And they’re back… bold, boisterous and with a whole lot of bounce ( sounds like a darn shampoo-conditioner). Skrat, the three-piece rock outfit from Chennai is back with ‘Bison’, their fourth album. Staying true to Skrat’s distinct style music that ensures you’re head banging from the first note, Bison is a slightly darker album from their usual fare. The album follows the story of an anthropomorphic character called General Bison, who awakens from his slumber when the chaos of a world without the ‘Queen’ hits his vineyard. He sets out with his army, along Chaos, Raptor and Yipikaye ( my favourite name).
The album starts out with a very ominous bass riff on Chaos, and quickly has you head bobbing and screaming ‘May Day, somebody stop me before I go’. The groove carries on into songs like Raptor, Wake Up and Yipikaye. Skrat gave us a taste of things to come with Fireworks ,which was released a few weeks before the album launched. Very reminiscent of the vibe of the title track from their Queen album, the song has some of the best writing on the album. Vineyard is a departure from the typical Skrat heavy sound to a slower melancholic mood. Red Ox Hide offers a more disco-esque feel. The concluding and title track, of the album starts off with a slower mournful mood that moves into the darker belligerent tone that’s present throughout the album.
Bison is one of the strongest lyrical albums that Skrat has put out yet. I got onto the Skrat bandwagon with Big Bad Guns, and if one were to listen to all three albums, you’ll notice a significant leap in terms of both the music and the lyrics. Skrat have done a great job with Bison in evolving their music without alienating the older crew (which is one of the songs on the album) and introducing themselves to a whole new audience. Bison plants itself as one of the top albums of the year ( so far ).
Here are some of the pictures from their launch gig at the Humming Tree, Bangalore. My thanks to the band and the team at THT for allowing me to shoot.