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Avial

By Vijay Nair of Only Much Louder, Counter Culture Records

Rolling Stone IN Mar 10, 2010

Photograph by Mahesh Harilal

I came to know of Avial long before the album happened. It was the first ”˜Nada Nada’ video they had made and someone had put it on YouTube. One of my cousins had sent me a link and that’s probably the first time any of my relatives had done anything to do with music, saying, ”˜Oh, check this band out, because it’s a local band singing in Malayalam.’ So I said I must check this band out and see what they’re about. And I loved it completely!

When I think of regional languages – being involved in the business and all that – I always thought Bengali was one language in which music just fits in because the language is so musical. And I am not able to think of many languages in which it’s a natural fit, especially with rock and stuff. I would never have imagined in my wildest dreams that Malayalam is one such language and that it could be done at all. And these guys actually made it cool. They made the language itself incredibly cool. Which I think also opened up doors for many other bands to try it in their own regional languages.

The album itself was phenomenal – everything about it. There were no compromises. The production was great, lyrically it’s great and the attitude really showed in their performance. And the guys are pretty straightforward. That’s what they are comfortable with. They are big rock music guys but they speak in Malayalam and that’s the language that comes from their hearts. A lot of Mallu bands and South Indian bands always turn to classic rock and they end up doing Deep Purple and Pink Floyd and that’s about it. But Avial didn’t even go that way. They just decided that they’re going to do that in the language they’re comfortable in. That’s a strong sense of self-identity they had. I think that was also a big turn-on for me.

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By Vijay Nair of Only Much Louder, Counter Culture Records

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