It is perhaps testament to the quality of the music on this Mumbai band’s major-label debut that minutes into the tricksy, infectious opening track I’d become oblivious to the fact that the lyrics on Firdous are all in Hindi. Please, please do not let that deter you from checking this four- piece out.
Theirs is intelligent rock music just on the cusp of progressive, with its eyes on the arenas of the world, some hints of yer Mansuns and none of cultural co-opting types like yer Kula Shakers.
Mangesh Gandhi is the guiding presence throughout, his vocals crisp, clear and vibrant, with a nicely judged, natural balance between Indian melismas, Western rock tropes and big, big harmonies. Shrikant Sreenivasan proves himself more Rothery-melodic than Petrucci-widdly, and the epic song that gives the band its name is as anthemic as they come.
Of the many influences they cite (Tool, Porcupine Tree, Opeth et al) it is Karnivool they’d nestle next to most comfortably on a bill. Swedish mastering boffin Jens Bogren has given Firdous an excellent, radio-friendly sheen, and Coshish’s love for what they’re doing simply radiates off the disc. Catchy, whole-hearted music.