Album Review: A Mutual Question’s Dark New Journey on ‘Strangeloop’
The Mumbai post-rock band reveal a much more spacey, groovier sound on their new five-track EP
[easyreview cat1title = Strangeloop cat1rating = 3.5 cat1detail = “Self-released”]
By the time the year comes to a close, we’re guessing pretty much everyone who follows live music in India would have become familiar with post-rock. And it’s not just releases such as Ahmedabad/Pune band Aswekeepsearching’s debut album Khwaab or now, Mumbai band A Mutual Question’s spacey new EP Strangeloop that’s doing the job. News of the sub-genre’s top bands such as Scottish act Mogwai playing at the Bacardi NH7 Weekender and American instrumental rock band Explosions In The Sky coming down to Mumbai for the annual Johnnie Walker ”“ The Journey festival has everyone hyped about the genre that is known for its cinematic, mostly-instrumental style.
While last year’s charge was led by post-rock bands such as Until We Last, Space Behind the Yellow Room and Kerala band Mushroom Lake, Mumbai four-member band A Mutual Question can count themselves at the top with Strangeloop, a five-track offering that’s got hints of their old sound in terms of technique [the title track “Strangeloop” features familiar guitar work to their 2013 EP Eyes Everywhere], but very much stripped away of any euphoria from their earlier songs such as “Wheel of Life.” They anchor in with the loud “Dune,” which immediately establishes an angrier sound. Of course, one thing you can’t call Strangeloop is abrasive, since the riffs have always got a polish to them [courtesy guitarist and producer Siddharth Chopra]. Bassist-drummer siblings Karan and Aviraj Kumar bring in the grooves on tracks such as “Awakener,” and Karan’s replace, bassist Homi Rustumji [from prog/blues rock band The Family Cheese] has some shoes to fill on the low-end front. Fellow guitarist Proteesh Ravi delivers a few lines of lyrics on “Midsun Brews,” but he and Chopra really direct the layered, dense sound on Strangeloop.
They close with “Rhythm of Tragedy,” a much more wistful track that morphs into an all-out classic post-rock crescendo, the sharp delay-laden guitars leading the way. To everyone who’s not on board yet, Strangeloop is a great introduction. And to everyone already enchanted by the music, this EP is a reinforcement of the power of the genre that’s clearly here to stay.
Key tracks: “Dune,” “Awakener,” “Rhythm of Tragedy”
Listen toÂ StrangeloopÂ here. Buy the album on OKListen.