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The First Mutiny: Dogmas of Indian Rock

By Vishal Gandhi | October 30, 2007

Split Magazine: The First Mutiny‘The First Mutiny: Dogmas of Indian Rock’ — the first release from Bangalore-based record label DogmaTone Records — is a compilation of the peripheral rock acts in the country, with appearances from Demonic Resurrection, Cassini’s Division and Exodus, the better known of the bands featured to give the album latent credibility.

First up is Vertigo with “Believe”, with lyrics like “Do you believe in God, do you believe in ghosts, do you believe in love? / Well, I think it’s all a hoax”, and so on. It’s neither here nor there, but then, just when the song meanders to the end, the band breaks into chants of Gayatri Mantra! If it’s meant to be ironic, as the sinister laugh in the outro might indicate, I don’t get the irony. Moving on, we find Pralay trying their Hind-rock-rap khichdi that leaves a sour taste in the mouth. But then there is “Chickenator” by Kastadyne that charms with its silly lyrics and the melody of “Tipalo” by Hunger that readily captures your ear. A major hindrance to this compilation is the haphazard collection of bands, pitted all over, where a sorry stab at black metal that threatens the eardrums by Grungy Morphins is followed by a stalwart of the metal scene in Demonic Resurrection.

Lot of the bands in the compilation — see Exodus, Scream of Silence, Night Train, Indian Breves, Enthrall and Kradle O’ Beats — reproduce the big rock sound of the ’80s. You know, the hair bands with all that glitter, shrill vocals and guitar wankery, and while it’s fun to relive those decadent times in a musical sense, the initial euphoria dies down pretty quickly. Which is just as well, as most of the compilation peters out between the strictly OK to the awesomely bad. Admittedly, most of the bands are still working on their sound and their song-writing skills have a long way to go. And yet, you wonder how some of these bands managed to get the stamp of approval from the record label. I’m not trying to second guess their intentions and ambitions, as we need as many labels that support Indian rock music as possible, but with due respect DogmaTone Records could have been choosier regarding the material to put on record.

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