It was a bright sunny day and the there was no reason to believe that it would rain, for the sky glowed with irridescent rays of the hot sun that woke up "The Big Muff In Man". Groaning and blabbering indecently, he managed to carry himself to the "muff - loo" as he pooped out creams and crumbs into the velvet pot leaving a thick scent of vanilla essencein the room. After a prolonged session of butterscotch teeth Brushing and blackcurrant breakfast he decided to entertain himself with some music. He sat infront of his computer and scrolled down the webpage open, as he soon realized that Hundred Octane had finally released their much awaited album "Delusion is No illusion". He had known this band for a few years now, a band that had survived longer than most other Rock acts that started off with a bang but diminished in a few years (if not months). They started playing at the time when Parikrama too hadn't made it big (in its commercial senseof the term) and survived two decadesof frequent line-up changesmostly caused by matrimonial affairs(many got married and chose to leave the band). If the information served is correct, then one former member even died. They had been through the toughest of times, seen the darkest of clouds, shittiest of shit blah blah and blah. But they never stopped making music. Mr. Big couldn't be happier for this milestone achieved by Hundred Octane. He heard the six track album and.................... rested, not becausehe was blown away by the album, but beacusequite evidently he had the hardest time figuring out, "WHAT IN THENAMEOFFREAKINGGODWENTWRONGWITH THESEGUYS!!???!!!!!" " "Delusion is No Illusion" sounds like an album put together by a bunch of 16 year old hooligans who are not yet out of their "Metallica Rocks" phase. Even though the album is a meagre thirty six and a half minutes long, it sounds like a cleverly devised sonic plan to set off the irritation alarm in every listener's eardrums. What's even more scary is that the riffs and certain melodies used in the album are .... (oddly enough) catchy. But it still retains one charecteristical quality through out the album- every song starts of in a promising fashion, but as soon as it jumps to the verse or the chorus or the abrupt breakdown (like in Holocaust) we are left begging for mercy." The Big Muff in Man pondered over why he didnt really think that the album truely represented a band that easily qualified as veterans in this industry. "It all rested in the intrinsic aspect of each band member's song-writing skills. The structure of almost every song was very predictable, and the predictability became a real drag. That problem could have been fixed by changing the order of the songs on the album (but then setting an order with just 6 songs almost sounds like a bad joke). But then what do you do about Puneet Vohra's relentless psuedo-rock vocalist endeavours? One can easily discern the undying spirit in Puneet to "try" to sing like Chad Kroeger or Hetfield. Vohra's Vocals are like a really ugly pair of leather shoes matched with bermuda pants and bow-tie (its just bad!!!). To put it simply, Puneet can be heard trying too hard to prove himself as a *quote-unquote" rock vocalist with an otherwise magnificent voice (proof - listen to the third track "might not be tomorrow", you will know he is potentially a kick-arse vocalist ; but the worsts of him can be heard almost everywhere else on the album, particularly towards the end of the song called "surrendered to the victory", 7:30 to 7:40 could be used as a sound sample for blood-less abortion in hospitals). Our reaction to
Puneet's vocals on "surrender to the Victory" -
!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! (yes...utter shock!!)
The least that he can do is try to sing like himself, sans the bumpy vibratoes and vocal distortions, which was beautifully exuded in "might not be tomorrow" and the beginning of the last song on the album. The phrasing of words and pronunciation is another issue. when i first heard "holocaust" (opening song) i could not figure out what the lyrics were. phonetically it came to me like "skaaiii iizzzz daahhhh, strweezz are crlosed, mom's the fayyyyy, road awah lauwwwzz". the story is pretty much the same in almost every song on the record. Arvind Singh's solo's could have told a better story, could have been more emotional, more energetic, but they dont sound like that. The guitar patches are very reminiscent of 80's metal era which is blatantly audible on the intro of "delusion is no illusion" and "you and me". there is also a brief guest appearance of a JamesBond soundtrack-ish solo on "mr. masqurade . The bassline In "holocaust" kind of has a mind of its own, sounds out of place and doesn't go in sync with the acoustic guitar part (i say it with conviction becausei had heard the earlier version of the song played by some other bassist who played that part immaculately). Kevin binu plays the saving grace with his drumming skill, but still retains that typical "creed"-o-philic drumming pattern. But undoubtedly he remains the best drummer that Hundred Octane ever found who stuck with them for a considerably long time." The production quality of the album proved to be food for Mr Man's displeasure. The sampled drums (the bassdrum has no "bass") and the dismal mix made for a huge pile of unforgivable mistakes. "oh and the story doesn't end there. The icing on the cake definately has to be the "what the F**k" album art! Thats when i lost faith in humanity for a wee while, but regained my calm
disposition. the album art looks like the graphics from a cheap computer game played on windows 95 (16 bit) version. thats exactly when i knew i was supposed to run away as far as possible from the reach of this album." But not everything about this album is bad though. *surprise surprise"!! the songs have quite possibly the most wonderful lyrics Mr. Man had heard in a very long time. The lyrical beauty of "Holocaust" and "might not be tomorrow" took him to another level of surrealism. They didnt screw it up totally after all! Hudred Octane is not a bad Band, neither is it a bunch of posers as this review might suggest. they are definately not that. Infact they are extremely knowlegeable and humble musicians trying to make it big like a lot of us. But they dont follow the conventional style of marketting themselves.Infact they dont market themselves mindlessly at all. They hardly post unnecessary things about themselves on their facebook fan page. And thats what seperates them from the poser bands in Delhi. their love for music has survived two decadesof struggle. i wish for them to cover another round of 30-40 years doing the same i.e. making music. music. music. Just wish they dont come out with and album like this again. Becausethey do have a really big fan base. Which includes "The Big Muff In Man"
/ 10 FOURmuffins on TEN key tracks : 1. Might Not Be Tomorrow 2. Holocaust 3. Mr. Masquerade