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Hear Mind-Bending, Fun-Metal on Trash Talk’s Debut EP

‘Revenge of Meenakshi’ features everything from rap to jazz to hardcore from the Vellore/Bengaluru band

Anurag Tagat Aug 16, 2018

Trash Talk vocalist Arshaq Malik and guitarist Ashvin Panicker (from left). Photo: Vikram Rai

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Indecisiveness isn’t usually considered a band strength, but Vellore-bred metallers Trash Talk’s disorganized personalities led to their eclectic yet razor-edged debut EP Revenge of Meenakshi. Says vocalist and co-founder Arshaq Malik, “We like maintaining a bit of sarcasm and humor in a genre where people usually take themselves too seriously.”

The three-track release covers a lot of ground in just about 13 minutes, going from breakdowns to rap verses over squiggly guitar lines (“Halal Cut,” featuring a solo piano outro from Chennai-based Ashish Zachariah), doom-bringing ethereal rock on “There Will Be A Fire (A Peasant’s Warning)” and the raw rap rock title track (about an android named Meenakshi in her quest for vengeance against humans for destroying her town) which builds up and takes on a reggae twist. To some, Malik’s ability to flitter between rap and guttural growls over groovy riffs might recall the early work of Mumbai hardcore band Scribe.

Formed in 2013 at Vellore Institute of Technology as an alternative rap band, Malik and his bandmates ”“ guitarist Ashvin Panicker, bassists Piyush Choudhari and Saptarshi Mukhopadhyay (both of whom have played on the EP) and drummer Jophy Joseph ”“ got comfortable in a heavier space. Malik, who has released a solo electronic/hip-hop EP last month, adds, “My obsession with rap music also ensures that we throw in a bit of hip-hop influences into the mix.”

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Are they aware they share their name with a much more popular Californian hardcore band? Malik says he found a year after he created Trash Talk, but says they were already gaining a following by then. Although they’ve been trying to stay active on the college circuit as well as in Bengaluru gig circles, Malik notes it’s been tough for the band to transition from university students to full-time jobs. Malik says, “Now that all of us have jobs and stuff, it takes individual phone calls with motivational monologues to get them to show up for rehearsals. We’re trying to get our shit together and play as many shows as possible over the next few months.”

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