Joint Family: Hotbox
There’s something about good nu-metal. I mean really good, great, from-the-soul nu-metal. Joint Family is THE band these days on the Delhi metal circuit and their new album ‘Hotbox’ is as close to brilliance as you can get in the nu-metal genre. Great production values with expert recording and a variety of song themes — this is all the Indian metal scene needs to push forward from the heights that PDV and Bhayanak Maut have taken us to.
The album opens with the PDV-esque “Drummer’s Advice”. The drumming on this song is, needless to say, killer. The variety on this track sets the tone for some awesome stuff on the rest of the album. The vocals seem ordinary here, but that might just be because of the spoken vocals for most part. Only the lyrics seem a little emo. “Fight Back” begins with Ed Norton asking Lawrence to, and I quote, “Put your fuckin’ mouth on the curb”, in American History X. The lyrics on the song call out for people to stand up and fight back for themselves. It is interspersed with some routine metal riffs, and some dialogue tracks running in the background.
“Change” brings to the album what it says it does, change. A brilliant song about change being the only constant. The vocals showcase lead vocalist Akshay De’s singing ability. Bringing to the fray some Tool-like instrumentals, is “(If Only I Could Sing)”.
The clincher tracks on the album are “Life’s a Bitch” and “Juggernaut”. The intro into “Life’s a Bitch” gives you that feeling you get while slipping off a cliff. Awesome stuff, really. Add to that the stop-starts and the lyrics and Clarence Gonzalves’ bass line, and you have a song to savour. “Juggernaut” was featured on the very metal-heavy ‘Great Indian Rock 2007′ compilation, and with good reason. Heavy as hell, this song will make your grandmother get out of her hospital bed and mosh her way to heaven.
Joint Family are as good as, if not better than, any band they have on the international circuit. If marketed well, we might just have India’s first big international metal act, right here in New Delhi.