Indus Creed – Evolve
Band trade stadium rock for mellow groove on their comeback album
On their first album in 16 years, Mumbai’s Indus Creed, much like the figure on their cover – a silhouette of a man leaping into a blue vastness – are taking the plunge into new waters. Don’t expect the enthusiasm of “Trapped” or the unbridled energy of “Rock ‘N’ Roll Renegade” – you’ll be disappointed. This is not the Nineties and Indus Creed is not playing arena rock. Recondition. Relisten.
On Evolve, Indus Creed expand on their roots to produce beautifully matured prog rock over the eight tracks in the album. The restlessness of “Sleep,” the pandemonium of “Celibate” from their last album – 1995’s Indus Creed – gives way to catharsis (“Goodbye”) and introspection (“Take It Harder”) on Evolve. The album also suggests how self-indulgence has been replaced with restraint.
Evolve opens with a folksy ballad “Fireflies,” replete with Uday Benegal’s catchy vocal hooks and quiet guitar phrases. “The Money” finds itself in a very Dire Straits-meets-R.H.C.P. space, lent body by Rushad Mistry’s funky bass plucking and Jai Row Kavi’s marching drum cadence. But it’s the seven-minute psychedelic tune “Come Around” that reaches for your senses from the recesses of your consciousness. Mahesh Tinaikar and Zubin Balaporia’s layered instrumentation takes you, as Benegal hisses, “to the edge of the world/Wrestling lions or diving for pearls.” Sonically, it recalls Porcupine Tree whose In Absentia, incidentally, was mixed by Tim Palmer’s who also handles mixing duties on Evolve.
“Dissolve” and “Bulletproof” are the only two tracks on Evolve that are a throwback to the bombastic rock days of Indus Creed with its incendiary guitar solos, angsty vocals, pace-y drumming and traditional verse/chorus/bridge structures. Nothing is static about Evolve, an emotional and sonic curveball that points the band in a promising new direction, and nobody’s complaining.