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Reviews

Nice Weather For Ducks - Color The Era

7.5

album Reviews Sep 15, 01:22pm

A review of Nice Weather For Ducks's debut EP, Color The Era.

Nice Weather for Ducks have been in existence since January 2012; that makes it a reasonably long time for a band in the independent music scene of India, if we are to judge by the prevailing standards in this field. The band traces its inception to the name ‘Calmstring Commission’, which was more or less a recluse figure during its period of existence, but still must have been an important stepping stone in terms of the evolution of the band’s sound. So, come 2014, and we finally get to experience a seemingly extravagant EP philosophically titled, Colour the Era, coming from a stable of songs personifying variety on a number of different levels.

So, before starting with the highly descriptive, technical part of the review, my first and most conspicuous observation would be how the band’s sound has evolved by leaps and bounds since the coming together of its full fledged line-up in 2013 – which makes me want to categorize the group as one of fastest growing in the circuit.

The EP is a considerably long one, approximately half an hour for a mere four songs along with a half a minute intro, which can be taken to be the first subtle indication of the progressive roots of the band. Though each song is a different experience altogether (Read: Radically different), interestingly enough, there seems to be some invisible adhesive quality radiating throughout the EP which manages to unify and integrate all the songs together. While listening to them in succession, one interestingly witnesses a harmonious co-existence of the seemingly contradictory elements of surprise as well as continuity. With this certainly being a reflection of the talent the band incorporates, what we get as a result is a contemplative, dreamy, journey-like experience having the powerful ability to play around with the emotional state of the listener.

The EP kicks off with a short tune showcasing some layered synth patches, subtly making us aware of the ambient-heavy sound of the band, before moving on to the simple, feel- good ‘fantastical’ track aptly named, ‘Dropping Planets’, where there’s an attempt to whisk away the listener to an atmosphere of other-worldly happiness. But at the end of this, things change drastically. We suddenly cross the wall to reach a prog-heavy space, only getting amplified with the end of each song. The songs become longer (and heavier), and this translates here to their internal division into a number of parts, so that you end up being under the illusion of listening to more than you actually are. Moreover, time signatures wobble around everywhere apart from the usual 4/4, with a substantial amount of experimenting with the 5s, 6s, and 7s. But once again laudable here is the fact that none of this technicality/complexity seems forced – something which bands often end up with in their ignorant pursuit of deriving that smugness from being technically sound – and the music would appeal equally both to a lay listener as well as an experienced music critique.

Lyrically speaking, there’s nothing path breaking going on here, but they seem to fit well with the overall ambient-heavy, emotionally charged feel and vibe of the band being complemented by a contemplative and philosophical approach to writing. Moreover, it seems that Keshav Dhar – who undertook the production duties for the EP – has done justice to the sound of the band, and perhaps even enhanced it; with the quality being discernibly better than what a lot of other Indian studios end up with.

The band belongs to the family of this new wave of ‘experimentalism’ which seems to be catching on these days, but somewhere the songs lose the ‘easily likeable’ quality to them in this process. My guess would be the hardcore aficionados of old-school blues, rock, and country, would not find this practice of obsessive experimenting very appealing; and, would prefer to maintain allegiance to their raw-sounding, ‘back to the roots’ bands.

However, Nice Weather for Ducks manage to leave an impact. Even the most passionate critiques of experimental and technical music would have to agree that the music that the band has managed to conjure up requires a substantial amount of hard-work, and creative as well as technical inclination. The catchy melodies, sprinkled with harmonies here and there along with flow-y guitar and bass licks, as well as ambience inducing keys locking in well with the subtle yet impressive drumming, would surely make you want to reflect back on their music. And on this note, I would most definitely recommend you to give them a listen (buy their music, in fact) and then judge for yourself.

Stream Color The Era by Nice Weather For Ducks below:

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