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Parvaaz Weave Poetic, Progressive Rock on Debut Album

The Bengaluru rock band traverse dark lows and bright highs on their eight-track full-length album ‘Baran’

Anurag Tagat Sep 01, 2014
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Parvaaz frontman Khalid Ahamed in Pune in 2013. Photo: Prashin Jagger

Parvaaz frontman Khalid Ahamed in Pune in 2013. Photo: Prashin Jagger

[easyreview cat1title = Baran cat1rating = 4 cat1detail = “Self-released, Times Music (Digital)”]

 

'Baran' Artwork

‘Baran’ Artwork

When a voice like Khalid Ahamed’s leads a band, it’s impossible for them to remain unsung. The vocalist of Bengaluru rock band, Parvaaz, recalls iconic frontmen such as Led Zeppelin’s Robert Plant, on their debut album Baran. Ahamed peaks on every one of the eight tracks, soaring on tracks such as “Gul Gulshan” and the title track “Baran.”

But beyond Ahamed’s voice, there’s a sonic landscape built by the instruments ”“ Kashif Iqbal on guitars, Fidel D’Souza on the bass and Sachin Banandur on the drums. Together, they deliver a mix of progressive, psychedelic and mellow rock. They also get help from friends ”“ from a moody violin part by folk rock band Swarathma’s Sanjeev Naik [on “Ab Ki Yeh Subah”] and soothing saxophone skills from Seth Malloy on on the album closers “Fitnah” and “Ziyankar.” Parvaaz channel their inner Pink Floyd, but add their own, often wrongly-categorized tag of Sufi rock. Parvaaz’s Urdu and Kashmiri songs cover longing, nature and being carefree on Baran. 

The real proof of Parvaaz’s carefully constructed, absorbing songwriting comes through on the 13-minute title track “Baran” and its four-minute prolog “Roz Roz.” Within 17 minutes, Parvaaz create a stand out composition that shifts from folky riffs to reverb-heavy arena rock grooves to sunny reggae and finally, a haunting refrain from Ahamed over a sample of Martin Luther King Jr.’s famous “I have a Dream” speech.

For a band who released a nine-minute single [“Khufiya Dastaan”] last year, Parvaaz clearly aren’t about compacting catchy riffs and a chorus for commercial gain. Baran showcases why Indian bands need to  focus on songwriting, to deliver a well-rounded journey through trippy and occasionally heavy rock, which only gets better with every listen.

Key tracks: “Roz Roz,” “Baran,” “Ziyankar”

Baran is available digitally on OKListen. Parvaaz + Special Guests perform at CounterCulture, Bengaluru on September 6th, 2014. Event details here.

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