Originally published in the Hindu Metroplus Bangalore edition on June 5, 2013
Farfetch’d – The Alchemist
Coming in from Bangalore is yet another great piece of cinematic, instrumental music, from post-rock band Farfetch’d. It’s a long shot, but this duo seems to take their name from a Pokémon character. All trivia aside, Farfetch’d claims to be born out of the need to create non-metal music in the scene. Their first debut album, The Alchemist, certainly comes across as a fresh breath of air.
Borrowing elements from post-rock bands such as Isis, God Is An Astronaut, Explosions In The Sky and This Will Destroy You, among others, Farfetch’d create a lush, atmospheric form of rock that rises and crashes in movements with no words, yet succeeding in making listeners visualise. In post-rock and instrumental rock, the only words conveyed to listeners are the song titles. ‘Inert’ sounds a bit light, but gets the album off to a start with catchy guitar lines.
For the unfamiliar, post-rock is a genre in which artists use rock music instruments (guitars, drums, bass, and piano) to create non-rock music, usually ambient and cinematic in nature. Farfetch’d is no different in its approach – with guitars droning on, drums thunderously crashing in and out of movements and the piano creating music for the light-headed. Bangalore has had post-rock bands previously, but none who have succeeded in putting out an above-par record like The Alchemist. Songs like ‘Anomaly 1’ and the title track ‘The Alchemist’ slow down and speed up in much quicker time than what is normally expected of post-rock songs. The only critique here is that members Akash Murthy (guitars, bass, drums and producer) and Kasisnu Singh cut off songs like ‘Volatile’ when they can easily go into longer passages. That’s only a lament if you’re familiar enough with lots of post-rock, though
The words to the music show up on the album closer ‘God Is An Atheist’, which is a stripped down acoustic song about exactly what the title suggests. With these vocals, Farfetch’d comes very close to sounding like a duo a few thousand miles away – British trip hop act Zero 7. Comparisons aside, ‘God Is An Atheist’, like the rest of The Alchemist, doesn’t wear out after several listens, a sign that the band deserves attention.
Available on farfetcd-official.bandcamp.com for name-your-price download.