By- Debabrata Gogoi
Engraved Invitation – some deep thoughts
I have a playlist for Winamp which I seem to have listened to a lot many times and for a lot of different reasons. Mostly though because the songs are placid and sober. And at times I listened to these songs because I know the people who created them and it reminded me of the time I spent working on our own album with them.
This is the Engraved Invitation album from the Guwahati band Lucid Recess. A simple album, not over-the-top nor of the ‘I need attention’ type. Harmonically created riffs, meticulously stitched music and soaking lyrics is what you get – in a white box with the picture of an eye printed on it. On first listening like always, I skipped to the lightest songs and got stuck with the tenth track called Can’t Help Me. The lyrics got me as well. “I wait to see you / Wander to find you / This place, this time / Can’t help me know you” – reminded me of a love long lost. If this track does not lull you into imagining fancy then the song called Calling will certainly do. This song is so beautiful that it’s a permanent track in my 1 GB iPod. And since my iPod is so small the music has to be proportionately and conversely very good in order to maintain its listenable character! This song, I believe, has some Björk-ian feelings but no one seems to agree with me on this!
After that I moved to the heavy or riff based songs. First, I must say that I am a fan of those riffs which are genuine and has greater connections with the main melody of the song. Even though the song called The Tribe does not exactly open with a riff I thought let me try that one first. 37 seconds into the song and I was completely deceived. I was expecting something else. The vocal melody on this song broke new life into it. It’s not like any other Indian songs I have listened to earlier. It was tricky like Megadeth’s In My Darkest Hour. But the intro certainly was not my type. It was too much of a cliche if you must.
The next track I tuned into was the one called Purpose. It’s very new age and punchy. I imagined a small club, doing beer rounds and enjoying the good chorus that the song offers. The bass also shows up quite prominently. It’s a good overall live track, I think! Now it was time for a change and so I put the first track on. It’s called Time To Change. It opens like a Tool song and the riff goes on to add on to that. Even though I did not agree to the song because it kept the riff going on under the not-so-first-listen-friendly vocal melody. Nevertheless the song has a good guitar solo and some interesting drum play. I wondered if this was indeed the first track I was listening to! Instead the song Socially Active Warrior turned out to be a good first listen. It was a song that had it all. Being a bassist myself I loved the attention it got throughout the song. Plus, the vocals – mimicking, screaming and asserting – to us to be a social animal. The solo was awfully short though and I think it was not meant to serve as a solo but just a transitory piece of music.
The track called Lost is built like a song meant for push-play and drive-around. Its a laid back number so you would like to brake for pedestrians which you might not if you were listening to Redneck or something. In all, it’s a simple song. The other similar laid back song is Feel Like Human. Almost every song that deals with ‘human’ is a soft number except maybe for Death’s 1991 album. I liked the guitar solo in this song. But what I could not understand at first was why a fast paced solo for a easy number, but then maybe that’s what being Human is all about – bend them rules!
Away is a dark number. It’s not a good-mood creator and neither it will help you in channeling any of those energies you had brewing inside you. Instead its like staring into the mirror while life is ticking away. This song I believe comes closest to the sadness I have felt in my life. Its a night time number, period. The band should make alternate versions of this song with more focus towards the ending, and if not for anyone then for me at-least!
A Steve Vai-sh opening for the song What’s It To Me led itself to chaos. That was pretty disappointing for me. It seems to me that this song could have been hurriedly done. It also gets repetitive after sometime. But there are short parts in the song that you may like, especially the guitar parts. My favourite guitar solo in the entire album is on the track Colourful Deja Vu. But the song itself stirs no emotions in me. I am neutral as to its existence. Its a song that like many people, while trying to be happy ends up being sad.
B.Y.T.C is the semi-acoustic number in the album. The band’s statement in it is vivid and clear – The best is yet to come! Good vocals and lyrics coupled with the surprise electric-guitar and drum treatment does a wonderful job to the song. Even though I think this song could have been better but I certainly do not think it is unfit for the album. It’s speculative and could remind one of the nineties – that is the best it can do!
This album is one of those albums you should grab at first sight. Mainly because it traps a generation in it – the culmination of many years of the growth of the musical scene in Guwahati. This album is to me like the Sleeping Buddha album I bought many years ago – before the Internet boom. Like that album, this album too will be a pride of my ever-growing and varied collection of Indian rock music.
Lucid Recess – the Band
This band needs no introduction any more to the followers of good rock music from the region.
Lucid Recess is an Alternative Metal/Hard Rock band from Guwahati, Assam formed in April 2004. It is a three member band grouped by brothers Siddharth and Amitabh Barooa and Partha Boro.
Their music is a blend of Alternative Metal and Rock and their songs range from both heavy and fast to slow ballads. The elements that can be seen in their songs are catchy choruses, meaningful lyrics, good melodies and memorable hooks. From the very beginning, they were more inclined towards writing originals and have been playing shows with all original sets.
In a very short time, they have developed a considerable fan following across the globe on the strength of their originals.
Now the Big good News – Lucid Recess has decided to give this album as free download from the 5th of August, 2011. Those who missed out on the boxed CD click your way to the download section from the band’s website.