What can we say about a band with members spread across Ahmedabad, Pune and Mumbai who release their album in Russia? Well, for one, Aswekeepsearching knows which audience loves this cinematic, mostly-instrumental genre the most. In many ways, Khwaab is a great soundtrack to a cold, starry night, but the same can be said for the majority of the delay-laden, reverb-heavy, crescendo-abusing post-rock bands out there.
So what makes Aswekeepsearching different? For one, they add Hindi lyrics but only as an element and not as the main feature. In true post-rock style, they open with a seven-minute head-in-the-clouds song called ‘Ativa’. Anyone who encounters post-rock for the first time is usually likely to ask, ‘Where is the singer?’ Luckily for them, frontman Uddipan Sarmah steps in around the five minute mark, adding an ominous air to ‘Ativa’. The main overtone on Khwaab is certainly emotional and aggressive. This is guitar-led post-rock, so there’s no time to bring in the violins or cellos a la Godspeed You! Black Emperor or Mono. Aswekeepsearching’s lilting rock that touches on ambient and even metal is best suited for fans of bands such as Caspian, God Is An Astronaut and Explosions in the Sky. ‘In Circles’, from their first release last year, Growing Suspicions, gets an even heavier treatment, while they stay atmospheric on ‘When Will They Talk?’
Between Sarmah, guitarist Shubham Gurung, bassist Bob Alex and drummer Gautam Deb, there’s a strong emphasis on grooves, which gives songs like ‘Catalogues’ and ‘What If_?’ a sharp edge. Aswekeepsearching nail crescendos that will make any post-rock fan nod in approval, swallowing down the lump in their throat. That’s how they build up to their beautifully angry closer ‘B-303’, with a prelude called ‘The Moment’. The strains of the keyboard punctuating the destructive riff-fest makes 'B-303' the song you will love to watch live.
In case you haven’t noticed, the time for post-rock in India is now. Everyone from Explosions in the Sky to Mogwai are lining up, but India has an opportunity to acquaint itself with the home-grown talent, and there’s no better place to start than with Aswekeepsearching.
Listen to Khwaab below