Having already made a formidable name for themselves as a performance powerhouse, the septet pushes a little further with their latest release. Melding Carnatic, Electronic, Progressive and Rock in a similar orgy, Pineapple Express have steadily built on their experimental style over a couple of EPs, creating an electric brand of music best experienced live.
With the release of Passages, the group dial up the intensity with aggressive production. Crushing distortion, vocals with radio crackle and sparkly acoustic guitars and synths sit side-by-side in a pleasant and pristine mix. The product is a result of some slick work by the “brains” of the outfit, Yogendra Hariprasad. Amalgamating Hindi and English lyrics, dual vocals via Jimmy Francis John and Karthik Chennoji Rao make language an integral part of the band’s ethos. Virtuosic performances from instrumentalists Ritwik Bhattacharya, Gopi Shravan and flautist Arjun provide enough juice for the slack-jawed.
Coming back to the genre-mashing, tracks like ‘Destiny’ include snippets of what sounds like Drake outtakes, eventually plunging back into metalcore leaps. Pineapple Express sure doesn’t believe in filters, choosing ambitious ideas in each section of a song and simply finding a way to transition between them. In ‘Paralyse’, even EDM gets a nod, with the vocals borrowing the shallower aspects of a genre that’s shallow enough only to add a smattering of depth.
For a band propping itself up on its stellar live credentials, it will be very interesting to see how Passages translates in front of an audience, analogue or digital, whenever that may be.
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