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Originally published in the Hindu Metroplus in January 2012.

http://www.thehindu.com/arts/magazine/article2836486.ece

Sky Rabbit – Sky Rabbit EMI (2012) Rs. 195

Once known for their heavier nu-metal tunes, Mumbai-based quartet Medusa underwent much reconstruction since their inception six years ago. The process was completed in September last year, when they announced their current Indie rock sound would be performed under the name Sky Rabbit from thereon.

And while a lot of changes in the band’s sound justify this, it’s good to know there are still a few aspects that remain unchanged. Vocalist Raxit Tiwari adds his jaded wistful voice to this nine-track album, reminding listeners of Thom Yorke in many ways. The sound too is influenced by Radiohead as well as other indie acts. What makes Sky Rabbit stand out is their use electronica elements, which are set to colourful but sometimes dark riffs and jumpy mechanical drumming.

The album opens with ‘Anti-Coke Ganpati’, an absurdly happy song that seems to comment on the state of politics. Things get profound on ‘March’ with the opening proclamation of “Yes it’s a joke/Time is a joke/we’ll keep on joking till the clown weeps”, set to a thick bass line from Siddharth Shah.

Electronica is abound are various tracks, some with a free direction; Not that it’s a bad thing. ‘Swimmer’ comes across as the band’s most poignant attempt at using digital sounds, awash in wails. ‘I Become I’ is one of their catchier tunes, with lush sounds that come and go with a well-set beat from drummer Harsh Karangale.

‘Try’ has an accordion-esque guitar refrain from Rahul Nadkarni, who is also in charge of samples. On ‘Clone’ there is what seems to be an imitation of a horn section that loops itself as a lead, making Nadkarni play over it with reverberated singular guitar twangs.

The album closer ‘Hilltop’ is a trippy tremolo-laden track with lyrical gems from Tiwari, as he sings in his deadpan voice “No skill, no kill, but on a hilltop.” Layers spill into each other in the epic last movement of the song, making this one unavoidable track.

While Sky Rabbit’s live shows exude much more energy, it wouldn’t be fair to say that it is lost on the album. The tracks on their self-titled album seem very polished; helping the band fuse electro-ambient layers with straight up indie rock, leaving listeners sway about to what is truly unique in the Indian indie scene.

 

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