• Thu, Sep 28, 2023

Mumbai Band Punk On Toast Sends A Message

May 25, 05:30pm

To be more precise, ‘The Nation Wants To Know’ is more of an asking-questions kind of thing  

The first studio release this year from Mumbai’s Punk On Toast (the last thing they put out was a live album a few months back) is a short little tirade on how freedom of speech and hate has been commodified. There, that’s the blurb. It’s called ‘The Nation Wants To Know’, of course, and its lyrical content has all the tangible anger and despair that punk brings with it. But the song doesn’t necessarily purely exude rage; it actually leans in a more singalong-y direction. This combines with the band’s hardcore sensibilities rather nicely.

‘The Nation Wants To Know’ is short at under three minutes. That’s in keeping with some variants of punk tradition; quick, punchy songs that come in with big energy and leave after bashing your head in with throaty guitars and high-tempo grooves. All this is very present on the song, and it’s sort of mixed in with a lead, hook and verse that are far from disagreeable to listen to. The vocal melodies and harmonies sound a lot like sped-up pop-punk from the turn of the century; it’s actually a refreshing choice. It ends up being a clear, very hummable listening experience; a far cry from, well, the aggressive delivery that the genre sometimes demands (which is its own thing, but it’s been done a lot). The lead guitar is equally pleasant (even nice?)  and the interlude that provides a short break before the little solo that follows it also leans towards the melodic. It gives the obviously current and politically charged lyrics actually fun to sing, and hey, given what the band is talking about, why not? Punk On Toast knows to write a catchy song while staying in their comfort zone and that’s what happens here.


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