Making the right noises

Updated: 28 September, 2020 10:40 IST | Shunashir Sen | Mumbai

A newly-released album by a rock band has elements of a rare genre in Indian indie music

(From left) Akshat Nauriyal, Avinash Manoli, Kamal Singh and Akhil Sood of the rock band Hoirong
(From left) Akshat Nauriyal, Avinash Manoli, Kamal Singh and Akhil Sood of the rock band Hoirong

It's around the one minute-mark of the track Lemonade that the screech comes in, a sound that's similar to a radio losing signal. It pricks your ears open like a deer that's just heard the roar of a lion. And a track that was thus far reminiscent of alternative metal act Deftones suddenly breaks into a distorted rendition of an Indian folk song, before it returns to its grungy foundations.

That's the sort of what-the-hell-just-happened effect that eclectic Delhi/Bengaluru-based rock band Hoirong's new album, Hope & Light, has on listeners. The sound of that screech is pure noise music, a genre that's as rare in the Indian indie circuit as people wearing masks would be at a rally of Donald Trump supporters. It's a no-holds-barred form of music that can also encapsulate the chaos of our times. Lead vocalist Kamal Singh agrees when we point that out to him. "I can see what you're getting at," he confides.

And what we are getting at is that nothing seems to make much sense anymore. There's chaos within confinement. All rules are falling apart. So, why can't we ascribe the same to music? Hoirong has put different genres into a juicer-mixer-grinder and turned the power on. A song doesn't always have to fit into one drawer of metal, pop, rock, etc. So, why can't we find melody in the sound of a radio that's lost signal? It's pretty much the state of the world right now.

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First Published: 28 September, 2020 10:15 IST

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