• Sat, Jul 20, 2024

maluscomas Lands On The Right Side Of Obsolescence With His New Album


album Reviews Dec 08, 04:02pm

‘Other Side Of Peace’ makes up for in writing what it lacks in presentation


Amit Vyas is based in Pune (but from Jodhpur) and makes music under the name ‘maluscomas’. He makes no bones about his love for classic rock and the kind of musical direction it inspires; in fact, his new album ‘Other Side Of Peace’ (that’s war, in case you’re wondering) is very much in that vein. One might even come to the conclusion after a first listen that the music here is as much a tribute to its influences as it is a way of using influences to express something. This genre has been played a lot and is still loved by so many people, so when an artist dips into that well, they unknowingly enter a world of pretty high standards. Amit ends up winning out because of his strong writing in this collection of songs, which do cover up a bunch of foibles (of both the album and the genre).

The book of ‘old’ rock music has been pretty comprehensive written over the last seven decades. It went from being fiercely groundbreaking to the pop sound to a bit overwrought to what it is now; a nostalgic curiosity for some and the gold standard of music for others. That means many listeners will come to ‘Other Side Of Peace’ knowing exactly what they want to hear, chief among these being solid production and interesting sound choices. This ends up not being the case here, truth be told. A lot of great ideas Amit puts forward here are buried in a bit of an unbalanced sonic presentation. The drums are kind of lifeless, which does make the grooves on here suffer quite a bit. While the bass playing is a highlight and well worth repeated listening, it often seems like they are either fighting equally well-performed guitars for attention. Rock music has never been overly one-note in terms of sound; there have been wildly different and successful attempts to make the genre sound new and different. This album seems to play it far too safe. Where Amit does excel, though, are the songs here, which are written well and performed with sincerity.



The songs here can be split into two ‘categories’, as it were. You have the longer rock tunes like ‘Why’, ‘Chaos’ or ‘Blue Skies’, which actually go over pretty well. Amit is nothing if not committed to what he enjoys, so these are honest songs with some heart. The other category is three short little interludes that more or less fill in the gaps. These shorter experiments are rather nice too; the serene and contemplative ‘The Calm After’ is perhaps the most effective of the bunch. But the meat is in the longer cuts, and there’s a theme to them. Not just the subject matter (which is about war through a bunch of different lenses), but the writing style. This is guitar-led music every single step of the way, and Amit’s rather melodramatic voice plays up well against all the playing. Take ‘Farewell’ with its top-tier chords and its addictive, minimal lead playing in the intro. ‘Why’ is a 6/8 ballad (obviously) with a much more ‘classic’ feel. There’s everything you’d want here if you like these; big ol’ screaming guitars, simple bass, the lot. ‘Chaos’ comes out of left field with some very sterile, proggy tones, which breaks the flow of the songs before it (perhaps to its detriment). ‘Sacrifice’ is pure guitar-hero stuff you will absolutely play along with if you like playing solos in your room. The album’s closer is perhaps its most realized song; ‘Rebuild’ will take you right back to when guitar instrumental albums were a thing, and it’s full-on nostalgia. It also gets all its ingredients right. There are plenty of memorable moments here.

The thing about ‘Other Side Of Peace’ is that maluscomas has made a foray into a space that is now a bit of a niche while being massively popular to some people. To be fair, going into this with such commitment is a pretty daunting task, and the fact that he comes out of it with a pretty substantial album is a success in itself. It does suffer from the aforementioned presentation issues (sometimes intrusively so) and would do with some work in that space, but growth comes with time. What Amit Vyas can rely on is that he’s a good writer and will probably continue to be so.


Listen to the full album here.

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