The Melody Exchange

                                  A monthly selection of music and words by: Abhishek Ramadasan 

Gojira - Fortitude

I believe that what determines the success of a rock or metal band is remaining true to their unique, authentic sound and substance that garnered loyal fans. Some crumble under the pressure of a label or changing times, while others diffuse seeking a new audience.

Gojira, a French metal band who has stayed loyal to the sound that fans first fell in love with released 'Fortitude' their seventh studio album earlier this year. And it is one of their greatest creations to date!

It is stupefying how Gojira always finds new routines & potentialities to bring us the heavy we desire. The album offers a series of substantial, stimulating, courageous songs that copiously yield to raw power & emotions. With tracks like Amazonia Gojira has expressed the feeling that mother nature is in distress & it needs help. This discernment that developed from a suite of climatic trauma is delivered brilliantly with the mix of massive hooks & powerful messaging.

They break new grounds & enter unclaimed territories without hampering their patent spiritual sound which is beneath all that sounds heavy. Mario has put out some of his best exploratory percussive possibilities with this album, cementing his position as one of the best to do it today.

I have said this earlier & I stand by it strongly that Gojira is the single most important rock/metal band in the world today. The new face of heavy!

Squid - Bright Green Field

'Squid' a five-piece band that met and formed in Brighton, released their debut album 'Bright Green Field' in May this year, accommodating 11 songs about the constantly changing environment we live in.

The album is the band's brainchild equivalent to a fictional cityscape with songs encapsulating the visual artistry. This synthesizes to develop something intensely addictive & musically rewarding. With the blend of genres & the many moods, it's hard to put your finger on what exactly is their sound. There are elements of pop anthems, jazz grooves, funky basslines that turn into a brave, dense, progressive, quirky but profound body of work.  

My absolute favorites Narrator, Padding & Global Groove reveal their subtleties upon multiple listens, through dramatic flourishes, hazy riffs & cutting harmonics. This approach of world-building, fictional writing & messaging is a tried & tested path by many artists who have often failed in the search for an exotic sound. But Squid has managed to keep their music congenial, intimate with the right amount of fusion.

Tamara's ambitions are far more modest & accessible, but deep-rooted, quite successfully transporting you into a world of dashing arrangements & charismatic songwriting. In short, the album is a gem!