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 http://junkyardgroove.net/downloads.cfm . Do check it out (especially “Its OK”), Desi Rock has a lot to say to the world! Anyway, on to the EP itself.
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!