Monthly Archives: June 2010

Not Over Yet EP-Cyanide-2010

Cyanide is a band from Delhi, formed in 2001, and have been working the rock circuit all over India and are currently hot, having released their first EP!! Yea, this is the one and you can catch all of it here. Anyways there are only 5 songs on here, all originals, with lyrics I am not gonna bother to describe ‘cause I hardly think that is the point. The point is that if you attend one of their concerts, get ready to put your headbanging heads on cause they know how to put the pedal on the metal!!

The sound can be roughly described as, well, hard rock, with the regular song structure that we are all familiar with, having listened to 90’s rock ad infinitum. I can’t give them points for originality, but I think they secure the top grade as far as competency and listenability are concerned. The production is fine and polished and what makes me like them even more is the bass. It’s completely audible (that what I like most about our desi bands….such a live sound) and completely kicks ass especially on the title track, which is the best track on here. The rest of the tracks are adequate, not as ass-kicking, except for the ballad, Untold Misery which just sucks due to the hackneyed style and plasticky generic solo. I hope to hear them LOUD and friggin LIVE sometime in Delhi. Where art thou Cyanide???

Recommended Tracks:- Not Over Yet-Is this a classic hard rock headbanger or wat?? Uses the soft-loud dynamic perfectly, the solo comes right at the end after they have built up the anticipation for the same-classic songwriting techniques, way to go, Cyanide!! This is one poison I would like to ingest LIVE!!

-Baba T

The Sky Moves Sideways-PORCUPINE TREE-1995

Aha. The album that really introduced Porcupine Tree as a force to be reckoned with, a “band” and not just a joke, somewhat similar in nature to Spinal Tap, the only difference being that Steven Wilson was making fun of 70’s prog bands. It is the first time Porcupine Tree is used to denote an actual band, as opposed to a pseudonym for Steven Wilson.

Putting that away, this is the album that revealed to me the experimentative, rambling tendencies of the band, as opposed to the meticulous, song oriented approach of later albums. Mind you, I am not saying that later albums do not experiment, just that they do not cover genres in quite the same way as this does. Also, by 1998 Porcupine Tree had almost found their unique prog/metal/symphonic/PT ambience, while here they are just, for the most part, soundscaping around, shall we say? There are significant electronica influences to be seen in The Sky Moves Sideways Part 1, trance beats galore, so on and so forth, let’s not destroy the surprises okay? This album is a must listen, displaying a completely different approach to album making, so you better not ignore this one; this would rank higher on my PT scale than Lightbulb Sun or Stupid Dream, the simple reason being that they are two sides of the same coin, while this is different experience by 180 degrees. It need hardly be said that I use this album to fall into a coma at night after a tiring and hot day in college, with a whisky peg in hand, of course. All those tribal beats and ambient directions, you know, they help.

Oh, and about the Pink Floyd factor. I have read more than once as to how Porcupine Tree is supposed to be the “new” Floyd. Now, I won’t deny that their sound draws heavily from the Floyd, the ambience and the darkness, the long, drawn out lead lines, the soft vocals, yes, but its called “influence” and as long as it sounds good and it is not imitation, which it is not, I don’t give a rats ass. There is a significant part of this album, where you will get a chance to compare this with Floyd’s schtick, especially the guitar solos. Oh, and if there are Floyd fans who have not heard PT, to give them a idea, I would say that In Absentia was their Dark Side of the Moon, while Fear of a Blank Planet can be called their Wish You Were Here. This one can be seen as the Piper at the Gates of Dawn.

Recommended Songs:- N/A. This is not a song album. You need to hear the whole thing, and that I do recommend. Also do remember that this album had two versions, US and UK, and there is this one song, called “Stars Die”, which is absolutely fabulous, and it is to be found only on the US version. So get that too.

-Baba T

Stupid Dream-PORCUPINE TREE-1999

Perhaps Stupid Dream is one of the most melancholy and somber albums that PT has ever made till date. Yes, the mood that this band conjures up is always so, but on this even it is even more so. Maybe that is why this one has always ranked a little lower on my scale than the other PT albums (leaving the Incident aside of course).

On the other hand there are some songs on here that you would do well not to miss. The opener, Even Less, is one of my all time PT favorites, and is the best song on here. One for the greatest hits collection playah!! I rather not describe the song, in fact, I do not think that I can describe it. The second song to note on here is the poppish, catchy “Piano Lesson”. Check the lyrics-: “I remember piano lessons/The hours in freezing rooms/Cruel ears and tiny hands/Destroying timeless tunes/She said there’s too much out there/Too much already said/ You’d better give up hoping/You’re better off in bed” . Most of the times Steven Wilson’s lyrics are incredibly vague, though picturesque, but sometimes he just hits the button. Like on this one and “The Sound of Muzak” from In Absentia. Great stuff.

To tell the truth, the rest of the album passes in a sort of a haze. Maybe because the best cut is the opener, but the rest of the stuff is a bit iffy (for PT anyways). This might also be because of a lack of variation in song structure and style, but I can hardly remember what happens after “Don’t Hate Me”, which song has btw, some great sax going for it, also a rare occurrence. However, no real complaint again, since that is almost half the album! The album again is PT finding their sound and heading for what they must not have known, but we know, as In Absentia. Damn, how many times am I gonna mention that one in these PT reviews. As I shall note, the albums before this, namely Signify, The Sky Moves Sideways and Down the Upstair were high on experimentation, while from Stupid Dream onwards, till Fear of a Blank Planet, PT discovered the unique PT sound. Does that make sense? Whatever. And as for The Incident, the less spoken about it the better.

As for Stupid Dream, it is one the album that even a casual fan must hear to complete the PT experience. If not that, you are at the very least obliged to hear “Even Less”, which must be one of the all time great songs, in my book at least.

Recommended Songs-Even Less, Piano Lessons, Don’t Hate Me.

-Baba T


“Hey man, redneck is cool!! Lets take up Southern Blues we were good at in the 70’s and take it rip roaring into the90’s!! Yo yo yo!!”  And that is what Allman Brothers did, i.e Greg Allman and Dickey Betts with a couple of other guys. They came back from the dead to produce one more album. Obviously for me this is not of the Idlewild South or Eat a Peach quality, but it still is good. Songs like “Good Clean Fun” rock hard, to use a cliché, however, are too generic for my tastes, the same goes for songs like “Let Me Ride” and “Low Down Dirty Mean”, however, we do have some good songs that should make the best ofs in a couple of years, if they haven’t already, namely the Blue Sky-esque feel good ballad, title track, Seven Turns, which is quite my favorite, and the pensive Gambler’s Roll, fans of Zeppelin’s “Since You Have Been Loving Me” take note of this song,  the greatest track they have made in their comeback so far, whatever I have heard of it. It has a great vocal delivery and when the piano answers the vocalist at the end of every line in the verse, oh yeah, its perfect blues heaven!! And the lead line in the chorus!! On the whole, I would recommend that you pick the aforementioned songs and get away unless you are a roaring blues fanatic.

Recommended Songs- Seven Turns, Gamblers Roll

-Baba T


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