The Ganesh Talkies Spin Reel Music on ‘In Technicolor’
The Kolkata pop rock band do the Bollywood mash on their debut full length album
Kolkata pop rock band, Ganesh Talkies, may look too camp for their own good on stage, but sonically, they make Bollywood kitsch sound like gold. Where lead vocalist Suyasha Sengupta might lack in vocal range, she is an inspired songwriter on tracks such as “Style,” a satirical take on roadside romeos and the empowering “Wonder Woman.” On their debut full length album In Technicolor, Sengupta is also serenading boys [“Item Song”], starting a fight [the heavy “Fight Club”] and effortlessly being punk chic. The album picks up where their 2012 EP Three Tier Non AC, which also included “Item Song” and “The Fan” left off. With help coming from producer Miti Adhikari, the songs stay fresh on In Technicolor, slightly reworked but just as catchy as before.
Few Indian alternative bands have embraced Hindi film music as unapologetically or imaginatively as The Ganesh Talkies, Mumbai’s Laxmi Bomb, and even Delhi’s Lifafa to an extent, and this may have just smashed down a few walls for other young, new bands. Why look to the West for sounds when you have the biggest playground in your backyard? Of course, composers such as Bappi Lahiri, who “reimagined” American disco hits in his Eighties heyday, might just raise an eyebrow knowing there’s a band out in his home state bringing his beats back, one synthesized disco drumbeat at a time. Just like us, he’d probably nod in agreement to every synth-y drum roll he’s inspired on In Technicolor ”“ from keyboardist Nabarun Bose’s hooks to a groovy bassline from Roheet Mukherjee and dance-punk drumming from Sambit Chatterjee on tracks such as “Brother From Another Mother.”
There’s a little more diversity on slower, dreamier ballads such as “The Fan” and “Raju Banega Gentleman.” Songs such as “Dancing! Dancing!” with flange-heavy riffing from guitarist Ronodeep Bose drive listeners deeper into the trip. Songs like the frenzied “Disco Daze” and opening track “Monsters In Your Head” are a perfect example of Indian dance rock at its most infectious. By the end of the album, The Ganesh Talkies will order you to do their bidding and surrender to disco.
Key tracks: “Fight Club,” “Dancing! Dancing!” “Item Song”
The Ganesh Talkies launch In Technicolor at Jamsteady, Princeton Club, Kolkata on September 19th, 2014. Event details here.
Watch “Dancing! Dancing!” here. Buy the album on OkListen.