Listen: SundogProject Releases New Album 'Tora'
15 November 2016
Rahul Das is the mind behind SundogProject – an electronic/experimental 4 person act that’s been getting a fair bit of attention since their 2013 debut Hex1/Visions. Aside from Das, current bandmembers include Shardul Mehta, Abhinav Chaudary and Akshat Taneja.
‘Tora’ (Bengali for “a freshly plucked bouquet of flowers”; explanation TBA) was announced over two years ago by Das, who’s been sporadically trickling out music and performing with the band in that time, carefully warding off journalists with a self-assured confirmation that the album was, in fact, on its way. Thankfully ‘Tora’ hasn't drowned in the endless abyss of ideated but uninitiated and unreleased Indian indie music.
Released via new label Bangalore Recording Company, the album sound leans towards dark, industrial, rock influenced (particularly in the vocals and themes) electronica. ‘Tora’ asserts itself from the get-go with 'Tentacle' and borderline-aggy ‘Disk’, but the moments of restraint in songs like ‘Bloom’, ‘Diety’ and previously released ‘Tauro’ (one of the standouts on the album) are what really tie the whole thing together nicely. He goes all in with the foggy industrial-sounds that make SundogProject what it is (in ‘Peoaxi’) and even plays around with brighter, bolder synths (‘Screwhead Notes’).
The drawbacks lie in some of the vocals. It might just be me, but their slightly contrived intensity does tend to hearken back to the 2009 golden-days of cover bands (particularly in songs like ‘Go’ and ‘Outside’). It's a stark contrast to Das' live vocals which are always on point.
Overall, however, you’re going to be hardpressed to find a genre-irrelevant album released this year that is as rewarding as ‘Tora’. This is simply good music that’s going to appeal to a whole range of listeners, hopefully dragging some of them out of their comfort zones.
Words: Diya Gupta