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Bengaluru Rock Band The Puncher Shop Trudge A Spooky Path on ‘The Specter’

The psychedelic/alternative trio’s debut single features nods to Black Sabbath, Nirvana and more

Anurag Tagat Aug 02, 2021

Bengaluru-based rock band The Puncher Shop. Photo: Courtesy of the artist

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Formed in 2019 in Bengaluru, The Puncher Shop’s inaugural release “The Specter” sees them dig into a chunky riff and jam on it for 10 minutes, scaling stoner-rock highs as well as languid sonic valleys.

Comprising guitarist-vocalist Sharjes Mohammed, backing vocalist and guitarist Anirban Das and drummer Gowri, “The Specter” was created right during their first rehearsal together. Bearing the stamp of everything from Black Sabbath to Nirvana, there’s a sinisterness that crawls throughout the song, even as Sharjes’ vocals carry an American drawl. Gowri bides her time behind the kit at several points, but arrives locked and loaded to build up to the dual guitar riffage.

While they’re keen to note that they’ve gone against the grain by putting out a saga of a track, “The Specter” is also anchored in a psychologically compelling story. The band says in a statement, “The lyrics of ‘The Specter’ were inspired by feelings of helplessness, guilt and revenge. It tells the story of a murdered soul and the murderer, and the ultimate understanding of having no escape from a crime that has been committed – violence leads to more violence.” They also offer another explanation about the eponymous specter being that of guilty thoughts which torment a person. “We also wanted the artwork to match the song’s spectral theme. The woods in deep autumn and the desolate cabin have a link to the lyrics, and the image itself is a reflection on a lake’s surface that has been flipped – essentially make the final image a ‘specter’ of the original. There are clues in the image that reveal its true state,” the band adds in their statement.

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While a demo version of “The Specter” has been around since late 2019, the song was produced by Mumbai-based Chinmay Agharkar aka GrooveBot (from prog/fusion band Paradigm Shift and rock act Hook). For their part, The Puncher Shop have also been chipping away at more songs and intend to release a full-length album soon.

Listen to “The Specter” below. Stream on more platforms here.

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