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Exclusive Premiere: Mumbai Post-Hardcore Band Pacifist’s Wiry New Song ‘Pedigreed’

The second release off the four-track debut EP ‘Greyscale Dreams’ comes ahead of their Mumbai launch show

Anurag Tagat Jun 13, 2019

Mumbai post-hardcore band Pacifist live in Hyderabad in May. Photo: Anshu Bhingradia

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If you hear about the spirit of Mumbai every time there’s a natural or man-made crisis, you may as well hear about the daily strife and the breaking points of many city dwellers. Post-hardcore band Pacifist, formed in 2017, showcase all that angst, resignation and bleakness that runs through each day in a metropolis on their forthcoming debut EP Greyscale Dreams (out June 16th).

Vocalist Sidharth Raveendran (previously of heavy metallers Gaia’s Throne and still part of comedy collective Tadpatri Talkies) says the human experience is the biggest inspiration. Guitarist-producer Apurv Agrawal (who writes music under the moniker Cowboy and Sailor Man) adds, “I don’t think we want to repeat ourselves as far as the urban theme goes [for future material]. But inevitably Mumbai is a city that’s ridiculously hard to ignore. It’s always commanding your attention. New experiences and hidden realities are thrust in your face on the regular.”

As Agrawal points out, Greyscale Dreams is “nuanced but manic.” Originally featuring drummer Niraj Trivedi (previously from hardcore band Scribe), the lineup changed (and now includes Varun Sood) but retained his inputs. Even in the two years that they’ve been active, Raveendran says “it’s never easy to persevere and keep at it.” Pacifist, who went live in April 2018, now comprises Raveendran, Agrawal, Sood, bassist Utkarsh Jaiswal and guitarist Ashish Dharkar (from doom band Dirge).

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While “Reactionary” introduced Pacifist as moshpit mobilizers, “Pedigreed” heaps on the pacing dissonance, recalling punk and early post-hardcore frontrunners like Fugazi and Helmet. Greyscale Dreams features design and photography by Bengaluru-based agency blankfound, whose photographer Abheet Anand came down to Mumbai to click black and white images that were later designed and formatted by Sanjana Bhatt.

After their first shows in Bengaluru and Hyderabad earlier last week, the band is now gearing up for their DIY launch show called Against The Tide (named after one of their new tracks) on June 16th in Mumbai. The lineup includes punk-leaning bands such as The Riot Peddlers, The Lightyears Explode and Runt. Agrawal, who took on production and organization of the gig, says everything is on course. They called on illustrator Anoop Bhat to create a poster, which is also being sold as T-shirts. “This should be a fun one,” Agrawal says.

Listen to “Pedigreed” below. Pre-order the EP here.

Against the Tide ft The Riot Peddlers, The Lightyears Explode, Runt and Pacifist takes place on June 16th at Above the Habitat, Mumbai. Entry: Rs 500. Event details here.

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