October – Defeat The Question [Album Review]
Album : Defeat The Question
Artist : October.
I got onto listen to this awesome album much time after it was released. My first reaction the album was “This is loud”. Seriously, if you want to enjoy the album go to the Spinal Tap guys and play it on 11.
I remember talking to people about the album, almost everyone bombarded me with the same argument about the production quality and that the album doesn’t hold up to the current prevailing production standards. I was disappointed in all of those people. I mean notice the guitar licks, the groovvyyeahh drumming, the over the top vocals. I think the band achieved what they wanted to. I think this album is an opener to a bottle of emotions that contains the feeling of a raw yet warm fuzz or adrenaline.
The song ‘October’, which is my favorite of the album, portrays a great approach towards Vocal Harmonizing by the band. It has one of the most beautifully carved out choruses that I have ever heard. The end of this song is a great testament to the sheer power of the bag of rock n roll tricks. Towards the last minute of the song, every member of the band goes ‘what the fuck’ which is followed by random laughs, the music stops for a second only to begin an uphill ascend to the roller coaster mountain whose peak is reached with the drummer blasting the SSK (Side Snare Kiss) shots, a moment to see the bend and then you fall into that fuzz of adrenaline again with the chorus acting like a diving board for your mighty jump. Great vocals on this one.
The guitar playing is just brilliant. There are just so many sides to it across the album. I mean the way Shashwat and Rohan compliment each other , I am pretty sure that they are sleeping together too. Due to the line-up changes that the band went through, the album was recorded with two vocalists and both of them have done a great job. They not only boosted the band as a whole but were able to do it with their own individual tinge.
The song ‘Myriad’ is a song whose characteristics make it stand away from the album. I mean it is a 12 minute song that goes through numerous transitions throughout its course. But after hearing it , I don’t think there could be a better way to finish the album. The song has two primary points which act like a burst rich with a lot of hues. The first one begins at 6 minute 3 seconds. That melodic harmonized bass melody deeply embedded into the walls of the living room that is made up of rest of the song gives a more ‘swaey’ tinge not just to the song but to the collective feel of the album, it is that absorbing.
The next burst is after a cymbal bass disturbance amalgam of a lazy day silence that the song enters into. It is around the fist half of the 8th minute which begins with the most wonderful of the sunset guitar tones. This is the warm part of the fuzzy adrenaline bottle. On The Wall with its Mediterranean breeze along with ‘Dendrophilia’ with its experimental nature add to the dynamicity of the album
The album is not all good. With the song ‘Down’, the band must have tried to create more of an absurdist song structure. But the song really never gets to a point where its absurd nature dazzles you, most of the time it is just “eh?”. The song arrangement could have been much better.
‘God Overdosed On One Prayer Too Many’. is another song which falls off the song arrangement pedestal. The lyrics were there so was the basic riff but then I don’t know what happened.
The drums on ‘Getafix’ could have packed a little more punch. ‘Stop, look, go’ excavates the whole post modern cultural terrain of the album. The bass starting of the song sounds a little automated but as the song progresses beyond the first 5 seconds, you start wondering weather the bassist was being sarcastic. This is my second best song on the album. Simple. Brilliant. Oh by the way, + 1 for the high hat sound.
The art work that the album parks in is very abstract and colorful which goes in sync with the lyrics on the album which are too very spiritual , existentialist and also pack that old school punch.
So this wraps up my experience with the album. This album amazingly fits into the equation of a vintage independent record. It is easy to make out a couple of mistakes on the album. I am sure that if these little mistakes are taken care of in the next record we can expect a mammoth of a record from the band.
This is October. Oh fuck its March.
I just had to make that joke.