Planet Bollywood
Faridkot - ´A New Confusion in Pop!´
- Samir Dave           Let us know what you think about this feature article

From the band’s website:

“We call it Confused Pop. Why “Confused”? We hope someone can help us solve that riddle soon. But we’ll help you out with what we’ve got till now…the confusion mostly comes in once you hear a mix of pop vocals, bluesy guitar playing, funk bass lines, melodic (and sometimes pompous) electronic layers flavored with a pinch of jazz-based drums all combined together in a heap of musical endeavours that we like to call our own. Sometimes in love, sometimes trying to be funny and a little more loving (we’re a bit unlucky in that sphere); we just like to play some good music which might transcend the individual inspirations that each musician brings forth.”

There’s one thing that we should be clear about here, and that is that there is no confusion that Faridkot’s debut album “Ek” (on the Times Music label) is most definitely rocking in every which way. I fear that due to the weak state of Indi-Pop nowadays, this album will be lost and won’t find its way to listeners, as it should. Quite simply, this album is the best set of songs that have been released (filmi or pop) this year. It’s displays moments of brilliance interspersed with moments of familiarity (in a good way) and creativity. It’s rock, it’s jazz, it’s tinged with Sufi like mysticism, and it’s well worth multiple listens. The band is comprised of Inderpreet Singh whose vocals are stellar, Rajarshi Sanyal on guitar, Akshay Raheja on keyboards (and electronic bleeps ‘n’ bloops), Gavin Pacheco on Bass, and Sahil Mendiratta on drums. Let’s be clear, this is a band that works incredibly well together, but let’s groove onto the track list and talk about the set of songs on this album shall we?

First up we have the very powerful, “Meherbaan” that starts off with some shuffling drums and piano that give the track a jazzy flavor to begin with. Singh’s vocals softly come into play and the song suddenly shifts into high rock gear with blazing guitar work and vocals that drive home the word, “Meherbaan”. Lyrics are beautiful, straightforward and to the point. The track immediately hooks the listener into the world of Faridkot and sets the stage for the songs to follow. You’ll be hitting those rock star dreams with this track!

Next, we have “Laila”, which starts out with some nice guitar work. Strong vocals again mix with a more straightforward rock track that excels in its simplicity. The medium tempo and lilting chorus chants of “Laila” add depth to the song. Sanyal’s guitar work is the true star of this track.

Third track, “Jashn” has almost a jazz-rock fusion feel to it. Once again lead vocalist Singh simply smashes the sound barrier with his high notes. Musically complex with a lot of depth this track reaches the heights of the first track, “Meherbaan” in power. Simply put, its melody will worm its way into your mind.

After getting your adrenaline up with the previous track, we are tricked into believing that “Madho” is mellower than the previous tracks. It’s when the guitars kick in that we realize the boys are still rocking out. The melody is playful and very rustic sounding.

“Haal E Dil” is another strong track on this winning album. Sanyal and Pacheco shine with their guitar and bass playing. The track flows and ebbs like some kind of electro rock dream.

Next up we have, “Patjhad”, which is haunting to say the least. The song has deep lyrics with a musical soundscape that is highly unpredictable. It’s the kind of track you’d listen to over a glass of Johnny Walker on the rocks in a smoke filled club. It’s that good.

Seventh track, “Banjaare” keeps the momentum going. It’s acoustic sounding and again rustic yet modern sounding. It sort of reminds me of the kind of track that old time group Euphoria used to release on their albums. Vocals and guitars combine to form a sweet infectious melody.

The album ends with, “Khel Khel Mein”, which is pure hard rock through and through. Killer guitar licks, pounding drumbeats, and rocking vocals form the backbone of this fast paced track. Blast it and shake your head back and forth. Most of all, ROCK ON!

All in all this is a very enjoyable album and proof positive that the Indi-pop/rock scene is not dead. Faridkot is an amazing band that delivers what is so far one of the best albums of 2011. Don’t miss out, listen, and spread the Faridkot word. This is one band to watch out for!


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