From a bunch of iconoclast rockers making garage music in dilapidated barsatis, Indian rock has come a long way since the 90s. Once a taboo, it‘s no longer a pariah, mimicking the West as it has been successful in carving out a unique identity of its own in the hearts of millions of desi rockers. Indian rock has been successful in breaking the stereotype and entering into the hallowed precincts of mainstream Indian music.
Talking of Delhi rock circuit, which is the hotbed of brilliant rock acts has just got another ace up its sleeves - Hundred Octane – a Delhi based alternative/progressive hard rock experimental band recently launched its new album ‘Delusion Is No Illusion’, a Hamara Music release.
Rocking since 1993, Hundred Octane has been supporting the scene for nearly two decades. A band that believes in ‘music in madness’ and ‘melody in mayhem,’ Hundred Octane comprises of Arvind Singh (lead guitarist), Puneet Vohra (vocals and guitar), Tushar Pandey (bass guitar) and Kevin Binu (drums).
Heavily influenced by Deep Purple, Pink Floyd, Iron Maiden, Pearl Jam, Manowar and Metallica’s very own James Hetfield, Hundred Octane is like an old wine which leaves a smooth aftertaste. Their theme and poetry is human, celebrating the joy of life and the sorrow of death. Let’s check out their latest album and see what we have got here.
‘Holocaust’ is a beautiful limerick on troubled relations and the complexity of a broken heart coming to terms with its past. Opening acoustically, the song stirs lost passion and brings forth the memories of a buried past. Check out its schmaltzy outro with an acoustical ending.
‘Delusion is No Illusion’ starts with a haunting melody and breaking into bone crunching riffs is a dark and an intimidating number. Its lyrics are terrifying and harbinger of doom. This guitar heavy number has some great vocal harmonies and chunkier riffs. It’s a vision of life and death mired with confusion.
After being down in the dumps, ‘Might Not Be Tomorrow’ portends hope and reincarnation from human sufferings. The song is upbeat, which makes you dream of the sunshine and to get born again. Hope floats.
Starting off with a signature guitar solo that runs throughout the song, ‘Surrender to Victory’ is based on a true story of someone dealing with suicidal tendencies. It is an ode to the likes of Sid Vicious, Kurt Cobain, Layne Staley and Michael Hutchence for whom death was victory. The song is about someone looking for deliverance, is there a second chance? Yes, ‘Surrender to Victory’ believes in a second chance.
‘Mr. Masquerade’ has a smirk written all over its face. If rock and roll is your religion, the song scorns all those wannabes who join the scene for a while and find it really cool to hold a guitar and pound drums.
‘You & Me’ is balladesque which dwells upon a relationship gone wrong and the person deciding to move on with life. ‘You & Me’ does not wallow in self-pity; the pain subsides as one tries to rationalize the relationship and comes to terms with life and broken shards of memories.
‘Delusion is No Illusion’ is a great album to get introduced with the work of Hundred Octane. The songs have catchy hooks based on clean tones and heavy riffs, lightning fast solos, groovy drumming and tight bass lines woven around great vocals. The album offers style, substance, depth and variety. To say the least, headbanging continues!