Laxmi Bomb Releases Second EP - 'Mah'BHARAT'
18 September 2014
Mumbai based electro-pop band Laxmi Bomb has released a five track EP, titled ‘Mah’BHARAT’ - their second since forming in 2013. The band is composed of Keegan Pereira (vocals), Levin Mendes (drums), Ruell Barretto (bass) and Joaquim Fernandes (keys).
Laxmi Bomb raised quite a few eyebrows and piqued interest after their debut EP ‘Hॐ’ dropped in 2013. Backed by the strong vocals of Pereira, the release played with pop harmonies and the musical tropes of Hindi cinema. 'Hॐ’ did not feel inspired by Mumbai, or any other individual city. Rather, it seemed to draw its inspiration from the general disorder of every single quintessentially chaotic Indian city. It pays homage to the cityscape, but no one city in particular.
If ‘Hॐ’ is an urban landscape inspired first EP, then ‘Mah’BHARAT’ can be considered a natural progression, freeing the listener from the constraints of a city and letting the mind wander out into the country. The EP is lighter, quicker and flows smoother than the first, showcasing the group’s obvious evolution over the past year. As an experimental band attempting to find the fine balance between Hindi film-inspired sounds and classic electro-pop, they do a good job of keeping the listener on their toes.
The band’s visual identity is defined by the caricature of a young, traveling woman - the titular Laxmi. This woman meanders her way through adventures, much like the songs, and is wonderfully depicted on the EP’s artwork. With this playful sense of adventure in mind, the band’s stand out tracks are ‘Keralight’, ‘Shillong Train Running’, and ‘Pompai’. Each of these songs seems an ode to adventure, breaking free of the city that was so important to the first EP. 'Shillong Train Running' is particularly enjoyable, with light, playful percussions suddenly breaking into fast paced rhythms and pleasing vocals backed by the entire band. Each song draws one in with simple melodies, involving vocals and little Bollywood-inspired surprises snuck in here and there. Yet, each song feels different. Finding the balance can be hard, and while Laxmi Bomb do a commendable job walking the tightrope, there is no doubt they are only going to become a better, more cohesive unit.
‘Mah’BHARAT’ is certainly entertaining - the EP is choc-a-bloc full of inventive sounds sandwiching an archetypical electro-pop melody. The group’s potential is there for all to hear, and Pereira does justice to Mendes' lyrics with a striking performance. Laxmi Bomb has all the tools and talent they need and it'll be interesting to see how they use them in the future. We expect their next release to be bigger, louder and more inventive than anything they have offered so far.
Artwork Credit: Salil Mirashi
Words: Aditya Keswani