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Faridkot’s Second Turn: ‘Phir Se?’ Album Review

The Delhi psychedelic rock band ditch love songs for stories about life and the universe

Anurag Tagat May 13, 2014
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Faridkot's current lineup: (L-R) Rajarshi Sanyal, IP Singh, Nikhil Rufus Raj and Sahil Mendiratta

(L-R) Rajarshi Sanyal, IP Singh, Nikhil Rufus Raj and Sahil Mendiratta

[easyreview cat1title = “Phir Se?” cat1rating = 4 cat1detail = Universal]

'Phir Se?' Album artwork

‘Phir Se?’ Album artwork

After finishing up as finalists on the 2009 edition of televised band competition Launchpad, Delhi pop rock band Faridkot went on to release their debut album Ek, which probably brought them much closer to becoming a band whose sound recalled Hindi film music.

But then, they went through a lineup change and spent the next three years turning to music from prog rock bands such as The Mars Volta and Rx Bandits and other psychotropic substances. Founding members IP Singh (vocals), Rajarshi Sanyal (guitars) and Sahil Mendiratta (drums) are still doing what they originally set out to do with Faridkot ”“ change the perception of Hindi rock. Some of the pop hooks still stay on their 10-track second album, Phir Se?, but it’s clear that the lyrical and sonic agenda has changed.

Straight from the powerful opener “Aina,” which includes a sarangi solo in true rockstar fashion from Suhail Yusuf Khan (from fusion band Advaita), Faridkot throw in layered psychedelic rock, movie dialog samples and advice to thrash the rules of the world. Singh leads the vocals ”“ mixing up rap rhymes and smooth croons and even a duet with singer Aditi Singh Sharma over Mendiratta’s machine-gun drums on “Guls.” While samples-in-charge Akshay Raheja and bassist Gavin Pacheco left the band in 2012, Faridkot brought in Nikhil Rufus Raj (bassist from garage rock band The Superfuzz) in 2013.

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Just before wrapping up Phir Se? the band roped in their latest recruit, keyboardist Akshat Taneja, from prog metal band Guillotine, to add dreamy layers of synth and complement guitarist Sanyal’s funky riffs on “Nuts.” Adding several other layers of vocal harmonies by backing singers Sonam Gaychen Wangdi and Subhadra Kamath (from electronica act Tankbund) on the hook-filled “Bijli,” “Titliyaan” and “Laparwah.”

Faridkot go against all pop conventions despite retaining some elements of pop (like on the semi-acoustic song “Suno”) onPhir Se?, with the average song length touching five minutes.There’s not a dull moment on Phir Se? and for a band that promotes free living and stargazing, you shouldn’t expect any different.

Key tracks: “Aina,” “Bijli,” “Laparwah”

Faridkot Phir Se? tour dates:

May 30th – Blue Frog, New Delhi. Free entry

June 4th – Blue Frog, Mumbai. Free entry

June 6th – Euriska, Pune

June 7th – CounterCulture, Bengaluru

June 12th – Hard Rock Cafe, Hyderabad

June 13th – Someplace Else, Kolkata

Listen to a teaser of “Bijli”

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