Patio Unplugged: Mumbai's HOOK channels its love for 90s grunge music into its tunes
Gaurav Banerjee, the lead singer of HOOK, a rock band based out of Mumbai, will remind you of Chris Cornell. Not because the singer's voice is exactly like Cornell's, but because the two have eerily similar-looking unkempt, long hair. But HOOK themselves aren't that different from the bands that define the late 80s and early 90s of Seattle's grunge scene.
HOOK played two of their songs for an episode of Patio Unplugged. These songs, titled 'Blank Spaces' and 'Hope', aren't the shiny, happy songs that one has become accustomed to in the current rock music scene. The dark hopelessness and bleak nothingness of Seattle's greatest has found its way into the bands own music.
While most rock tracks turn bland and uninteresting when played in an unplugged set (unless the songs being played are anthems already, or being performed by big names), HOOK manages to add their own unique touch to 'Blank Spaces'. The opening chords are moody and woeful before flowing into an inviting tune that creates a strangely soothing vibe. The singer's voice is husky and melds to near-perfection with the instruments. Structurally, the track follows in the footsteps of any classic 90s grunge song.
'Blank Spaces' is a delight for anyone who has grown up listening to bands such as Alice in Chains, Soundgarden, Pearl Jam and Nirvana. While HOOK is clearly inspired by these bands, they aren't simply trying to ape them. The raspy high-notes; the slow, subtle lead guitar sections, and the measured drumming showcase HOOK's natural ability to channel their inner 90s love in their music.
The second track HOOK performs follows a similar vein, but with a slight twist. The vocals feature more prominently on 'Hope', and the guitars are a lot more subdued. You can hear how greatly influenced the band is by Seattle's grunge scene, especially with shades of Eddie Vedder in the high-pitched singing on the track. The guitar solo is prolonged and carries with it a classical bent. The track ends with the thuds of the drums and leaves the listener bewildered. Themes of depression, loneliness and guilt are found on both the tracks — something they borrow from Seattle's grunge scene.
Before HOOK was formed, the band performed live covers as the group Letters from Seattle. They surely have progressed as musicians. A five-piece band, HOOK's original compositions are innovative and full of energy — something that only makes Mumbai's local rock scene richer.
Updated Date: Jun 07, 2018 21:28:52 IST