• Sun, Dec 15, 2019
Reviews

Heat Sink Brings Freshness And Modernity On Their New EP

6.0

album Reviews Aug 19, 01:25pm

"Euphony" has all the ingredients that make a 2019 hipster happy
 Photo Courtesy: Heat Sink

It’s standard practice to put out short releases these days, what with the popularity of singles and Spotify playlists in general listening culture. Artists who put out such releases generally go in one of two directions with this. Either they use a tight, well structured approach with a good idea of context and flow with songs that work well together, or they throw all ideas of cohesiveness and just show what they’re capable of. Ahmedabad’s Heat Sink choose the latter on their all-over-the-shop EP ‘Euphony’, presenting four tracks that wildly differ stylistically and musically. Thankfully, they’re good at a lot of stuff.

 

 

‘Euphony’ is an odd EP in that it is essentially two sets of tracks. The first two tracks feature Meera Desai on main vocals and are firmly in jazz and neo-soul land. The last two tracks have Protyay Chakraborty on main vocal duties and the kind of pop-leaning prog (or prog-leaning pop, more accurately) that has become popular over the decade. However, it must be said that the band has no problem executing either of these styles. The rhythm section, with Raag Sethi (who also produced) on bass and Pritul Chauhan on drums, is definitely on the more jazzy and airy side but keeps things tight. Melodic and textural duties are handled by Chirag Todi on mostly clean but sometimes gritty guitars (who also composed and started the band) and Nayan Kapadia on keys; these two elements are chiefly responsible for any versatility and nuance the four tracks have. The songs themselves are fine for what they are, which are tentative steps into whatever genre they jump into. Opener ‘Time Lapse’ is hardcore Hiatus Kaiyote-worship. Meera’s voice doesn’t have Nai Palm’s sass and the rhythm section doesn’t really have that ‘pop’ that makes Hiatus’ music so groovy, but she does have the chops and the band has the tightness to make this just about work. Anyone familiar with neo-soul’s vocal gymnastics is going to have a blast listening to this. The middle of the track has some cool keys and bass too, and there are enough beat switch-ups to make any fan of this stuff giddy. ‘Impulse’ is probably the nicest track on here, because it doesn’t compromise on simplicity to do smart things. It’s a calm vocal jazz tune where piano and drums are firmly in the ballroom and the band even does the classic jazz thing of giving everyone little solos. It’s probably the most coherent artistic statement on ‘Euphony’. The next two tracks go into the world of accessible prog. It’s like if Steven Wilson (specifically the Raven-era) met some classic 80s sappy rock band and then got Ian Kenny to do vocal harmonies. While that sounds like a total mishmash on paper, it sort of works out in practice. ‘I’m Lost’ has some excellent vocals and drumming, but the song never really goes anywhere. The moments Heat Sink build up to throughout the song just don’t have enough catharsis or weight when they eventually turn up. ‘Dark Light’ is a far more successful attempt. The Wilson-esque harmonies are on point and the bass does more than it seems to be doing. The song is darker in tone as well, so the transitions and weird half-distorted passages go over pretty well. The track also featured a nice guitar solo towards the end (I assume the band wanted to inject ‘Drive Home’-like feels into the song or something) and leaves the listener with something to take home.

 

 

But the whole idea of ‘Euphony’ is where Heat Sink stumbles a bit. They obviously want to show you how diverse they are and how they can pull off every element of every genre really well, but as it turns out, they can do some things of some genres pretty well; this means that they end up forgetting a couple of things along the way. The songwriting is a bit vacuous and the structuring of the EP is, well, non-existent (though that probably wasn’t the band’s priority, so that can be ignored). The tracks themselves sound great and everything, but the lack of flow and connection between them means that nothing really sticks out by virtue of its quality so much as just how different each song is. Still, even so, Heat Sink does what it set out to do. They really are good at everything. And no matter how much of a snob you are, you can’t take that away from them.

 

Listen to Euphony

Facebook twitter Google Plus Pinterest
Trending
Connect

Leave a comment

Recommended Stories

The New Gumbal Album Is All In The Execution

‘Armstrong’s List’ shows off the band’s great songwriting in a lofty, ambitious and sometimes vague concept album

Aug 16, 2019 

By Madhusudan Raman