When I think Scribe, I think pure power, electrifying performances, and one of my favourite Bombay bands. I’ve always felt somehow that this sense of power and rage (for lack of a better word) would not be that simple to translate onto a studio record, and after having listened to ‘Confect.’, I rest my case — to an extent.
It came as a surprise to many that ‘Confect.’ was made available as a free download by Scribe. It does seem rather odd that a band that openly declares their bankruptcy during performances would choose to be so generous. Either which way, this was one of the few times that downloading an Indian rock album for free didn’t pinch me too much.
Going back now, to “rage” being the wrong word — in today’s ‘nu-metal’ scene, power and anger seem to radiate from every ounce of the music, but ‘Confect.’ is just, well, it’s fun! The lyrics are crazy, there’s patches of laughter randomly scattered all throughout, and the band seem to be having a great time playing their music.
The album gets going with an intro right out of a Hollywood dream sequence, and what do you know, dialogues from Hollywood movies as well. Yes sir, “Analyze This” draws strong influences from The Matrix (through the discernable lyrics, at least). The riffs are great, the vocals are perfect (clean vocals as well, a pleasant surprise) and everything seems to sound right — except that it’s just not loud enough. Now I don’t know if it’s just me, but when I listen to a Scribe record, I half expect Vishwesh and Co. to start jumping around my room and blow me out the window, if you know what I mean. It saddens me just a little bit that Scribe weren’t completely able to put the power and the presence that they have whilst playing live into a studio album. But enough about that. There’s far too much good in ‘Confect.’ for it to nag you for very long.
How can you not love a metal song that begins with a cry of ‘Bakhtaavar!’ and ends with a laughter-ridden chorus of ‘Roop Suhaana Lagta Hai’?
In addition to typically ‘nu-metal’-ish tracks like “The Kids”, “Magpie” and “Nobody Listens to the Vocalist” (no prizes for guessing which song inspired the name for that one), Scribe have also incorporated some instrumental tracks (“Analyze That”, “Old Nagardas Road” and “Purshottam’s Revenge”) which are surprisingly soothing, and the brilliance of the music lies in its simplicity, an adage which I could probably apply to the album as a whole.
“Roll to Me” is a great song that sounds different from the rest and has a strong rock ‘n’ roll and funk feel to it, amidst the distortion and general ‘metal sounds’ to the uneducated.
“Dr Salafya and the Tea Parody” deserves special mention. Before you jump to conclusions, this is not a song! It is an absolutely ludicrous enactment of a telephonic conversation between a drummer and a certain Mr Parmeshwar, who attempts to coerce the former to give him ‘beats’ for a song in exchange for payment in the form of tea. You get the general idea, it is hysterical!
I’ve saved the best for last, though. Where “Analyze This” is Hollywood, “Ate a Banana” is the exact opposite. How can you not love a metal song that begins with a cry of ‘Bakhtaavar!’ and ends with a laughter-ridden chorus of ‘Roop Suhaana Lagta Hai’? I honestly can’t tell if what lies in the middle is sung in English or Hindi, but who gives a fuck, really? The pure energy of the band seems to ooze through your speakers, with growls, laughs and monkey calls fusing magnificently with brilliant drums and guitars. This is the real deal. Right up there with “Ate a Banana” is the exotically named “Pomari Begattari”, another track which packs a major punch along with some solid guitar work.
So, there you have it. It’s quite simple really. When Scribe plays, you listen, and when Scribe releases an album, you go get it, throw everyone out of your house, and turn the volume up. ‘Confect.’ is an album of immense quality, one that will have you jumping around with disregard for your furniture while laughing at the plain craziness of it all. It’s brilliant.
Audio: Click here to listen to an exclusive interview with Scribe.