Given the let’s say, ‘geographical constraints’ that spawn the first chapter in the journey of one of Mumbai’s finest emerging talents, you’re rightfully put off by the choice of moniker this quintet holds dear. After all it’s six more shots of that self -confidence that finally allows them to scale the tightrope of extreme musical experimentation and not flinch.
- Siddharth Basrur – Vocals
- Arman Menzies – Guitar/Vocals
- Devesh Dayal – Guitar
- Krishna Jhaveri – Bass
- Jeremy D’souza (Jeb Jeb) – Drums
Allow me. Goddess Gagged’s debut album is unmistakably metal – as metal as the band name would suggest, and as metal as you would fear loud and abrasive instrumentation for a more accessible diet on your afternoon recluse. But infused over slabs of low tuned warfare lies an emotive musical genius, one that tends to immediately identify itself in vocalist Siddharth Basrur’s vulnerable strain, if not the distinctive choice of enlisting renowned audio wizard Zorran Mendonsa (of New Way Home fame) to the production helm. Now the remaining four members aren’t afraid to show a little skin either, scale by scale..
..gears wrench as opener Modern Machines transforms from ballad to beast, guest featuring scene veteran and fellow musician Sunneith Revankar to guttural perfection before digressing into soothing jazz technicalities at the one and a half minute mark. Assuringly, the guitars crunch back in soon enough and in the wake of such a diverse musical palette one thing remains certain; this is highly infectious music, even for a first run.
Evidently Goddess Gagged have this down to a science in Dreamer or first choice for single Sink or Swim, where five distinct influences react harmoniously in space as pure artistic expression. Tracks like Inspire and Rosemary’s Baby take a less-is-more stance at dissecting this equation with radio-friendly vocal hooks and nineties-evolved progressive rock incisions. The remaining two anthemic and downright rewarding tracks manifest themselves in pure swan song – Visionary and Preliminary Stages span the band’s evolution over mere months of a solid line up, warm group shout outs and all.
All caution then points to the risk of trying to include too many musical ideas in the final product as being a little too drastic, if not pretentious. But for now we’ll hold on to the fact that this youthful conquest is well capable of ridding the nation of the myths of what metal should sound like, if not show the world what a growing wealth of Indian talent is capable of altogether.