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30ton Capacity - Season One Episode Nil


album Reviews Mar 14, 03:02pm

A review of Season One Episode Nil by Bangalore's 30ton Capacity.

Synesthesia, as anyone on the internet would know, is a very cool jumbling of the senses, wherein, for example, you see a colour each time you hear a word; you smell a smell every time you see a shape, and more. Bangalore’s 30ton Capacity attempts, through a modern prog sensibility, to recreate that rearrangement of the aesthetic senses, figuratively speaking. Sometimes with great distinction, other times not so much. The fluctuating guitar effects, as the delays swelter and peak; keyboards and samples; the heavily filtered voice; even the varying intensity and dynamics of the rhythms; it all points towards a confusing salmagundi of a sound.

Season One Episode Nil (and 30ton Capacity, by definition) doesn’t know its own sound. Conventionally, there is a certain negative connotation attached to a band “not knowing its own sound”. A kind of contemptuous dismissal, maybe. Not unfairly, because it means that, in this case, the band shuffles between Oceansize-esque misty, layered, abstract passages driven forth by delayed guitars, a staccato-drum delivery that pierces through the melody, and wandering vocal lines, before transforming into a straight-up modern rock band treading cheesy territories with very out-there choruses. There’re sparks of a post-rock sound, sparks of an underlying grungy sensibility; progressive, often boastful showcase of skill, among other things. Influences, ranging from Deftones and A Perfect Circle to Oceansize and Porcupine Tree, are worn by 30ton Capacity on their sleeve almost proudly. Which naturally provokes questions of individuality or the absence of it.

Here, though, that individuality is most definitely there. It’s an itinerant, not fully defined sense of identity, but it’s there – at least a quest for it. We witness a band’s journey of discovering their sound through a clear process of composition. The measured introduction to opener ‘Epileptic’ leads into a frenzied, percussive motif, which is where the ambition in terms of structure fully succeeds. Often times, it falls flat or doesn’t quite deliver on its promise. We’re spectators, asked to absorb and grasp their musings while they themselves uncover newer facets of their character as musicians. And that’s the most exciting part of Season One Episode Nil. It has its positives and negatives – from the excellent, thought-out arrangements that establish themselves over a few listens to the at times clumsy choruses and certain derivative sections, covering both ends of the spectrum – but essentially, the optimism lies in the fact that we have a band that’s evidently ready to jump into stylistic diversions instinctively; the searching aesthetic running through this release offers plenty for the listener to bite into; there’s potentially a goldmine that 30ton Capacity could craft, or stumble into – a longer release would probably divulge more.

Stream Season One Episode Nil by 30ton Capacity below:

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