• Tue, May 28, 2024
Reviews

Abhinav Srikant Lets His Creativity Fly On His EP 'Antifragile'

6.5

album Reviews Mar 24, 05:10pm

The main thing to note about this release is its compositional freedom

Mumbai musician Abhinav Srikant is no stranger to the scene; he was in the band Shorthand for 5 whole years. However, now, he is striking out on his own with his new EP ‘Antifragile’, a 5-track journey into instrumental rock and prog that clearly wants to go in an experimental and imaginative direction. Today’s indie scene is full of artists that get pigeonholed by the time they get to their second or third release, so coming right out of the gate with an instrumental guitar-centered concept EP is quite the artistic risk. Unless it works, of course. Here, it does.

While there is a very established instrumental palette used on the five songs here, there is enough variety to differentiate between them. ‘Into The Light’ has shades of 80s and early 90s progressive rock in its synth and straight-ahead grooves. ‘Ours Is But To Reason Why’ uses the same tools but in a more atmospheric setting (you’ll find a very typical lead guitar sound and a little vocal chop or two) before suddenly interrupting its own flow in the face with a kick-bass groove that sounds like an unreleased demo from a Justice album. It should be mentioned that bass and lead guitars do most of the driving on the EP, which is quite typical of the style.

 

 

The chug-heavy ‘Crying’ definitely has a modern-er feel to it (think the mid-2000s era of Devin Townsend’s projects) and relies much more on riffs; this one does not potentially go over as well as it plods a little. The next track ‘Cradle To The Grave’ does a better job with its fun-house strings, background melodies that sound like they’re out of a city-builder videogame, and atmospheric guitar layering. This track makes up in quirkiness what it sacrifices in intensity. ‘Living With It’ takes these concepts up another notch and contains some of the most chuckle-inducing passages of any song on here.

‘Antifragile’ is interesting because it’s possible to have two different mindsets while giving it a listen. One is just to think of it in terms of execution, where it definitely isn’t inch-perfect. Some sections do end up meandering while Abhinav Srikant is almost figuring out where to go next, and some sections go hard but exit stage left before they’re done making an impact on the ear.

The other way one could listen to it is to pay attention to the ideas presented here, and this is where all the fun is to be had. This EP is bursting with creativity, and there are so many little things to pick out and experience in just 25-ish minutes of music. Some are strange, some are hilarious, and some are obviously just Abhinav having some fun, but they’re all quite entertaining. And in that, you will find a worthy listen.

 

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