‘Uth Records’ episode 3: Of wonders and blunders

Lahore-based band XXI has personality, energy that could make them the next big thing in the music industry.

Rafay Mahmood March 19, 2012


After running smoothly for two weeks, the third episode of “Uth Records” came up with some pleasant surprises and shocking blunders. Surprises are purely musical and will be discussed later in the piece but the blunders, which were quite technological and unexpected in nature, will be stated first.

Honest mistake

Timing is the most important factor for reality shows like “Coke Studio” and “Uth Records” and the worst one can expect is the respective channels to rearrange the time slots and play with the viewer’s expectations. “Uth Records”, however, took it a step further and made the viewer feel an odd mix of disappointment and amusement when the official website uploaded an episode which was supposed to air next week. Instead of uploading the episode featuring rock band XXI — the promo of which was playing repeatedly on television — the fourth episode was uploaded on the website which featured the making of catchy number by Sara Haider, Imam Hamdani and Ali Haider Habib. The wrong episode was viewed by a large number of people before it was removed from the site.

Hits and misses

The third episode kicked off with a failed attempt to generate humour by showing Gumby and his audio engineer trying to improvise Michael Jackson’s “I’ve Got the Power”; unfortunately they were the only ones who found it funny. However, much to the relief of the audience, the young and energetic Lahore-based rock band XXI saved the episode. The band members shared their experiences during the time they used to live in a boy’s hostel at Lums and made the episode interesting by giving it a nostalgic streak. The band comprises of Yahya Farid on vocals and bass guitars and Moheetul Islam and Mohammad Taimoor on guitars.

XXI (21) has released a few YouTube videos previously, but their formal entry into the mainstream music industry was through their “Uth Records” production “Taaray”, which features up and coming musician Ahad Nayani on the drums as well.

Even though the band has nothing fresh to offer and their sound comes across as cliched when compared with other upcoming rock acts, the well-timed chorus of the song gives it an edge over all the other competing tracks and may hit a chord with the listeners.

Momo is being missed

The very orthodox and Noori-inspired sound of XXI’s song reflects Gumby’s dominance over the project and at places we miss Omran Shafique (Momo), co-producer of the last season of “Uth Records”. Gumby and Momo’s creative collaboration gave depth and strength to the overall structure of the songs they performed together and although Gumby isn’t doing a bad job, Momo’s ability to evolve songs into masterpieces could have done wonders for this track.

Hats off to Ahad Nayani

Gumby shows the depth of his character by inviting a guest drummer to feature in a track when he himself excels at playing with drums and choreographing beats. But just because Gumby isn’t playing, doesn’t mean he will take drumming for granted and pick just about any to hit a beat. The experienced drummer got Ahad Nayani, who is probably the best option that is available in the pool of drummers.

Nayani may be a new name for the new music lovers but for the music industry, he is by far one of the most sought after drummers for live concerts. Be it someone as fresh Quratulain Balouch (QB) or as seasoned as Strings, you will notice Nayani head banging in the background while playing the drums. Nayani choreographed clean and crisp beats for XXI and proved that he could be Gumby’s protege.

The episode was a breath of fresh air and earned all the respect for bringing young talent to the fore. In a nutshell, “Uth Records” team deserves a pat on the back for giving a platform to the young and under promoted instrument players in the second season.

Published in The Express Tribune, March 20th, 2012.


xohaib hassan | 11 years ago | Reply

perfect song, guys dont listen to the critics. You Rock!

Reza Zaidi | 11 years ago | Reply

Apart from the website blunder I guess the writer has me confused whether he liked the song/ep or not. as for the song, I can appreciate the effort but then would like to hear someone at least do better.

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