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Album Review: Jekyll & Hyde ”“ Loud and Clear EP

The Bengaluru garage rockers keep it short and heavy on their debut release

Anurag Tagat Apr 05, 2013
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Jekyll & Hyde Photo: Abhimanyu Ghoshal Photography

Jekyll & Hyde Photo: Abhimanyu Ghoshal Photography

[easyreview cat1title= “Loud and Clear” cat1rating= 3.5]

Loud and Clear EP - artwork_2I remember talking to Kaushik Shekar, guitarist and manager of Bengaluru garage rock band Jekyll & Hyde before they played at the grand finale of Converse The Original Band competition in Mumbai. He mentioned the band, formed in 2009, had uploaded just a few songs online, since they were constantly rewriting track parts and they wanted fans to only hear the final versions.

Their debut EP, Loud and Clear, has four tracks that both fans and the band can be happy to show off. Produced by Anupam Roy [who also produced The Circus’s From Space and Bats], this EP bumps up Jekyll & Hyde’s reputation to rock out. Jekyll & Hyde’s allegiance to rock is pretty evident – they named themselves after a distortion effects pedal and not the Robert Louis Stevenson novella for those who had doubts. The band rip through their inventory of catchy riffs on the four songs, finishing up the ride in barely 16 minutes. Vocalist and guitarist Anant Sharma laments the apathetic stance taken by a lot of us on the country’s socio-political condition in the opener “Not Alone,” but Jekyll & Hyde hit hardest on the pacy rock ”˜n roll song “Sweet Loving,” wholly memorable for its refrain.

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Loud and Clear feels like a quick shot of hard, fast rock that you can listen to every now and then. That said, Jekyll & Hyde sound a lot like Foxboro Hot Tubs [Green Day’s garage rock alter ego] and The Hives, although the fresh lead sections on songs like “P.O.P” save them from becoming typecast into four-chord wannabes. Their five-minute track “Nevermore” doesn’t feel very long nor does it pack in a lot, with repetitive progressions littered throughout. Thankfully, it’s the only song that features an overdone song structure. On the rest of Loud and Clear, the tones, the production and the drumming really see Jekyll & Hyde through. You can’t go wrong with just four tracks and Jekyll & Hyde certainly don’t show signs of hesitation, but this EP gets three out of four right.

Key tracks: “Not Alone,” “Sweet Loving”

 

Jekyll & Hyde launch Loud and Clear EP at Bflat, Bengaluru on April 6th, 2013. 8.30pm onward. Entry: Rs 300. Event details here.

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