KARACHI : Pakistan’s early exit from the ICC Cricket World Cup has finally made some room for our third biggest obsession: music.
While food and cricket remain on top of our consumption chain, it is the music of all sorts that serves as a common thread for consumers of certain genres and classes. So diverse is our small but significant musical landscape that it is almost impossible to tell the difference between our pop music and the music of our masses. While Kumar Sanu and Attaullah Khan Esakhelvi might have a few answers to these questions, it is actually the bands that are usually stuck in the middle of nowhere.
The second episode of the Battle of Bands season four was another attempt to showcase upcoming bands that have the potential to be the stars of tomorrow; more importantly to see if the bands of today can actually make it as a big as Aaroh, in the absence of a dedicated TV network for music.
The episode kicked off with a performance by the season two winner Kashmir and that turned out to be the highlight of what was an otherwise boring audition round. Kashmir debuted their upbeat number Bhaago on the same stage where their cover of Mera Pyar got them overnight recognition. The song is a typical Kashmir one – mellow ambient intervals interlaced with a catchy upbeat melody. The subject matter, however, is eerily hilarious. It talks about how the common practice is to run away from people who have mental health issues and act all surprised and concerned after their pain takes the best of them. Kashmir is essentially the success story Pepsi was looking for so let’s hope they carry on this way.
The second lot of auditioning bands was a boring mix, save for Black Hour that merged some major Guns’ n’ Roses inspiration with Pothwari lyrics. Bilal Maqsood aptly pointed out how the rawness and loudness of the language suited their music well and wouldn’t have worked so effortlessly in Urdu.
The judges lauding E Sharp’s The Anthem of Shabana with a standing ovation was a bit surprising though. They are a good band and cover The Beatles exceptionally well, but their debut song is something you won’t mind listening to in passing. That’s about it. They really require a lot more courage and oomph if they want to stand out in the rest of the season.
Other bands that made it past the audition phase were Seismic Tremors, Marjaan, Neon, Starzone, Auj, Uraan, Aarish, Skehlaaj, Jhoot and Mousiqa.
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