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Gig Reviews Reviews

The Supersonics Blast Back With New Material

The Supersonics, May 12, Someplace Else, Kolkata

Shamik Bag May 14, 2012
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(From left) Rohan Ganguli, Ananda Sen and Nitin Mani from The Supersonics  Photo: Shamik Bag

Two years since they disbanded, it almost seemed like The Supersonics (who we featured in our first Artists To Watch Out For feature back in 2008) had just emerged from a good night’s sleep at Kolkata’s Someplace Else on Saturday.

It wasn’t really about how vocalist Ananda Sen carried himself in a certain wasted fashion between songs ”” every bottle of beer adding to his sleep-talking air ”” but in the way the Kolkata band ”” the toast of the Indian indie scene back then ””  picked up from where they left.

Never known for their improvisational skills, The Supersonics, with a bubbly confection of punk-rock-pop, have always compensated with robust amounts of energy. Listeners who have followed the band’s sound over the years would know the curve of their music ”” haughty riffing, voluptuous bass lines, heavy use of side drum and toms, staccato guitars and melodies based on a handful of unfussy chords. If it seems predictable, it also lends well to an evening of good fun headbanging and nothing that’s too highfalutin. The raucous turnout at Someplace Else, it seemed, came expecting nothing much more, least of all, quirkiness.   

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If there was an early hint of frostiness in their playing, the band took not more than a couple of songs to warm up with the anthemic “Yeah Whatever”, their breakout tune from their debut album Maby Baking released in 2009.  With bassist Nitin Mani’s brawny bass work, often meditating over a couple of powerful notes, and the sturdy pulse maintained by drummer Avinash Chordia, the ground was well laid for the band to fill the pub space with a forceful wall of sound. With flawless renditions of old hits like “We Are We Are,”Far From the Human Race,” “170” and “In Memory Of”, the band could have worked the crowd blindfolded.  

The band definitely needed more cohesion with some of their new tracks though, which were mostly left un-introduced. They also fall into the pattern that is the Supersonics sound, which, it can be contended, is a summation of influences. But that is a concession a band making a return can ask for. As a comeback gig, it was a good enough occasion to welcome back The Supersonics. Like they’d never left. 

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