#ReviewRundown: July 2020
We deliver our verdict on the latest from multi-instrumentalist Jose Neil Gomes, Goan metallers Within Ceres, New Delhi act Blue Meadow and Bengaluru indie rockers Iyer’s Filter Coffee
Blue Meadow – Weeds Are Flowers Too EP
Formed in 2018, New Delhi band Blue Meadow set out to provide succor for distressful times with their easygoing, acoustic guitar-driven tunes on their debut EP Weeds Are Flowers Too. Drawing from themes of loss, love and nostalgia, there’s three songs that feature vocalist John Oinam at his breezy best, alongside bassist Yash Tyagi, keyboardist Vineet Matthew and guitarist Amlan Bhargav. “Colours” sees Oinam at his soaring best for a heartfelt ballad and “Yesteryears” features the same sonic warmth but doesn’t offer anything too different. “Pyaar” manages to stand out for clever ambient elements and switching up to Hindi vocals and the mostly-instrumental title track adds a dash of cinematic-ness to it all, making Weeds Are Flowers Too a charming debut.
Iyer’s Filter Coffee – Is This How You Do It
Amongst those sticking to dancey indie rock in India, Bengaluru-based rock band Iyer’s Filter Coffee even recently teamed up with virtual gig space Streamphony for a launch show promoting their debut full-length album Is This How You Do It. The quartet waltz into Arctic Monkeys-esque sonic territory for the most part on their eight-track album. There’s somewhat up-to-date references on the cheeky “Weather Update,” smooth grooves (“Evasive Maneuvers”), hip-hop vocals (“Untitled001”), soaring rock (“Lazy Day”) and fast-paced alt-punk (“Noize”). Punning on their bassist Dennis Dey’s name, “Deytime” is the arena-rock ready emotive song, while “Nitetime” is the apt, mellow instrumental piano-led closer. It may not be stand-out just yet but Iyer’s Filter Coffee can definitely start a rock party or two.
Jose Neil Gomes – Queen of Spades
The follow-up to 2019’s Google Maps for Lovers, ace multi-instrumentalist Jose Neil Gomes opts for a shorter record with Queen of Spades this year. It’s about 25 minutes shorter than the hour-plus indulgent trip that was Google Maps for Lovers, which certainly makes Queen of Spades more engaging and even more enveloping (“Passing Shower”) on the whole. Gomes builds electronic/alternative pathways and employs a different vocal style on “Something Came Up,” guitar noodling loops (“Sudhama Society”), hypnotic dance music (“Turtuk,” “Worst of Me”), atmospheric patches (“Faces You Forget”) and deranged rock (“Sugar Coated Liar”). The real gem is placed right in the middle of the 11-track album, when Gomes strums over French trumpeter Erik Truffaz’s spine-tingling playing on “Somewhere In April.” Ever the prolific music maker, Gomes clearly knows how to balance quantity and quality.
Within Ceres – Skyless EP
Goa-based guitarist-producer Odin de Sa first launched his metal project Feeding In Atlantis in 2014 but has since been focusing his energies on a band he could take out on the road – Within Ceres. Within a few years, they’ve had their debut EP Skyless release all guns blazing as a djent/modern metal offering. If buoyant riffs, rhythmic gymnastics and big choruses are your thing, Skyless delivers well on that front, fed by a narrative of a dystopic future. Arnold Carvalho is at his throaty best on “Weightless,” and grandiosity comes in thanks to keyboardist Naizian Fernandes. Holding the crushing chaos down on songs like “Dissonance,” “Terminal” and “Skyless” are guitarist Kadesh D’Souza, drummer Nathan Fernandes and bassist Valiston Fernandes. “Our Oceans” slam-dunks modern metal goodness as it progresses, which makes Skyless a headbang-worthy listen.