While the rest of the country has seamlessly integrated into modern rock and harder forms of metal music, I can easily bet on a truth- when it comes to rock music of the 1970s and 1980s, East India still rules. And this has been proved over and over again with a large number of bands from this section of the country,coming to the forefront with their brand of glam-rock. And they never disappoint. People with an ear for Mr. Big, Extreme, Extreme, Guns N Roses still turn to cities like Shillong, Kohima, Guwahati, Darjeeling and Kolkata. It seems musicians here know their substance in and out, which is why when I first came across Gingerfeet's debut album 'High and Above', I was brimming with expectations. Naturally, they did not disappoint. Led by the finest of musicians in their own departments, this tight unit has churned out a memorable album that can easily be regarded as one of the best in recent times in non-metal categories.
High and Above progresses very slyly through your conscience. It builds on you as you listen to one amazing track after another. At no point would you find any resemblance with any glam artist that you grew up listening to. Rather, you will find traces of them so intricately rendered that you'll be left marveled. Quite often you will come across bands comprising of amazing musicians, who cannot actually come up with something worthy together as a band. Well, this is one of the few instances where you get a feeling of perfection with each member contributing as per their excellent merits in the correct proportions. Peppy basslines, which is something that really stand out in the album, along with befitting guitar pieces and seamless drumming give the vocalist enough material to build on. And he rips his heart out in each of the tracks, specially when you consider how difficult it is to sing songs of this kind.
Gingerfeet has branded their album as being Alternative/Funk and they are being modest. This is a treasured piece of art that transcends genres and time-frames. You can figure out the influences in their songs coming from Extreme, RHCP, Incubus, Mr. Big, Van Halen and even RATM but unlike elsewhere, these influences wont glare at you. You have to be an avid listener of these bands to actually be able to figure them out, and full points to Gingerfeet for achieving this. 'Am I Dreaming or What?', 'High and Above' and 'Stars' stand out among the rest. What really impressed me throughout the album were the flamboyant guitar solos-jazzy, flashy and masterful, and they complemented the high-pitched vocals so delicately. The riffs are well crafted-weird but never complicated. Full points go to the drumming-the dynamics and the switches are absolutely brilliant, and no wonder he's being hailed as one of the finest in the country now. The bass-line couldn't be better, and it easily lifts the essence of the songs much higher. Vocals is of the highest quality, with a enviable texture that easily pulls off grunge/glam songs. Mastering has been very good but the album art may not seem too appealing though. 'Game On' has been punched in as a bonus track and this track was actually very significant in their significant rise up the ladder before coming up with this album. Winning Hornbill and Hard Rock Rising(India) don't come easy and they had done it back to back. The only downside of the album that can be said, is that almost all the tracks start off more or less on the same scale and they did not experiment much with the starting note,which again, very few bands do. It doesn't get monotonous as you listen over and over again, but yes, the structuring of the songs is such that you might just be able to predict what's going to come next.
Although I'm personally all praises for this album, still it's not absolute. You need to have an affinity for this particular brand of rock music. The music is rich and layered with a lot of elements that will specially appeal to those who play instruments themselves. Starting off with a top-notch debut album is just the requisite for a smooth journey ahead, and they need to capitalize on this to edge out the competition in the future.