Album Reviews

Scribe – Mark of Teja

  • Review by: Suhail Dhawan

Behold…the quantum physics of Indian metal, an album exhibiting a fuzzy, mind-warping duality between being a pinnacle of post-hardcore and being a well-produced re-Confect., yet one thing that is invariant of which perspective you have is that this record has everything a metalhead wants, and everything that was amiss from the ‘scene’.

Scribe, as a band, is in a continuum of progressively finding their sound, and in the process giving you unadulterated aggression topped with whipped cream and a cherry. As they change paths in the contours of their genre-bending mélange of alternative/punk/groove/death influences of individual members, each subsequent work keeps alive the spirit of Salafaya. Mark of Teja is that skull-crushing stamp of Scribecore that, after an international release at the 10th anniversary of Inferno festival in Oslo, has raised the bar manifold, bringing out the best in each one of the five man kill machine, making Scribe that elusive mystical phenomenon that you just can’t get enough of. The concept behind MoT is, quite frankly, an intellectual rant from the darkeer corners of Mr. Krishnamoorthy’s mind. It’s about doppelgangers of the band members in the 16th century, in a project far beyond the horizons of its time. The names are after Bollywood baddies, complementing their quirky tinge with the album title taken from the movie ‘andaaz apna apna’. With facetious humour, roping in their sound guy Anupam as Col. Hons in the saga, it seems that the story alone is worth the Rs. 200 price tag (thus, I shall refrain from any further disclosure).

A much awaited conflagration opens with the mellow, succinct atmospherics of ‘Seed’, one of many feathers in Akshay’s cap. The first of the brandishing tunes is ‘RSVP’, which the band has jocularly said they’re tired of playing live. Taking their antics to a completely new dimension, Scribe dish out a masterpiece in ‘I love you, Pav Bhaji’, consummating their love for onions, tomatoes and lemons, with Vishwesh rapping the recipe of the much loved snack. The relentless attack continues with ‘Street Archana v/s Vice Varsha’ showing their prowess in wordplay along with a thrashy- metalcore intro riff that hits you square in the cranium.

When I say that this album can be looked at as re-Confect. it is because there is a blatant similarity in the patchwork of the album as a whole as well as separate tracks. ‘M-power’ and ‘M-pyre’ are the coupled hardcore and ambient tracks like ‘Analyse this’ and Analyze that’ with varied tempos and harmonics on the former and contorted atmospherics on the latter. ‘1234 dracula’ is the epitome of all hilarity, quite like ‘ate a banana’, with this one going “gunda banne ke liye daner dekhna mangta’ and lyrically touching on everything from ID proofs to Undying Inc’s ‘Manimal’.

‘Dum hai to aage aa’ has a hip-hop beginning that tells you to eschew politeness. ‘DemonPra’ has a strong cyber-industrial aura and ‘Heidi’ is a beautifully carved acoustic that takes you to the realms of the idyllic Swiss Alps. ‘Judge Bread’, a personal favourite, has killer bass lines and is an enactment of a court scene.

India fell in love with Confect. since ’08 and now a new era has dawned. Besides a few glitches and redundancies, this album brought out every single emotion the endocrinal secretions can produce. The whole ‘words fail me’ cliché seems ironic in an album full of lyrical logorrhea. In their post release gigs, Scribe have torn down venues, even the placid city of Kolkata. Forgive the pun, but with their new drummer, Viru, Scribe appears manically Demonic. Here’s to a band that would always do it, then screw it (DemonPra reference).

Rating: 8/10