Navarasam (Music review) – Thaikkudam Bridge

The title song is a goosebumps-inducing conversation between guitar, violin and what seems like Panthuvarali raaga, combined with a majestic power-Theyyam piece mid-way and a superbly ambient ending that lasts for over 1.5 minutes! Shiva extends the sound in very similar ways, using the guitar to great effect and Anish Krishnan having what is possibly Ahir Bhairav raaga, for company, to end on a pulse-pounding, psychedelic note! In Sultan and Aarachar, the band uses Piyush Kapoor and Govind Menon’s sister, Dhanya Suresh’s hard-hitting verses, respectively, to hit out at the Mughal empire’s negative impact on India and the ills of present-day Indian politics, to fantastic effect, using a racy, grungy sound. The purely instrumental Jai Hanuman is good old progressive rock with a strong metal edge. One and Urumbu, in comparison, are gentler, with a lovely lilt that’s very, very Kerala. Chathe too is steeped in Kerala folk, before it branches into abstract grunge. Nila Madhav Mohapatra and Krishna Bongane perform the aspirational Khwaab fabulously, barring the mildly awkward pronunciation at times. Anish Krishnan sounds like Kamal Haasan in Viduthalai, the band’s impressive, impactful tuning of Bharathiyar’s lines. Navarasam is an exhilarating debut from one of India’s most promising bands!

Keywords: Thaikkudam Bridge, Navarasam, 200, #200

Sample the album and buy it on iTunes.