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Pineapple Express Launch Charged Up New EP ‘Passages’

The Bengaluru prog metal septet’s founder Yogeendra Hariprasad on their third collection of songs

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Anurag Tagat Sep 02, 2020

Bengaluru prog metal/fusion band Pineapple Express. Photo: Courtesy of the artist

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Created entirely during lockdown, Bengaluru prog metal/fusion band Pineapple Express pushed themselves on the writing and recording front on their just-released third EP Passages, even as they navigated changing lockdown guidelines and finished the record. Founder, producer and keyboardist Yogeendra Hariprasad says, “The conception of this record was very spontaneous, and it was made entirely after the lockdown began. We took great precautions, and met each other whenever regulations were relaxed, and with nobody else. But when we did meet, we worked very efficiently and got results.”

The four-track EP plays up familiar yet refreshingly powerful elements that the seven-member band have delivered on previous releases – Uplift [2018] and Déjà vu [2019]. Where they’ve flittered between anthemic, friendlier rock that’s delivered in Hindi and features plenty of classical harmonies, Passages seems to delightfully muddy the waters and blur the lines even more. “Destiny” soon drops the listener into chaotic djent territory and even brings in growls but eventually draws itself into a lightheaded outro.

Their first record featuring guitarist Jyothish Mani (who replaced Bhargav Sarmah early this year), there’s plenty of Carnatic fretplay between the new entrant and guitarist Ritwik Bhattacharya on tracks like “Relentless.” Hariprasad calls it one of the more challenging tracks to write and record. “I spent a few sleepless nights perfecting the structure and transitions on that one,” the producer says.

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While vocalists Jimmy Francis John and Karthik Chennoji Rao offer a diverse range in terms of vocals, drummer Gopi Shravan remains a hurtling force behind the kit and seasoned flautist Arjun MPN adds a breeziness to many movements across four tracks. The band still seem to put prog and arena-rock songwriting at the center of it all, something that Hariprasad explains as a possible subconscious reaction to missing the energy of live performances. He adds, “Prog to me just means the absence of rules in terms of structure and any other barriers. I believe our music should give the listener something new upon every listen. We’ve always brought people together, and with this record too, we saw a lot of people being introduced to genres and sounds that they were unfamiliar with, but have now grown to appreciate.”

With Passages, there may not be any confirmed performances to launch the record just yet, but the band says they will be focusing on fan connections for the moment. Hariprasad says, “We’d love to play live even now, provided there are adequate measures and regulations in place to ensure the safety of our audience.”

Listen/buy ‘Passages’ EP below. Stream on more platforms here.

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