• Sat, Jun 25, 2022
Reviews

The Bloodywood Review

9.5

album Reviews Mar 19, 03:14pm

What can we learn from ‘Rakshak’ after enjoying its wall-to-wall energy?

Bloodywood is a band. They are based in New Delhi. They have constantly made some of the most exciting rock-rap-metal music the scene has had the pleasure of enjoying over the years. However, this, yes, ‘Rakshak’ is their first full-length studio album. In a world where the great first album is an emphatic announcement of an artist on the world stage (or whichever stage they have access to), Bloodywood stands out. They’ve done all their announcing. They don’t usually play gigs that aren’t packed to the rafters. They also don’t usually write music that isn’t instantly a blast to listen to, and they innovate within their space (that’s a business term, in case you’re instantly triggered) to boot. So what’s this album about? It’s about calling out to us, to listeners and people. It makes sense that this is an album now, because Bloodywood know and feel that there’s a whole lot wrong with our world.

Strangely enough, the sound of this album requires the least amount of explanation. We are all familiar with the band’s explosive sound. There’s folk influences, some rap and some utterly skull-crushing riffage. We all know the band’s rhythm section is one of the best working today, and they don’t take any risks with the production. The modern metal sound of the guitars is on full display throughout the album’s almost 50 minutes of music. It’s tight and heavy as all hell. There are some little touches of variation throughout, to be fair; old Bollywood elements come in and out and there’s even a little electronic flair to ‘Bsdk.exe’ (already a winner for song title of the year). But there’s no denying that Bloodywood wants to stir the pot and communicate some sort of rage. And that they do.

 

 

‘Gaddaar’ starts the song off and is definitely a standout moment. The folk rhythm that supports the riffs is simply nuts. The song focuses on communal tensions and the establishment, and if this doesn’t move you to action, nothing will. The aforementioned ‘Basdk.exe’ is a bit more hurried in its tempo and calls out the general attitude of journalism in the modern era, which is money-hungry apathy (and yes, the irony is not lost). Note: the breakdown on this track will cause extensive damage to your home. ‘Dana-dan’ is another strong tune (one in a crowd, but still). This combines some huge riffs (the chorus hits like the biggest truck you’ve ever seen) and some machine-gun lyricism that decries sexual harassment (and is sorely needed). ‘Aaj’ starts with something that would be perfect for some A.R.Rahman movie and goes into perhaps the most accessible riff on the album. The rap element is strong on this track and the album, but that’s because there’s a lot to say. ‘Endurant’ is a more badass Indian Inis Mona (shout out to whoever gets that reference) and is something of a ‘Don’t Mess With Us’ anthem. It’s wonderful. ‘Jee Veerey’ postures itself as more of a hard rock song but still slaps. To be fair, every single last song on this album is a blast. You almost don’t notice how much work the band puts in because this is music that grabs you by the scruff of the neck.

‘Rakshak’ got onto the Billboard charts, has sold well in physical distribution, but its popularity hides just how interesting this band is. There’s always been something that inspires rage and change with heavier music (RATM, maybe?) and this a band that turns it up to 11. But ‘Rakshak’ isn’t a drag or hard to listen to. It’s something that makes you feel as much as you think. That is no joke. That’s what we call a great piece of music.

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