Laxmi Bomb: ‘Every Track is Written as a Rant’
The Mumbai electro-pop band address stigmas and stereotypes on their third release ‘Bol Na Ranti’
Trust Laxmi Bomb to hone in on a theme and write music that pertains to a particular subject. The Mumbai electro-pop group’s debut 2014 EP Hॐ focused on their home city while their second EP Mah’ BHARAT, released that same year, covered a much larger depiction of the country itself. The band is now back with a third offering, their first full-length 11-track album, Bol Na Ranti, which releases later this month. Ask vocalist Keegan Pereira what the theme for the new record is and he says, “It’s an all out rant and it’s a pop culture rant.”
Laxmi Bomb, comprising Pereira, drummer Levin Mendes, DJ Major C and keyboardist Joaquim Fernandes, keep their composing duties linear and fuss-free. Says Pereira, “We actually have two producers in the form of Levin and Major C; they pretty much set the entire bedrock.” It’s only after Fernandes adds his parts that the song finally makes its way to Pereira. “It’s a lot of mails that are exchanged between the members, there are different iterations and obviously everyone adding their own creative skills to that piece,” says Pereira.
Bol Na Ranti, recorded at the band’s home studio, retains their signature electro-pop sound heard on the previous two EPs but is much groovier and synth-heavy. The lyrics are essentially tirades and delivered with sharp vitriol. The album opener “Freak on Alisha,” featuring Mumbai vocalist Sonia Hyam, is about “misogyny and women empowerment,” says Pereira. “Tej Gaadi” laments about the fast-paced corporate life. “It is a little rat race driven rant,” says the vocalist. On “Suggagandhi,” the band get socio-political as they question the powers that be, while “Asshole” is an individual’s stressful soliloquy. Midway through the record is the banger “Donnie Bosco,” which calls out the systemic sexual abuse the Vatican has been covering up, through the song’s protagonist Donnie who is “a symbol of Christianity and Catholicism,” according to Pereira.
Although the effort has been to keep each song on the album topical, Laxmi Bomb have been careful not to get too aggressive. Says Pereira, “The album is slightly humorous and slightly zany; it has a bit of a division in terms of its tonality. Of course it is very explicit in terms of the words that it uses and some of the cuss words that it may envelope within that space of a rant.”
The record was co-produced by the band and Mumbai-based producer Abhimanyu Malhotra, and mixed and mastered by Abhishek Ghatak. The album artwork, designed by Mumbai artist Aabhaas Shreshtha, borrows from pop culture and caricatures the familiar settings: there’s a lecherous maharaja—a spitting image of the Air India mascot—who, according to Pereira, “is a sick pedophile in terms of the way he’s holding his hands.” The iconic Nirma girl is seen endorsing her own version of detergent powder—lines of cocaine—among a bunch of social media addicts.
A music video for “Asshole” is already in the works and Laxmi Bomb will perform at High Spirits Café, Pune on March 9th—their first show in a series of gigs to promote the album. Considering the music venue has recently come under fire for its owner’s alleged instances of sexual harassment against women guests, leading to a host of indie bands boycotting it, ask Pereira whether their decision to perform there conflicts with the very issues that they are raising in the album and he says, “There is no judgment on anyone or anything, whichever stage we can grace it is as simple as that. [We] don’t look at it as a bad stage or a good stage. We’re not a band that’s big enough to take chances on this opportunity to perform.”