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B-School of Rock: Unmaad 2006

By Vineeth Atresh | February 7, 2006

Bhayanak Maut: Unmaad 2006

‘B-School Of Rock’, a high-profile rock competition organised by the Indian Institute Of Management, Bangalore, as a part of their festival ‘Unmaad 2006’, boasted of some huge prize money (up to Rs. 2,10,000) and a brilliant line-up of bands competing for the same. The show was delayed by almost five hours, finally kicking off at around 3PM — causing an adequate amount of frustration to the audience and the bands, thanks to the slapdash effort put in by the organisers. Also, before I start off with the review of each band’s performance, I want to point out that, as you can notice on the photos, the deplorable ‘stage’ with the bike mounted on it made the entire setup look like a shaggy dog story.

Kryptos, in all probability the best heavy metal band in the country, was the first band of the day. They played “Altered Destinies”, “Order of the DNA” and “Expedition to Abnormalia” as a two-piece outfit (Nolan Lewis on guitar and Ryan Colaco on drums), because frontman Jack was held up in a characteristic Bangalore traffic jam on his way to the venue. I am not sure about the method the organisers bought into play to allot the slots for the bands, but they could have been a little more sensible / considerate and pushed Kryptos to a later slot so that they could at least play with a complete line-up. Jack did finally join the band on stage during “Satyr Like Face”, profusely apologising to the crowd, judges and his band mates. “Satyr Like Face”, “Descension” and “Clandestine Elements” did sound pretty cool and the band managed to showcase some quality thrash metal. But, I have to say, Kryptos performs once in a blue moon, and this performance wasn’t really up to the mark — but you can’t really blame the band for it. The sound system was pathetic and the sound guy was all-in-all, a complete retard and should have done a much better job not only during Kryptos’ set but also throughout the evening.

MyndSnare was next, and compared to their recent performances at Strawberry Fields and IISc Vibrations, they sounded much better. KP’s a really talented guitarist and for the first time in ages, his guitar tone was actually enjoyable. The band as usual was thoroughly tight and played an extremely technical set.

Classic rock outfit Parousia kicked off with “Rising from the Ashes”, which has a very appealing riff and sounds awesome live. They then pampered the crowd with a brilliant rendition of Liquid Tension Experiment‘s “Universal Mind” — thanks to the collective musical abilities of lead guitarist Naveen “God” Thomas and keyboardist Jason Zachariah; they managed to make it look simple. Naveen’s got an awesome stage presence and was having a ball on stage. It’s absolutely mind blowing how the band played such a technical set with ease, although I felt that rhythm guitarist Britto Laban isn’t quite as good as the others. Ranjit Abraham is a brilliant vocalist and he hit all the notes without a glitch. At the end of the day, the band was successful in putting together a good professional show.

Phenom was without a doubt, the worst band of the day. I found it hard to stay awake in the lazy afternoon during their performance. Their cover of Annihilator’s “Sounds Good To Me” was an absolute tragedy. Vocalist Mark Lazaro, although really talented, was all over the place. The new songs “Glide” and “Responsibility Not Mine” sounded pretty mediocre.

After a revitalising afternoon siesta thanks to the previous band, Mumbai-based Bhayanak Maut stepped up on stage. Bhayanak Maut are literally superstars in Bangalore after their victorious performance at NLS Strawberry Fields 2004. This was when the crowd gathered in front of the stage. It’s awesome to see a band get a response from the crowd the way Bhayanak Maut did. A moshpit is a rare sight in concerts at Bangalore, and when one happens, it speaks a great deal for the performance of the band. Vinay is the best frontman that I have seen live — he connects with and works up the crowd really well. They played a set that mostly consisted of their own compositions, with a couple of Lamb of God covers thrown in. Out-and-out credit to the band for delivering such an energy-packed set with the limited quality of sound.

The winners of ‘Unmaad 2005’, Bhumi started off with “Crime”. The band hasn’t performed in over a year, and looked pretty uncoordinated. Sujay‘s voice is in top form though, and he did a pretty good job in getting the crowd to their feet. Their set consisted of all the old Bhumi classics, which included “Vertigo”, “Rails To Hell” and the title song from their eternally delayed album “Dead Time Stories”. It was over all a very casual performance by the band. It’s fun to once again watch Bhumi live — hopefully, things will fall into place for them and they’ll be more active in terms of live shows in the future.

The last band of the day was Chennai-based Junkyard Groove. With so many wannabes trying to imitate their favourite rock stars in keeping the crowd engrossed with the live act, Junkyard Groove‘s frontman Ameen Thomas (who, I think, had little too much to drink that night) is actually a “natural” when it comes to performing live. The band played a comedy Tamil folk song titled “Folk You”, which I thought was side-splittingly funny. Their other originals such as “Like a Knife” and “Hold” (with lots of great guitar parts and an awesome chorus) sounded great, inspite of problems with the sound. After winning Strawberry Fields 2005 and coming in at second place here, the band is really starting to go places. This is one Indian band that I’m really looking forward to seeing in the future.


Winners: Parousia and Bhayanak Maut / Runners-up: Junkyard Groove and Kryptos / Best Guitarist: Trinity (Phenom) / Best Bassist: Craig (Junkyard Groove) / Best Keyboardist: Jason Zachariah (Parousia) / Best Drummer: Yasmin (MyndSnare) / Best Vocalist: Ranjit Abraham (Parousia)

Out of seven bands competing, four bands emerged victorious, which make me wonder as to what the panel of judges (Praveen David, Bali and other members of Yell O) were thinking. Total credit to IIM-B for rewarding the winners with a massive amount of money, but the show didn’t really live up to expectations. The B-School had better pull up their socks together for a more entertaining ‘B-School Of Rock’ at ‘Unmaad 2007’.


1 Comment. Post Yours Here.
  1. March 24, 2006, 1:05 pm Kreator

    Man pretty screw ball review from guy who knows shit about misic. Very sad dont be biased. Understand your music first

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