Category Archives: Junkyard Groove

Engraved Invitation-LUCID RECESS-2010

My first clue was the fact that you had to “LIKE” the band on their Facebook page before you could download the songs. No integrity. Minus a million points. The album cover reminds me of Seether’s Karma and Effect for some reason. Minus ten points. Then I saw the self-description of the kind of music they play. “Metal/Alternative”. Alarm Bells. I also noticed that this album was recommended by those poseurs, Rolling Stone and RSJ Online.

Finally I came to the music. Oh my gawd, the music. First thing I noticed was that its not metal. Not an iota. It is not metal in this or any other universe. Power chord riffing, the occasional chugga-chugga does not metal make. Minus 100 points for misrepresentation. Then I heard the vocals. It sounds as if he is singing karaoke with the song playing on Youtube in the background. The guy tries the power metal range in the first song, realizes that he can’t do it and stops. Bad, bad. Minus another 100. Somewhere in the album he tries to do the metal shriek at the end of a line, doesnt make it. The whole album is bunch of generic mid-90’s alternative rock chords (think Candlebox, Love Battery, Bush, Stone Temple wait, STP had some good songs.) The guitar playing is competent and everything, but that doesn’t mean that this stands a chance of sounding right. Not a chance in hell. Minus another 1000 points. Oh, and they had the friggin audacity to call themselves METAL of all things? This standard, mundane post-grunge affair? Minus another 100. I could point out a million other things that I despise about this record, but wth, my point has been made.

But at least they had the good sense to give this away for free. Plus 10. Anybody keeping score?

-Baba T   



11:11 [Bootleg] – JUNKYARD GROOVE – 2009

Right, let’s see what JYG have on offer these days. The curiously (and hence attractively) named 11:11 album by Junkyard Groove has a lovely cover going for it. The car nerd in me keeps wondering, “Hmm…What car could that be? An old Morris perhaps?” Anyway, after my last listen to their Nicer in a Minute 5 song set, I was eager to know how JYG has evolved.

They have a penchant for having great pictures taken. This one is particularly good.

They have a penchant for having great pictures taken. This one is particularly good.

Things clarify nicely with the lovely opener called err… ‘Open’, which has rich layers of vocals, drums, organ, Mellotron (I think), guitars and ear-filling bass. And what’s this?! Hindi lyrics? Good going, guys! The most fundamental thing that is immediately apparent is that the production is much better. Much, much better.  The band creates a wall of sound using that big voice of Ameeth Thomas, full sounding bass, jangling guitars and all sorts of cymbals. ‘Rock n Roll’ has one of the most amazing openings I’ve ever heard (yay to bassist Craig Maxworth!). This should have been the first song after ‘Open’.

I think I’m sort of close to characterising the sound of JYG to my ears on this album. Imagine the love child of the non-funk based songs of the Chilli Peppers with the feel-good sounds of something like Third Eye Blind, and you’re getting close. The good things about this band are the honesty and maturity in the music and lyrics, good production values, and the fact that they always work as a band and not three guys getting together for a wank-fest.

Unfortunately, some of my criticisms from the earlier set remain. The original 5 song EP wasn’t sufficient for me to realise this, but the album needs to be paced better. There are way too many mid to uptempo songs. This is the sort of band that is full of talent to make some incredible slow ballads. Where are they, boys? Something like ‘Road Trippin’ (by the Peppers) with a twist, maybe.

Ladiess and gentelmens!! Welcome to Jengyad Groov!!!

Ladiess and gentelmens!! Welcome to Jengyad Groov!!!

Another slight problem is that the band needs certain features in its music which instantly distinguish them. Think four part harmonies for the Beatles, Indian rythms/scales for Indian Ocean and Flea’s basslines for RHCP and you’ll know what I’m talking about. They are probably one of the most distinctive bands in India today primarily because an acoustic/electric guitar dichotomy and big voices just aren’t there. But, if JYG has to go beyond India and become truly big (which I suspect they have the talent to do), a major distinguishing feature or two like I mentioned above will help enormously.

Potential character adding devices are sadly not used when needed. Like the Indian tinged vocal and guitars in the beginning and middle of ‘Hold’ and the lovely Carnatic (?) violin in the beginning of ‘Been so long’. Reprisals of these melodic themes would have made those songs- nice as they were- infinitely more appealing. It will have the twin advantages of adding character to the music and distinguishing JYG as an Indian band.

If these guys were in the US, they would have been huge…’s a commentary on how little the rock music scene in India is developed in proportion with the talent on offer. THE AUDIENCE NEEDS TO WAKE UP AND BLOODY SUPPORT GOOD MUSICIANS!!! WHERE ARE YOU PEOPLE!?

Anyway, since I know no other way to end this, ill just say that on the whole, this sounds right (on track).

-El Bajista

Support JUNKYARD GROOVE. More reviews HERE.

Support DESI ROCK! More of those reviews HERE.

Nicer in a Minute E.P. – JUNKYARD GROOVE – 2008

Right. Our second Desi Rock band to be reviewed is Junkyard Groove. They are among the most talked about rock bands in India, and after I heard “Its OK” (sadly not included in this EP), I was sure the praise was well earned. This is a five song set that is available for download alongwith the 11:11 Bootleg of theirs at . Do check it out (especially “Its OK”), Desi Rock has a lot to say to the world!  Anyway, on to the EP itself.

Lovely cover!! Do checkout Its Ok video elsewhere on this review. Its fantastic.

Lovely cover!! Do checkout "Its Ok" video elsewhere on this review. Its fantastic. Be proud!!

Straight off the bat, its evident what kind of music this band makes. The sounds are all feelgood and…how do I put this….honest. You can tell that the songs have been made first and foremost on an acoustic guitar (I hope I’m right, here!), not in the least because of the jangling chords played all over the place. Though the first song “Thank You” doesn’t have a particularly inspiring start to it, it soon improves nicely,with a somewhat-sliding bassline and great chikchika-guitar playing in the verses. Nice riffs. Also, “Save Me” is really catchy, especially the intro riff. I likes. I was compelled to hear it twice over.

Ameeth Thomas has a classic sounding voice, with a great big slice of bottom end to it. Otherwise, the whole album is sprinkled with nicely resolved leads and solid rythms, all of which show that the band is confident of its developing abilities. But- and there has to be a but with a band thats only three years old- there are a few problems. The sound sometimes is a little amorphous and….urp….derivative. The acoustic guitar + chiming electric guitar + standard bass + emo lyrics has been done to death in the US by (undeserving) bands like Dashboard Confessional and Hoobastinks. Or whatever that is. The sound here is nice, but a little too poppy and not distinctive enough to do justice to as cool a name and as talented a band as Junkyard Groove. The mixing is flawed too, with the bass (as always, sadly) mixed a little too low in the mix to give the sound extra-surefootedness.  I know that JYG are one of the most lauded Indian bands out there. The music sure is on, but what it needs is a wodge of character to lift them out and above the Hoobastankery of the world. I hope 11:11 (my next JYG listen) unknowingly addresses my concerns. Mr.Bassist, I lay the responsibility on you there. Raise your volume a little, and slap out something as funky as “Its OK”. Now that’ll sound right!

El Bajista


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 478 other followers

%d bloggers like this: