Universal Music India [Release Date 11.09.13]
One of the perks of being a reviewer is that, just occasionally, a little gem pops up out of the general slew of releases that, had you not been reviewing, would never have appeared on your radar.
One such is this little beauty from Mumbai-based Indian alt/prog rockers Coshish.
Yes, you did read that right, progressive rock from India – and not just any old prog rock either. This is, to use the Indian vernacular, absolute Nirvana.
Singing in their native Hindi, the band make no compromises whatsoever other than on the packaging where the band line-up and thank yous are in English - but even the lyric sheets are in Hindi.
And it’s precisely this lack of compromise that contributes to this being one of the finest albums I’ve heard all year – and, trust me, there have been some belters in the last twelve months.
These songs demand to be sung in the band’s native tongue and are all the better for it.
The band have obviously been listening to some fabulous progressive rock and have drunk deeply from the cup of Marillion, Yes and Genesis with a side-order of Anathema for their influences.
But they are so much more than their influences as this is where East meets West to dramatic effect.
They have taken Western rock, its instrumentation and song construction and they’ve infused the music with Indian rhythms and vocals to produce a familiar yet totally different sound.
From the beautiful opening arpeggios of the opener ‘Firdous’ to the occasional thunderous rifferama of instrumental closer ‘Mukti’ the band take the listener through a myriad of styles and moods from melancholia to the totally uplifting – often within the confines of one track.
The guitars of Mangesh Gandhi and Shrikant Sreenivasan are prominent throughout and are certainly the equal of any progressive rock players you can think of – and in the exceptional drumming of Hamza Kazi (not the Afghan president (!)) the band have that x-factor that truly makes their sound what it is.
Back in the day, bands like Quintessence were lauded for their fusion of Western music with Indian sounds – it is only fair that in this enlightened age, an Indian band taking Western music and giving it their own fascinating twist should be held in the same high regard.
Review by Alan Jones
On Sunday 28 July 2019, David Randall celebrated his 600th show. “Assume The Position” started in June 2007 on UK City Radio before transferring a year later to Get Ready to ROCK! Radio. The show includes tracks played on the first show plus Upton Blues Festival highlights, new music and the regular features “Live Legends” and “Anniversary Rock” which this week celebrates the Island Records label 60th anniversary.
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Power Plays w/c 19 August (Mon-Fri)
BEFORE FIRE Dead Eyes (indie)
SCOTT & MARIA Never Give Up (indie)
CORELEONI Queen Of Hearts (AFM Records)
BERLIN Transcendance (Cleopatra Records)
PHIL CAMPBELL These Old Boots (Nuclear Blast)
PHIL LANZON Blue Mountain (Phil Lanzon Ditties/Cargo Records UK)
Featured Albums w/c 19 August (Mon-Fri)
09:00-12:00 SOLEIL MOON Warrior (Frontiers)
12:00-13:00 ROXY BLUE Roxy Blue (Frontiers)
14:00-16:00 DREW HOLCOMB & THE NEIGHBORS Dragons (Magnolia Music/Thirty Tigers)
Albums That Time Forgot (Mon-Fri)
JAMES STEVENSON Everything’s Getting Closer To Being Over (2013)
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