Riasat Raihan writes about the thriving rock music scenario in Dhaka.
The rock music scenario of Bangladesh, particularly in rapidly urbanising Dhaka is thriving. The urban educated youth has developed keen interest for this local creative musical endeavour. When young crowd talks about local rock or metal music, the names of certain bands keeps coming into the conversation — Nemesis, Arbovirus, Artcell, Aurthohin, Warfaze, Shunno, Powersurge and many more. Most of them are around for a while. The youngsters look up to these bands as inspirations for their music. Besides the mainstream bands of Dhaka, there are some young bands doing an amazing job with their music. Today’s story will cover a few of those bands who are still entertaining rock music lovers of Bangladesh.
Liquid State Drive
Photo by Sumaya Khan Tahiti
The progressive rock/ post grunge band from Dhaka has already become a crowd favourite. The band was formed in April 2015. Ever since, they have released two singles on their Youtube channel. They are heavily influenced by the 90s rock music of Bangladesh and they have taken inspiration from foreign bands like Nirvana, Pearl Jam et cetera. Band’s front-man Rushmian classifies his band as a post grunge band. They utilise the effective use of the technique of shifting from hushed verses to high and loud choruses. They literally coined themselves in their tracks. Their first single ‘Ondhotronto (The regime of the blind)’ is very catchy with brilliant lyrics. Their second single ‘Ostitter Obokash (Existence in Leisure or Leisurely Existence)’ has a mixture of pure rock and post grunge feeling and it stays with you till the end of the song. They combine melodic elements with a rock punch in to their songs which is great. The band members have said that all four of them have different visions and perspective towards music. And they merge individual elements in to their songs. Now they are ready to release their first studio album named ‘Tomar Itihash (Your History)’ in the November.
Photo by Mazharul Islam Nitol
With the release of their debut album ‘Mohakashchari (Space travellers),’ the band, Conclusion has already gained wide recognition among the urban youth and young listeners of Bangla rock music. Their alternative and sometimes experimental rock theme makes them unique. Vocalist Atif shared his thoughts with New Age Youth about the band’s history and progress. The band was formed in December 2011. Since then, it has been a long extended family of musicians who are trying to make good music. Atif expressed their music as subjective. Their debutant album is enough to substantiate his claim because it has a definite unorthodox feeling to it. All the songs from this album have different sense of music which makes the album an eccentric one. Their song also has an astronomic vibe, which is rather unique in terms of the practice of this genre.
Atif also expressed that Conclusion are trying to set a landmark through their music, not necessarily to change the musical styles or make ‘experimental music’. They are not into something cliché as they want to form a unique platform for the sake of their songs. Atif said that bonding among the band’s members is one of the strong points of Conclusion. They all value their individual contribution towards the band, which is really very important. Their songs are available in their album as well as in Youtube channel. Among their songs, ‘Priyo Ondhokar (Dear darkness)’ and ‘Mohakashchari’ have already secured their spots in rock music lover’s reality.
Unlike other bands of the story, all the songs of Crunch are written and performed in English. Yes, you heard it right. They are comfortable in English. Generally, we would expect Bangla songs from a Bangladeshi band but having said that, Crunch sound exceptionally well in English. After speaking with the front-man Shovon and bassist Arka, New Age Youth came to know that they are also targeting international audience besides local youths, which explains their choice of language.
Their sense of music is so catchy. Crunch is basically a hard rock band. Their songs have this tremendous ability to give the nostalgic vibe of 80s and 90s rock music. One of the strongest points of Crunch is their vocalist’s unique style of singing. AC/DC fans will love Crunch’s music because the way Crunch performs and the way Shovon sings — it has lot of similarities with AC/DC’s music. Crunch has released their first album ‘Mad Volume’ in mid 2017. It is their debut album with ten different tracks. Throughout the album, their music could be described as intoxicating, electrifying, and rousing. The band is inspired and influenced by some foreign legendary bands like AC/DC, Iron Maiden and Led Zeppelin. After scrutinising their tracks, they have deliberately used hard rock and heavy metal style than metal-core genre.
Shovon has expressed that they play music for themselves, first of all. It’s their passion for music which makes them combine into one force to make some good music. With Shovon in vocals, Crunch has a very decent line up with a great potential. Avra and Shahed, the two lead guitarists are extremely talented and brilliant in their jobs. Arka’s bass work is tremendously explicit. And, the drums are manned in sync by Waseque Abdullah.
Drunk on Tea
Photo by Shafket Hossain
Generally, a rock band is formed when 4-5 good friends come together to make good music. But in case of the Drunk on Tea, four tea addicts are trying to make good music and they are friends. The band was formed in February 2017. Their main inspiration and influences are Jazz, Blues and Psychedelia. There is a distinct deepness in their songs. They haven’t released any songs yet, but have already created the buzz. They make songs with various musical genres into their own collective sound. You’ll find a bit of country music vibe in their songs. In our country, typical rock or metal geeks don’t really accept the concept of Jazz music or blues. But it’s changing with time. Bands like Drunk on Tea are influencing young folks to listen to this sort of music and they are getting praised by critics and music lovers for their work. Any fan of Pink Floyd, Rolling Stones or The doors is definitely going to fall in love with their music. Their bassist Dipto, during an interview session with New Age Youth shared the band’s dream — to perform at Maddison Square Garden, New York.
The aforementioned bands, should they don’t suit your taste and you crave for some more raw metal to get your eardrums flowing, then Abstraction is the perfect band for you. Abstraction is a hard rock/ heavy metal band rolling from Dhaka City. They started their journey in October 2011. Four school friends making music is the perfect definition for a rock band. They already have a huge fame in underground music scene of Dhaka. They already performed on the same stage with bands like Nemesis. So, you can realise that they are hard to overlook. The husky voice of the front-man Resham is one of the main attractions of this band. Nemesis’s Zohad, during a 2014 concert said about them, ‘They have a huge potential to be an awesome rock band and they are very young. We all should look closely to their music’.
Apparently, most of their songs deal with abstract meaning. They are currently working on their debut album which they wish to release in 2020. Throughout the years, the band’s style has remained unchanged. They have drawn their inspiration from great foreign bands like Iron Maiden, Paparoach, Metallica and Children of Bodom.
This is not an exhaustive list. There are other bands. Recently, Attic has released their first music video and they instantly became the most talked about band. The Morse Code has already surprised us with their debut album ‘Running in Circles.’ The way these new bands are rocking the stage, it is certain that a rock N roll culture is evolving in Bangladesh. Now, it’s time to focus more on these bands rather than mainstream bands. If you are a true Rock N Roll lover, you’ll find these bands worthy of your time!