Hope you don’t plan on having children any time soon, because this band will blow your balls off.
I’m talking about Mumbai-based Scribe and their 2nd full length release ‘Mark of Teja’. In a music industry which celebrates fat booty item girls over phat distorted riffs, Scribe have many decent accomplishments to their name. In addition to making the RollingStone’s list for best Indian albums of 2008, they also got to party with the vikings at Oslo’s Inferno Metal fest in Norway. Despite these fancy accolades, the band doesn’t take itself too seriously and writes lyrics in a refreshing combination of Hinglish slang with just enough coherence so you remember you aren’t listening to Cannibal Corpse. So without further ado, lets dig into this release and see if it holds up to the hype!
‘RSVP’ is blistering as track 2 (SIDENOTE: unfortunately no illegal stream of track 1 was available. And I thought we lived in a free world…). There’s a strong Slipknot-feel here in some parts, especially sections of the drumming and the vocals. But this gives way to bursts of hardcore that bring to mind an Indian Parkway Drive, especially the melodic interludes. Mm.. juicy.
I LOVE YOU PAV BHAJI
‘I love you Pav Bhaji’ is probably the most brutal name for an extreme metal track I’ve ever heard. As the title suggests, this track is a love story told in blast beats. The vocals here switch from Slipknot-style scream-then-clean to Rob Zombie style pirate-like growls. Every time you think you’ve had this band figured out, they subtly bring something new into the mix. The only shitty thing about this track is its making me hungry and I’m out of pav bhaji.. :/ fuck. #desiproblems
STREET ARCHNA VS VICE VARSHA
“Street archna vs Vice varsha” I have no fucking clue what this song’s about. Judging by the chorus of ‘HADOUKEN.. SHORYUKEN.. FRIED CHICKEN”, The band don’t either. The blazing groove that blasts through the speakers at the beginning and through the track makes this one of those select few metal songs that makes you wanna mosh in your living room and forget that your earphones are plugged into your laptop.. proceed with caution.
‘M-Power’ opens with a mathy polyrhythmic beat for all you music nerds and djent-heads out there. By this point Scribe have established their basic style for the rest of the album and though there aren’t any real surprises following this song, there are still some gems that make it worth the ride.
DUM HAI TO AAGE AH
‘Dum hai to aage ah’ the sole music video from the album, and it actually got airplay on MTV! Not surprising that this is the least heavy and cleanest track on the album. If you prefer Stone Sour to Slipknot you might want to skip straight to this track.
MARK OF TEJA
‘Mark of Teja’ the title track is buried over 7 songs into the album. Like track 5 the djent hits hard and there’s some sweet melodic licks on the guitar to break the ice of this instrumental.
‘DemonPra’ is pretty much filler material, there’s nothing here the band havn’t already done on the album.
‘Kamla’s Back’ may refer either to the back of an attractive woman or to the return of Tamil superstar Kamal Hassan… or maybe Kamal Hassan’s back? The lyrics have no allusion to any of these subjects, a common feature of Scribe’s songs (Except I love Pav Bhaji). Perhaps there’s a subliminal message or Da Vinci code in the album somewhere?
“1234 Dracula” this is one hell of a track, the opening bears passing similarity to Slipknot’s ‘Before I forget’ but that’s where the similarities end. Sitting here at 2 am in the night sipping some coffee and listening to this smooth shit, I’m struck by just how mindblowing it would be to experience this song live. It’s roughly the same length as the album’s other offerings but it ends far too soon. The ominous hindi lines here are not to be missed.
“Judge Bread”s got a subtle, dark almost-black metal vibe to it that lends it a big boost. The manic vocals work especially great here. Nothing like systematic chaos.
‘M-Power’ rounds off the album, it doesn’t bring anything fresh to the table but it doesn’t need to. Overall, Mark of Teja is a soothing blend of hardcore and metal with flashes of djent, nu-metal and even some pirates. Yes, pirates. All of this makes for one awesome mix. Best served piping hot with 2 shots of Jack Daniels and 1 shot of adrenaline. Can’t wait to see what these fuckers get upto in the future.