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EP Review: The Riot Peddlers’ Sarkasm

Mumbai’s punk trio keeps the fire going

Megha Mahindru Aug 29, 2012
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Photo: Kaushik Chakravorty

Bollywood and rock seem to have found a common ground. Though it may be as far-stretched as Pentagram’s catchy album title, Bloodywood, or as direct as Scribe’s ode to Nineties Hindi cinema in Mark of Teja. The latest link is Mumbai punk rockers The Riot Peddlers’ debut EP, Sarkarsm. The EP includes “Bollywood Songs” that parodies the Shah Rukh Khan hit “Tujhe Dekha Toh Ye Jaana Sanam” from Dilwale Dulhaniya Leh Jayenge. Angry guitar chops, neck-snapping drumming and Arun S Ravi’s vocals blow up the Bollywood friendly melody to bits.

The band that was formed in 2010 has won fans with its cocky stage presence and hypercharged sets that brought their jangly tracks to life. One of the new tracks, “Where’s The System” recalls Rage Against The Machine and includes lines like “Where’s The System/Cause I wanna fuck it/Mutilation, yeah” that are sure to fire up a moshpit. As a nod to Sex Pistols and the anti-system tirade of RATM, the next track, “United We Stand,” takes the socio-political outburst forward. Though what the track lacks in range, it makes up in energy. The last track, “Platform No 3”, is probably the weakest. Failing to up the ante, the same-sounding chorus and chord progression aren’t enough to keep a fan or even a new listener hooked, though on stage, this one’s a riot, and has enough battery to power up the entire show.

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But on repeated listening, it’s the old hits [which are the hidden embedded tracks on the EP] like “Sau Rupiya” and “Chai Paani” that stay with the listener. At barely 12-minutes of record time, the EP manages to pummel its message across: The Riot Peddlers can raise hell.

Listen to Sarkarsm here

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