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Aswekeepsearching - Zia album review

Post-rock moodiness from Ahmedabad

Aswekeepsearching - Zia album artwork

India isn’t necessarily the first place you think of when it comes to grandstanding post-rock, but aswekeepsearching seem determined to fix that.

This follow-up to debut effort Khwaab finds the quartet, already established as big festival favourites at home, attempting to emulate the international crossover success of key influences Sigur Rós and God Is An Astronaut. The music is certainly big on atmosphere, particularly the textural undulations of the faintly mystic And Then Came Spring and Reminiscence. Singer/guitarist Uddipan Sarmah delivers his lyrics in Hindi, while fellow guitar player and keyboardist Shubham Gurung adds rolling clouds of becalmed noise. Tablas and sitar bring gentle exoticism to Sleep/Awake and Sometime Somewhere respectively, offset by the tensile progtronica of Hope Unfolds. It’s all agreeable enough, but too often Zia appears content to merely float along at a fairly undemanding pace, with songs like A New Solace passing by almost unnoticed. The exception is Kalga, whose restful rhythm is suddenly punctured by ringing guitar chords, before subsiding into something less destructive. This engaging contrast is hopefully a foretaste of what to expect next.

Freelance writer for Classic Rock since 2008, and sister title Prog since its inception in 2009. Regular contributor to Uncut magazine for over 20 years. Other clients include Word magazine, Record Collector, The Guardian, Sunday Times, The Telegraph and When Saturday Comes. Alongside Marc Riley, co-presenter of long-running A-Z Of David Bowie podcast. Also appears twice a week on Riley’s BBC6 radio show, rifling through old copies of the NME and Melody Maker in the Parallel Universe slot. Designed Aston Villa’s kit during a previous life as a sportswear designer. Geezer Butler told him he loved the all-black away strip.