• Sun, Sep 25, 2022
Reviews

Meewakching Brings Indie Rock Goodness On New Album

8.5

album Reviews Dec 06, 01:14pm

‘Thengmankhre Hee Ado Lakpa, Eikhoidi Sikhiba Kuire Erolnungda’ is a fresh, vibrant effort

First off, the name of the album is ‘Thengmankhre Hee Ado Lakpa, Eikhoidi Sikhiba Kuire Erolnungda’, which translates to ‘It Was Too Late For The Boat To Arrive, We Were Dead Long Ago Underneath The Lake’. That’s a bit dark, sure, but it’s evocative, and that seems to be the modus operandi of Imphal band Meewakching; this is their debut full-length album. It reflects on a time in indie music we all remember with fondness, which is when bands were making clean but deeply emotional indie rock. You remember that time, don’t you? Los Campesinos and Arcade Fire gave you catharsis, Fleet Foxes just made you sad, and so on. Meewakching tap into this well of sentiment and come out the other side with one of the flat-out nicest listening experiences you’ll have this year.

This sound is not the most complicated business you’ll ever get into, but it’s important to get the few elements it relies on absolutely right. Those feel-good chords have to sound alive, and they do. The drums are simple but drive music like this, and they do. The vocals alternate between a soft, introspective delivery and the classic impassioned screams of the emotionally lost youngster; that’s the sweet spot. Of course, the band does include some elements like a keyboard here, an organ there, a couple guitar layers in bits, but the foundations are important. There is no moment on this album where you feel alienated or even bored, and if you are a fan of the genre, this is even more so. It also helps that the band gets the songwriting absolutely bang on.

 

 

This album has 10 tracks on it and each one does its chosen mindspace proud. After a dreamy intro with a spoken sample and some woozy guitar, ‘Matam, Asengba amasung Sasinba’ gets right into it with a driving, sweet chord progression, some great bass tones and the kind of groove that will make you feel right at home. The guitars and drums open up on the chorus (one of the nicest you’ll hear on the album). ‘Ei Eshana Hangjei’ is more propulsive with a busier groove and guitars. This is one of those eminently danceable songs you’d love to start your day with. The band even gets the more bittersweet side of the spectrum right on with ‘Ekhenglakta’, which excels in all departments and is an album highlight without a doubt. Wistful vocal delivery, atmospheric instrumentation; this is one of those songs your teenage self would have connected any sad life event to. ‘Phungreitang’ is the closest the band comes to straight-up rock which ends with a bit of post-rock influence, even. Meewakching seems to be a band that loves experimenting, but never outside the bounds of their musical identity. ‘Yeningtha, Kalen, Nakentha, Ningtham... Aduga Yeningtha’ starts the album’s last run of songs with a piano-backed interlude of sorts, and the album reaches its conclusion with decidedly more classic rock-inspired tunes. ‘Awatpada Seithaba’ achieves this with a rather sunny, cheerful take on what is essentially an organ-backed rock song. It does a great job of putting the exclamation point on what precedes it.

‘Thengmankhre Hee Ado Lakpa, Eikhoidi Sikhiba Kuire Erolnungda’ isn’t your typical indie rock album in that it doesn’t really half-ass anything. Meewakching take a fully committed approach to the generally emotional job of teenage-era sentimentality. The band is not afraid to fully embrace their vulnerability, and that is what makes this album such a delight.

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