Skrat Launch their 4th Album - Bison

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).

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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.

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2Stroke Tour ft. Goddess Gagged, Tails on Fire and Diarchy

A couple of weekends ago, Bangalore witnessed the return of Goddess Gagged, the five-piece metal act from Mumbai that left a lot of folks in the scene disappointed when they went on hiatus in 2013 after their last ever gig at that year’s Control ALT Del gig in Mumbai. Pairing up with Tails on Fire from Chennai for the fourth edition of the 2Stroke Tour, with opening act by Bangalore’s very own Stoner Rock duo, Diarchy, this was an eagerly anticipated gig that took place at the Humming T.  Diarchy kicked off proceedings with a tight set that sounded a lot crisper than some of their previous outings. With songs like Gunpowder, Bulldoper and Rorschach, Diarchy set the mood for the evening. The band’s currently working on the final stages of their debut album that I’m eagerly looking forward to. Having heard them the first time at the NH7 festival last year, expectations are high.

Diarchy

The high energy in the venue was picked up by Chennai’s Tails on Fire (ToF). With their quintessential sound, the band had everyone in the front few rows singing along and jumping to every song. Tirelessly powering through a set that included well-known songs from the band like Happiness is a Headshot, Pyro, Monkey Messiah and more. The band does seem to have an obsession with flags and were handing out tiny flags with the band’s logo on it, very football-esque.

Goddess Gagged took to the stage with cheers from everyone from the moment the first song hit. This gig was happening. Trouble with the sound on stage seemed to have taken some of the steam out of the band’s performance. While they did their best to not let it affect the performance, Mr.Murphy did seem to have done enough. Giving the Bangalore crowd what they came for, with songs like Modern Machines and Sink or Swim, the band also played their recently released single, Handmade Waterfalls. Accompanied by Sunneith Revankar ( of Bhayanak Maut) on some songs, the band put on a heavy show. Basrur signed off by telling the audience that they could now go home and listen to Sky Harbour! 

Kudos to the team at Blue Tree for putting together a line-up of bands that definitely deserved a lot more people in the house to pump up the energy levels.

The Ska Vengers launch their second album, XX

The 16th of July saw Delhi-based 'Ska' band ,

The Ska Vengers

launch their second album,

XX

, at the Humming Tree in Bangalore. The evening started out with about two dozen people when Bass B'tards opened the gig, but the venue quickly filled up by the time Ska Vengers took the stage. Pumped up from the grooves of the opening band, the crowd was primed and set for Ska Vengers who kicked off the show with

Vampire

from their debut Lp.

Missing from vocal duties was front woman Samara Chopra, aka Begum X who was out with poor health. Accompanying frontman Taru Dalmia, aka Delhi Sultanate, on vocals were Talia Bentson and Meg Dsouza. The band's energy was at full throttle from the first song right to the end as they powered through songs like

Frank Brazil

,

Shut your Mouth

,

Jail Mein

,

El Cumbanchero

and other songs from XX. The band closed the evening with

Badda

from their debut self-titled Lp.

This was the second time I was seeing the band play live and they've gotten a lot tighter without compromising on the live performance or their sound. The album, which took 4 years to be put together, is a lot more mature in terms of sound, bringing together jazz and funk elements without compromising the overall politicking nature of Ska Vengers lyrics. If anything, that fire burns lot brighter and hotter now. 

You can buy the album from

oklisten.com

.