For those who came in late, Colourblind — Ram Sampath on vocals, keyboards, programming, and Siddharth Achrekar on guitars — was arguably the best rock band from India of the last decade. The Indian rock music scene, until the turn of the millennium was drowned in classic rock and heavy metal. Colourblind, unlike their peers, had a contemporary sound with a heavy industrial rock bent. Another reason the band made such a lasting impression were the eye-catching videos for Blast and Colourblind.
The album launches with “Blast”, which like the song “Colourblind“, has a wicked riff that’s treated with layers of electronica, bubbling with tension and mystery. Sequenced in between, is the punchy “Bang A Drum”, with lyrics like ‘Find your voice / Make your choice / If nothing you make some noise’ that emanate a do-it-yourself attitude. Showing their versatility, “Falling From The Sky” is tempered with spacy verses while “Firebreath” is a muscular rocker.
The greatest testament to the band is that the album still sounds just as fresh and modern as it did back then.
“Legit Freak” engages in subtle differences in sonic tension and dynamics, featuring an amazing operatic vocal by Gayatri Iyer and then doing an about-turn on a weighty latter half, with lyrics like ‘I never learnt ’cause I never fell to earth…’ giving the song a sense of majesty. Ram’s lyrics paint vivid pictures of disconnected youth without coming off as clichéd, all the while bristling with sharp poetic intelligence.
“Hu Will I Be” features some seriously finger-popping-good bass lines by Karl Peters, proving just why he is the best in the business. The sorrowful ballads “Souls on Parade” and “Fragile” showcase Ram Sampath’s vocal maturity and all-around songwriting talent. Guitarist Siddharth Achrekar alternates vicious riffs with measured licks, accentuating the vibe created along with the keyboards.
Written entirely by Ram, the duo took about eight months to record the album, changing studios till they got what they wanted — and the diligence certainly paid off. The assured song writing backed by strong musical chops, overseen by top-notch production, made the album stand out from the heap. And the greatest testament to the band is that the album still sounds just as fresh and modern as it did back then.