Artists To Watch Out For: BLEK
Pop-grunge. Dancepunk. Mumbai’s BLEK can do anything
The Mumbai band is one of the five bands to have made it to our list.Â
WHO Vocalist Rishi Bradoo andÂ bassist Jared Creado kicked offÂ an unfortunately named two-pieceÂ band [BLECH] at the endÂ of 2009, hooking up with theirÂ drummer Varoon Aiyer a yearÂ later to launch BLEK in 2010.Â “College was full of people whoÂ wanted to play instruments, butÂ there were few who wanted toÂ get serious and write music,”Â says Bradoo, “I think that’s whatÂ got Jared and me together.”Â
BIG BREAK Bradoo and CreadoÂ played a few gigs at Mumbai’s NotÂ Just Jazz By The Bay as BLECHÂ [“We learnt a lot of lessons includingÂ how to play for a completelyÂ disinterested crowd andÂ that it’s important to be nice toÂ the guy who sets up your sound,”Â says Creado] before blowing upÂ a lot of money [“We could haveÂ bought an expensive guitar withÂ that money. We were very naive,”Â says Bradoo] on an EP thatÂ was available for a free downloadÂ for a while, before slippingÂ into a limbo. The band activelyÂ started hunting for a drummerÂ when they wanted to compete atÂ their college fest, Malhar. FindingÂ a manager in ennui.BOMB’sÂ founder Rishu Singh and launchingÂ their EP Hexes+Drama &Â Other Reasons For EvacuationÂ set things rolling.
SOUND “We gave up on genresÂ once Varoon joined the band,”Â says Bradoo. The band morphsÂ convincingly from being a riotousÂ punk band [“Hexes +Â Drama”] to frenzied danceÂ punk group [“Fog+Strobe”]Â going back to being a grunge actÂ [“Back At The Start”] that KingÂ Kong could thump his chest to.
SPIN THIS “Back At The Start”Â that you can scream-singÂ along to if your day has beenÂ particularly brutal or utterlyÂ unremarkable.