nada,Nada,Nada,Nada...........!

PS: You can buy this album from MusicYogi / in stores or on iTunes.

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Avengi Ja Nahin - Rabbi

New outing by singer / song-writer Rabbi of Bulla Ki Jaana fame. His most recent outing as a composer on the otherwise terrible Delhii Heights was actually pretty decent. Anyhow - onwards with this release!

Overall, 3/5 - average album. It has its moments, but ultimately ends up sounding a lot like something I've already heard before. Unlike Kailash Kher, who I compare him to perhaps unfairly, Rabbi doesn't "dare" enough for me.

1. Chhalla : Screamer of a track, no literally. Must be a crowd favorite. Umm, OK. Warm-up track.

2. Karachi Waalie: Oddly enough for Rabbi, sounds like a cookie cutter rock ballad and I get a nagging feeling that I've head the same strains on some other album, almost takes me back to my Rock Machine ala Indus Creed Days. Perhaps its a check off on the album, Rock ballad,check. Ominous feeling, not going well!

3. Maen Bolia: This is more like the Rabbi I know / prefer. Lyrics are awesome, the album is ticking up.

4. Avengi Ja Nahin : Title track, aptly named, was wondering whether the real Rabbi Avenga Ja Nahin? Nicely laid out, relaxed lilting melody, some of the slide guitar work shown in Delhi Heights (Kitni Der Tak). I love the slide guitar inclusion - you dont hear it often on Indian compositions.

5. Ballo: First thought, "Its Probably Me - Sting" - got the same tchick/boom beat going for it. Umm, ok.

6. Tu Avin Bandra: Like the lyrics, but the song is a little too non-linear for me, hangs in the air and exceeds its welcome.

7. Pagrhi Sambhal Jatta: Starts off like a Red Hot Chilli Peppers number (Soul to Squeeze). The song gets into a comfortable rhythym but the lyrics are distracting , if thats possible. All I hear is Tughlaq, Ghazni. The lyrics are actually great, but doesnt translate well into song.Plus I've got the stellar Rahman song (from Legend of Bhagat Singh) playing in my head, although the two songs only share the same title - the sentiment is the same.

8. Bilquis (Jinhe Naaz Hain): Nice lock step beat. Social message pepperred with bharat bhagya vidhaata!

9. Return To Unity: Give me a little Freddy Mercury Rabbi. Well not really - but not a bad song, again I'm getting Indus Creed flashbacks! Time to pull out that old Rock Machine tape.

I bought the album using MusicYogi again - they should take a leaf out of FlipKart's book (ironic) and waive the shipping. If you want, you can Buy Rabbi CD from

Am listening to the band Avial now, I don't understand a word of Malayalam, yes, the whole album is in Malayalam - but so much fun! Next post on Avial - am still getting my fill!

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