Delhi based band FIRE EXIT’s 6 track- EP, OK BYE, released earlier this year, is bound to be a breath of fresh air for the Indian Music scene. The band consisting of Subhadra Kamath on Vocals, Aashish Mandhwani on Guitars/Vocals, Aditya Roy on Bass, Varun Gupta on Tabla, Arjun Shankar on Guitars and Tejasvi Agarwal on Drums are a hugely promising bunch, playing their stuff with amazing virtuosity.
Despite they defining their music as Progressive Alternative Rock, the music actually blurs boundaries between Progressive, Alternative, Jazz, Acoustic and is certainly difficult to narrow down to one particular genre. Characterised by Subhadra’s refreshing vocals, and tastefully written lyrics, most of the tracks on OK BYE! are essentially light. However, POISON IVY, more on the harder side, is a track where the progressive virtuosity surfaces. The progressive bits between the table and guitar in the song are sublime.
While, THE SPARK, is somewhere in between, blending a distorted guitar riff with a soft alternative melody line occasionally. The vocals scale between the highs and the lows with equal dexterity. It is like a Beth Gibbons meeting Dido’s husky strains.
The others - WAITING FOR, VACUUM, HEROES and MML are acoustic ambient tracks, with a whole honey dew coloured spring feel to it, with vocals and bass lines adding a jazzy flavour. It is sure hard to pick a favourite from such a musically enriched playlist, but if asked to do so, WAITING FOR would be personal favourite, because of its simplicity more than anything else and the groovy percussions.
A striking feature of the album is the extremely innovative use of the tabla/percussion. The fact that it has not been exclusively used to add an Indian element to the tracks and rather to use it as a part of a western ensemble is novel in itself. And the band has successfully done it. Also, worth mentioning is the immaculate production of the EP, resulting in the perfectly balanced tracks. The album art is very appropriate and is reflective of the vibrant nature of the album. A peppy blue band wagon almost like painting the town red making it quite clear that OK BYE! is not a speck of dark music, and a bright, vibrant energy exuding track list.
FIRE EXIT definitely gets a "thumbs up" from me on this one, and it has set its standards high. There is sure no exiting the wildfire it is about to ignite to the music scene with its uniquely styled blend of music. This may just be the beginning and I am looking forward to more FIRE EXIT antics in the future. So, my verdict - OK go BUY, OK BYE. It's already available at http:// www.cdrack.in/.
watch Soma Dutta is a 22 year old student and music lover from Kolkata. A story teller at heart. She tells her stories through music, photographs, designs, and words. Loves to travel off to the hills once in a while. Musical influences- Eric Clapton, Santana, Steve Vai, John Mayer, Amyt Datta, The Corrs, Radiohead, Mutemath, Dido, KT Tunstall, Norah Jones , Diana Krall among others.